Many companies no longer have a dress code for employees. Yet rarely is it the case that anything goes in the workplace.
Apprentices, in particular, are in danger of making a false impression by what they wear. Stylist Andreas Rose says that in some cases, an inappropriate wardrobe choice can even call into question their commitment to work.
“You’ll get an idea during the job interview what the company’s dress code is,” says Rose. A glance at the company’s website may also help.
As a rule of thumb, Rose has the following advice for the first day on the job: “Dress yourself as simply and as uncolorful as possible.”
“I’m a trespasser in a strange place” is how Rose describes how colleagues may view a new apprentice. Rose recommends choosing a muted wardrobe as a sign that you are ready to integrate. Grey, blue and brown are the colors of choice in this case, but not black.
“For me, black symbolizes power and dominance,” says Rose. Therefore, black is not suitable for someone in the position of an apprentice.
But what if the staff dress ostentatiously? May I do the same? That depends on what the type of work is. In the world of cosmetics and fashion, it’s possible that a business will provide a dress code or even a uniform. Otherwise, Rose believes there are clear no-nos.
“Do not do anything to highlight the hips, bottom or cleavage.” Skirts should be no shorter than the width of the palm of one hand above the knee, and shoulders should always be covered. “Just how much I match my colleagues’ style depends on my own personality. Perhaps I’m aiming to achieve a very reserved look in the beginning,” says Rose.
“Definitely do not wear a belly top to work,” says the stylist. Trendy cutouts or pants with holes should also not be worn in the workplace.
Although it’s important to take care of your appearance at work, Rose advises against wearing too much make-up. “It’s best to pick natural tones,” he says. Rose also recommends highlighting the eyes rather than the lips. A deep red lipstick will send the wrong signal.
An employer may ask for fingernails to be kept short for safety or hygiene reasons. Rose recommends that women should have short nails and not use eye-catching varnish. “Those types of fingernails always signal for me a desire not to work.” Customers don’t like to be dealt with by cosmeticians with long fingernails. When it comes to hair, an employer may ask for it to be tied back for reasons of hygiene.
A good outfit can quickly lead to success with customers. Rose advises wearing a perfect trouser suit with a few well-chosen accessories. “Definitely place emphasis on value. That’s a sign, for me, of professional competence.”
However, most apprentices don’t have a big budget for clothing. Rose recommends designing your wardrobe around the modular system of a certain brand. Women, for example, can pick a skirt that will match a trouser suit. The blazer can be worn with either the skirt or the pants. When one garment wears out, or becomes too small, it’s then easy to replace without having to get a completely new outfit.