Clothing can define your professionalism

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Brighton Hillstead, a business management major from Phoneix Ariz. dresses professionally while working at BYU broadcasting. (Photo by Maddi Dayton.)
Brighton Hillstead, a business management major from Phoneix Ariz. dresses professionally while working at BYU broadcasting. (Photo by Maddi Dayton.)

Dressing professionally in the workplace can be an important factor as to how you are viewed; however, being able to dress up with versatility and make a statement comes easier to the women.

Deciding to dress up can be a personal preference; however, that decision should be taken seriously because what is worn in the work place reflects how seriously co-workers take you.

Brighton Hillstead, a BYU business management major from Phoenix, Ariz., is a receptionist at BYU broadcasting; she explained that women have more versatility when it comes to dressing up.

“For girls you can do skirts, dresses, pants; guys are kind of more traditional — nice collared shirt, nice pants and khakis,” Hillstead said. “But I feel like girls have more options; you can play something up by adding jewelry or a blazer or something like that.”

Meghan Getz, senior associate in accounting at Campbell Taylor & Co., gives similar reasoning.

“I definitely have more versatility than men,” Getz said. “They really only have option of shirt or long-sleeve button-up and slacks. As a woman I can wear dress, skirt, pants, blouse, sweater, etc.”

Dressing up can definitely be easier for women with the amount of colors, jewelry and clothing pieces to choose from, but dressing up extremely professionally can also be difficult, according to Allie Yost from Irvine, Calif., a BYU student majoring in public health who works as an administrative assistant at BYU Broadcasting.

“For women, you have to try harder to find a suit; they aren’t as easy to come by,” she said.

Dressing a certain way in the workplace can easily define how seriously you are to be taken.

“Someone dressed in a suit or shirt and skirt (is) respected more and (has) an authority persona,” Yost said. “If someone isn’t dressed appropriately then I don’t want to listen to them; I’m thinking about what they are wearing.”

Hillstead explained how dressing up makes her feel.

“I think they look at me as more professional and take me more seriously, so that’s nice. I appreciate that; that’s another reason why I try to look nice,” Hillstead said.

Looking professional in the workplace can not only change the way people perceive you but also how it affects your mindset at work.

“I think it’s really important; it helps me be in a more professional mindset rather than wearing an old t-shirt and jeans with holes in it,” Hillstead said.

Different trends geared toward that mindset emerge in the workplace.

“For women, skinny work pants and more flowy button-up shirts are pretty in style,” Getz said. Cardigans, pencil skirts and wrap dresses are popular too. I’m an accountant, so they aren’t the most stylish though.”

Yost also gave her insights on emerging fashion trends at work.

“Colored jeans, black, or yellow, white — they are accepted more as business casual, but it has to have a blazer or nice blouse,” Yost said. “With guys it’s more patterned shirts like checkered, polka dot, or just any pattern.”

Dress up or dress down, a person’s professional clothing choice can define people’s perception of their professionalism.

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