Working a physically demanding job doesn’t have to be a limiting factor when you want to look stylish. Sure, there are some cases where altering your appearance in any significant ways is completely out of the question. But if you’re not required to stick to a specific uniform style, you should definitely put some thought into how you’re dressing yourself. This can have more benefits than just the usual one of improving your appearance. The right choices can actually benefit you in a functional sense in some cases.
Remember Your Workplace Guidelines
First of all, and this should go without saying – always follow the official guidelines you have from your employer. As we mentioned above, some jobs are stricter than others with regards to what you are allowed to wear. Some DNP programs online from places like Baylor University may even cover the basics when you are studying of how you’re required to dress at those jobs.
But even in more limited environments, you might still have some options available. Remember, if there are any restrictions about what you’re allowed to wear, there is often a good idea behind them. Healthcare facilities and places with high security are a good example of that. Even minor customizations can be out of the question for good reason (more on that below).
Treat Colors as a Utility
If you’re working a job that requires you to literally get your hands dirty on a regular basis, you might want to consider coloring options that conceal that to some extent. Unless, of course, your job requires you to do the opposite – this is common in laboratories, for example, where it’s important to see any contamination on anyone working there immediately.
But for other, non-hazardous things, consider darker tones and busier textures. These can help stains and spills blend in, preventing you from looking too messy at the end of a long working day. Long, dark trousers are always a classic choice in situations like these.
Tone Down Your Use of Jewelry
Jewelry is often a bad idea at jobs that require a lot of physical involvement. It can get caught up in machines and other people, and it can interfere with certain devices. Always verify with your employer before coming in with any jewelry on your body, even in places that are not normally visible.
The same applies for certain kinds of clothing. Long, loose-fitting clothes are usually a no-go for the same reasons. This is especially true if you’re working around heavy machinery. If you’re new to this job, you might want to prepare for a change in some other parts of your appearance as well – such as your haircut. If it’s not possible to keep it neatly concealed, this could present a problem. In any case, this should always be covered by your employer before you even begin. Don’t be afraid to ask!
Keep It Consistent
Consistency can be a great tool for keeping things simple on the style front when working a job like this. It’s the reason some jobs have uniforms in the first place. And while you don’t need to wear the exact same clothes to work every day, maintaining some elements unchanged – or within a predictable range – can make it easy to keep your style good. We mentioned colors above – try to stick to the same range of tones if possible. The same goes for the exact categories of clothes you’re using. In environments where safety is important, this can also help you avoid making mistakes when getting ready for work in a rush.
Of course, you should also consider the overall situation among your coworkers. Pay special attention to more experienced ones that have been around for a while – they will know how to prioritize function over looks while keeping both in check.
Makeup and Facial Hair Is Not Always Out of the Question
While jewelry is something you should avoid, as we described above, the same does not apply to makeup in most places. Don’t be afraid to give yourself that extra touch if you feel like it, as long as it does not interfere with any equipment you have to use on a regular basis. Special masks that require a fit around certain parts of the face are a good example of that.
The same goes for men who want to maintain some stylish facial hair as part of their looks. It’s one of the ways you can express yourself more safely in environments like these. But at the same time, the same hint that we mentioned above applies here as well. If your beard is preventing you from using any safety equipment properly, that’s going to present a problem. Look around and see what kinds of styles others are maintaining in this regard, and see if you can get some guidance from experienced coworkers if you have to make changes.
If you’re planning to make modifications to a company-provided uniform, you should obviously get it cleared with the company first. You’d be surprised how many companies are actually open to this and have no issue with it. But in some cases, you will be prevented from making even tiny alterations to whatever clothes you’re required to wear. This is especially common in more formal environments like financial institutions and law firms. You can never know without asking though, so if it’s not explicitly covered by your employee handbook, definitely ask around.
In the end, you’re likely going to have to make some sacrifices if you want to stay in line at a physically demanding job, and stay safe at the same time. If you’re not required to follow any specific guidelines, always put some thought into what you’re doing and whether it can jeopardize your daily work in some way. And if you’re not sure, don’t be afraid to ask your coworkers and supervisors. Maintaining the same style as everyone else is still a safe approach if no other obvious ones are available.