Spruce up for work, but not this way

Khanyisile Nkosi

Khanyisile Nkosi

For many women a new year means a new job, new house and even a new man, but very few make resolutions to change or improve their image at work.

In a two-part series, image consultant China Mngomezulu, pictured, shares tips on achieving a stylish office look.

Do a wardrobe clean-up. For every three pieces of clothing you throw out, treat yourself to something new.

First impressions count. Before you even open your mouth a lasting opinion of you has already been made, based on your appearance.

Dressing appropriately is a must if you want to be taken seriously at work. While business-casual dress codes vary between companies and even departments, the following items are not acceptable:

l Too-tight, revealing and baggy clothing is not flattering at work;

l Too much perfume. You don't want your colleagues or clients to smell you before they even see you;

l Shorts or too-short skirts. Showing too much leg is unprofessional;

lOut-of-control wild hair does not look professional;

l Dirty, ripped or torn jeans are a big no;

lToo much cleavage is not acceptable - at any age;

l Avoid dresses with straps and halter necks;

l Noisy jewellery should be kept at home. An arm-load of bangles or long, dangling earrings are downright distracting at the office;

l Extremely high heels are too sexy for the office, not to mention impractical.

Next week we take a look at must-have clothing items.