Starting a new job can be daunting. And so is training in a new city and then starting the new job in ANOTHER city that you’ve never been to. How should you represent yourself? How do you dress? Do you shop before you go or after? The answers boil down to if your personal brand is about standing out or blending in; women generally fall into these two categories. I myself am pretty much the same everywhere. My brand is about standing out as a stylist, which means a colorful, professional, fashionable, body+figure flattering dress with great accessories.
It can be challenging on days when I don’t feel well and just want to wear sweats. But, anyways, back to you….If you are more comfortable blending in with other women at your new job, you may want to buy some basics before you go, but reserve some money to shop once you get there. Observe what other women your age wear at the office. Is it casual? Do they wear a blazer with everything, or are cardigans and shrugs the majority? I wouldn’t say to copy them, but take cues from your co-workers. Having a chat with your boss can be helpful too. Most firms will provide you with a dress code, but those can be cryptic. I have one client whose husband works in finance and trading, and apparently all the men wear shorts and t-shirts!
“Business casual” in New York means one thing, and “business casual” in San Francisco means something else. In the New York law sector, I’ve also been told that women who dress in skirts and dresses get promoted vs. the women in a simple button-down and dress slacks. The big cities are always going to be dressiest: New York, Paris, and London. Smaller metropolitan cities like Dallas, SFO, Los Angeles, Miami, and DC are at different degrees of casual. When you get into different cultures like China, Dubai, and Japan, it’s a whole other ball of wax. For example, did you know that in China black symbolizes death and is not appropriate as business wear? This would be critical for a New Yorker trying to acquire Chinese business to know. If you have some unique questions about appropriate wear, I can help address them. Part of my job is to decode these dress code terms and help my clients dress in the best way appropriate to their personal brand.