What to wear to dress for success in your new career

What to wear to dress for success in your new career

(Guest Blog by Hazel Robinson of Nuts About Style)

You’ve made the decision to move on from your old job and a new career awaits you….it’s an exciting and nerve wracking time! Perhaps you are setting up your own business or starting a new role in a different place?  It can feel overwhelming and then you start to worry about what to wear for this new adventure.


Perhaps you don’t want to wear same old things you wore for your previous job?  Maybe you had more of a uniform of a suit/corporate wear and now it seems like where you are heading is much more of a smart/ casual look which feels trickier to manage. Let me help…

Firstly it is important to have a think about what you will be doing in your new role. Shift position in your chair as if you were speaking from this new perspective.

See yourself in your mind’s eye – you’re in your new career and you are looking great.

Smart or Casual?

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What are you wearing? How smart/tailored or casual is it?
  • What compliments would you like to be getting?
  • How would you want people to describe what you were wearing?

Is this starting to give you an indication of where your new look might take you?

To further develop your vision, set up a board on Pinterest or a mood board on a pin board of colours/styles/outfits which epitomise what you would like to wear. (Check out this board while you\’re there.)

The Style Scale

If you’re not quite sure where to pitch your level of tailoring, let me help you here.


Here is the style scale I use (Author: Judith Rasband) which will help you to see where your previous career was in terms of levels of tailoring and perhaps where you are looking to be now.  Your new image could well be different as you may wish to send out different messages with what you wear and be working with different people.

Formal Wear


For me I used to work in local government and dressed level 1 for events or meetings with senior management (left hand picture) and level 2 on a day to day basis (right hand picture).



Running my business as an Image and Style Consultant, I am now in level 2/3 as my clients are women in business who tend to be smart casual and the events I go to are smart casual. For speaking gigs/smarter events I tend to go to level 2 (left hand picture) and on a day to day basis at level 3 (right hand picture).

Think about where you would be on the style scale in your new role and then make an assessment of your wardrobe as to what you currently have that could work for you for the future.


This starts to give you an idea of where your focus lies in purchasing items for the future – do you need to smarten up and add in some more tailored items? Or go more casual and add in some more relaxed pieces? You can also judge to see what out of any corporate items you might have could still work or if they need to be moved on.

Make a list of a few key items (such as a smart/casual blazer etc.) that would help to make your wardrobe work better for your new career. You can then keep an eye out for these in the shops.

I’d love to know how you get on with this so please do come and join my free Dress For Success Club where you can find further style inspiration and share your journey. I look forward to seeing you there!


PS. If you are stuck and want to have a chat then book a time in my online diary to talk about where you are now, what you are looking to achieve and where you feel you are getting stuck. I can then recommend some useful steps for you to take to get you much closer to feeling confident you are dressing the part. We can do this over the phone or you can pop to see me in Malvern, Worcestershire.


>>> Book a 1:1 chat with Hazel <<<

Guest Blog Post by Hazel Robinson of Nuts About Style

Copyright: Hazel Robinson 2017

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