Sure, wear that Hawaiian shirt to your next work event – The Handlers

Sure, wear that Hawaiian shirt to your next work event (And then see what happens)

It has finally happened, after all your hard work, the Suits have noticed you: you've been invited to an after work event at a swanky hotel where you get to rub elbows with all the big shots.

Now is your chance to really impress them with your wit and charm.

You've memorised figures, prepared a little speech on why you deserve a promotion and you even have a few really funny jokes up your sleeve.

But have you planned your outfit yet? Yes I know you're not a girl and they will surely judge you by your intelligence and not your fashion sense.  Right?  Remember the saying "First impressions last" ? Well, it's scary how true that is in the business world.

These business men hear proposals and little speeches from juniors hoping to be promoted so often, they don't even listen anymore.  That is why you need to impress them as you walk in the door.

The dress code on your invitation will read "Business Attire" or "Business formal/casual".  The main clue here is "business".  Your next clue is the location.  Always keep your outfit office appropriate, that means no shorts, flip flops or t-shirts.  Unless, heaven forbid, it's a beach party.  And even then I would still opt for something less laid back, like rolled up chinos and a relaxed button up shirt.

Next, check the time.  If it starts at 6pm on on a week night, it should look like you've just stepped out of an important meeting.  Here, judging by the company and location, you can remove your tie and unbutton the top two buttons (please don't show off chest hair, we're not King Kong). Say it starts at 7pm, you can quickly change your shoes, jacket or shirt.  Remember to keep it simple and classy. 

The bottom line is:  when attending a work function, no matter what the dress code says, always keep it office appropriate.  Unless your boss has the memory of a gold fish, he will most definitely remember that Hawaiian shirt when it comes to your possible promotion.

You've been warned.

Author | Annamé Kleynscheldt

Annamé started her career in fashion as a personal shopper for Stuttafords, before landing a gig as fashion columnist for the lifestyle publication, The Month. Following a successful tenure in freelance fashion styling, working on both local and international publications, she has returned to her roots in personal shopping. Based at Topshop’s V&A flagship, she can be found saving one fashion victim at a time. |  Annamé on Twitter

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