How to Dress at Work

Clothing features
Personality indications
People who emphasize comfort
Have a secure sense of identity
A person who uses old and out dated clothes
Personality indicates rigidity and inflexibility
Tight and uncomfortable clothing
Indicates tension, anxiety and inferiority
Loose and comfortable clothing
Well relate to others and comfortable about self. Cooperative, optimistic and adaptable
Choose to wear brighter clothing
If somebody is sad and feel to wear neutral or dark colour
Wear blue-green clothing
If someone want to make a positive impression
If someone avoids fashion
It indicates the person has much more things to be done rather than worrying about the clothes
People who select dark colours such as black or brown
Indicates they are depressed
Women with plain pumps and sandals
They want to understated and unobtrusive
Table 17.2

Clothing choice and emotions [25]
Emotion or feeling
Clothing choice
Bright colour, fun-fashioned
Sombre hue, body concealing
The prevailing vogue for the teenage
Severe, understated, cosmopolitan
Body revealing
High fashion, expensive, jewellery, club insignia, use of expensive symbols
Inappropriate, sleazy, worn or too perfect

Things to be Avoided

There are certain things to be avoided people of both sexes, while working or selecting the right outfit for a work. The inner side of the handbag should be kept tidy, especially if it has no zipper, which can attract others to have a glimpse from time to time. The use of too strong cologne or perfume should be avoided. A watch should be carefully selected, as the watch is the most common accessory drawing attention on both men and women. One should use socks with an appropriate length and try to avoid ankle socks with slacks. When crossing the legs and the pants slightly lift up, no skin should be visible. The use of excessive jewellery should be avoided. Wearing multiple necklaces, rings or bracelets can create a negative appearance. Wearing of dangling or multiple earrings should also be avoided. The use of body piercing paraphernalia such as nose rings, eyebrow and lip rings should also be kept to a minimum. Selection of an appropriate hair cut style is very essential as not every cut is going to look good on every person. If one wears non-ironed and wrinkled clothing and goes to work with untidy hair, people perceive that the person is careless. One should try to avoid: colours such as green or red, ripped jeans or skin fit T-shirts, shirts showing chest, sports cloths with emblems or large designer labels. Women should avoid contrasting undergarments under light tops.

Selection of Dress for Work

The selection of clothing depends on the type of job , clothing requirements , regulations, safety level and cultural influences. Employees in some organisations use the prescribed dress code (colour, design and style) as per the work wear policies. However, in many institutions people are free to select their clothing to express themselves. It is very hard today to predict the occupation of people from their clothes due to flexibility of clothing in many occupations. However, it is easy to identify certain types of work (such as a lawyer) if uniforms are used. In many occupations, the clothing is influenced by the current fashion trend, in spite of reflecting one’s individual choices. Unless restricted, today’s working men and women are not limited to the narrow range of dresses. A wide range of clothing differing in colour, design and style are available for them.

Clothing Selection Criteria

The selection of clothing depends primarily on the type work in the office. In addition, the body type, the appropriateness of colour and design, climatic conditions and other functional requirements are taken into consideration [2628]. Clothing affects one’s way of thinking. It has been shown that ladies dressed in a masculine manner during a job interview are more likely to be hired [29]. A study revealed that a teacher with formal cloth is perceived as more intelligent than the teacher with casual dress. In this study it was also reported that clothes can reveal one’s employment, ambitions, emotions and spending habits. The research explained how psychology affects clothing choice and the ways to overcome key psychological issues related to clothing selection .
Improper clothing can not only prohibit us from doing our job properly but also change our perception by others at work. The physical appearance of a person plays an important role in the selection of the clothing. One should analyse their own features objectively in order to select the right clothing to enhance the assets and camouflage the problems. The appropriate clothing selection and body postures affect the degree of liking and attraction of a person. The following section highlights the criteria for appropriate clothing selection.

Influence of Colour

Colour is the first and most important element to which consumers/clients respond while selecting clothing [30, 31]. Colour expresses the language, reflects the personality and portrays the emotions [32, 33]. People relate personality to colour, usually either selecting or rejecting clothing because of its colour appeal. Colour affects personality because it causes emotional responses, and colour selection is based on events in lives and culture . Each person has colour liking and disliking. Clothing colours can reveal the ease or seriousness of a person [34]. The first impression of a person is influenced by the clothing colours and the style of dressing .
Colour can be classified as warm , cool and neutral [35, 36]. Red, yellow and orange are considered as warm; blue, green and purple are known as cool; and white, black, gray, beige, tan and brown are neutral colours . These colours create different impressions and are suitable for specific outfit as described in Table 17.3.
Table 17.3

Different colours and their suitability for various clothing types
Colour type
Suitability for outfit type
Warm: red, yellow and orange
These colours are associated with fire and sun, and they are stimulating, aggressive and lively. Red is exciting, fiery and dangerous. It indicates valentine, love and romance. Yellow is bright, sunny, cheerful, friendly and optimistic. Intense orange is irritating and overpowering
Red: sportswear and eveningwear. Yellow: often difficult colour to wear and used for retro-reflective clothing and some other purposes. Orange: difficult colour to wear like yellow and limited to active wear and retroreflective clothing
Cool: blue, green and purple
These colours are associated with the sky and the sea and are refreshing and represent coolness. Blue suggests quiet, restful and reserved. Green is the most refreshing colour, indicating peace, rest and quiet
Blue: used in very high (pale blue) or very low (navy blue) values in clothing. Navy blue is one of the most popular clothing colours for spring or summer line. Green: least preferred for dresses, popular for interior design. Purple: sparingly used for women’s clothing
Neutral: white, black, gray, beige, tan and brown
These colours present a pleasing background for the wearer without competing for attention. White is associated with purity and cleanliness for which doctors and nurses have traditionally worn it. Also as white reflects light, it is considered to be cool for summer wear. In western culture black is considered to be associated with death and villains. However, it is a sophisticated and important fashion colour
Neutrals are part of every season’s fashion picture. White: outfit for doctors and nurses, and summer wear. Black: used in isolation or combination with other colours for many clothing
While selecting suitable colours for clothing, the skin, hair and eye colours should be taken into consideration [37]. Furthermore, colours should be selected according to the season, occasion, climatic conditions and type of the garment. Although, there is no governing rule for selection of colours, the colour combinations should be judiciously selected to make harmony and enhance the personality [31, 33]. There is no limit to the kinds and varieties of colour combinations. Colours create illusions, for example a garment in one colour creates the illusion of height. Warm , light or bright colours advance visually, making a design seems large; whereas cool , dark colours recede causing the figure to look small and slender. The contrasts in tone and contrasts in chroma are frequently used to disguise figure problems. Certain individual colours or colour combinations are more pleasing to some people. Each person need to experiment with various colour combinations by considering both physical and psychological self and establishing most harmonising colour combinations.

Influence of Design

The arrangement of lines, patterns, colour and texture is known as the design . Lines are an important element of design, which determine the direction of visual interest in dress. Straight lines indicate crispness and curved lines imply buoyancy. Lines have the power to create moods and feeling. Vertical lines indicate upright, majestic figures and stability. Horizontal lines are like lines at rest and they suggest repose, quiet and calmness. Soft curving lines express grace. Diagonal lines imply powerful movement and vitality, and indicate the feeling of movement. Zigzag lines create excitement but are often disconcerting.
Line should be properly interpreted for each figure type [38]. Long, unbroken vertical lines are most effective in adding height. The longer and stronger the line, the more effective it is. Vertical lines can be further strengthened by accentuating them with contrasting trimmings or buttons. The eye judges any measurement of length or width in relation to other measurements in the same composition. Longer skirts make the wearer appear taller and slimmer simply because their length is greater than their width [39]. Horizontal lines widen the figure i.e. they add bulk or mass to the figure. A contrasting belt on a dress cuts the average figure in to two, creating two chunky portions instead of one long and thin shape. The use of illusion is important in men’s wear. Generally, men want to look taller and stronger. Therefore, throughout history manufacturers of men’s clothing have tended to increase men’s stature with vertical lines in jackets and trousers with built-up shoulders .

Functional Requirements

Functional requirements are an important issue in deciding what we wear at work. There are varieties of tasks such as fire fighting, military, chemical and biological industry, where the protective clothing must be used for personal protection [4042]. For example in biological industry the hazards are mainly caused by the microorganisms or contamination [43]. In hospitals, exposure to hazardous bacteria and viruses from contaminated blood, bodily fluids or other similar objects can lead to the risks related to the biological hazards. In some instances the airborne pathogens may cause potential threat. The protective clothing used for chemical protection is mainly used for dermal exposure and lowering the risk of injury or illness. In addition to the required level of protection, the protective clothing should be comfortable to wear, should not restrict body movement and should be easy to produce commercially.

Comfort and Fit

While selecting clothing, in addition to the style and design, comfort and fit are also important parameters to be considered [44

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Nov 16, 2015 | Posted by in General Dentistry | Comments Off on How to Dress at Work
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