Looking professional in the workplace as a recent graduate is one of the most fundamental things you need to stay on top of. Though there do exist certain unique workplaces that allow funky clothing in the office, the most companies are all about keeping it simple and polished.

You can totally keep your own style and individuality while in the workplace, but it’s always important to keep in mind that you will be making strong impressions on your colleagues and bosses. Yes, unfortunately, many people in the corporate world will judge you by what you wear. It is something all of us who choose to work in an office or professional environment must accept. Don’t get too discouraged, though! You can still express yourself by picking your outfits wisely and adding your own unique, personal flair.

When it doubt, keep it simple when it comes to fashion in the work environment. From a corporate viewpoint, simpler is better when it comes to clothing choices. If you dress in bright pink leggings with a striped collared shirt and show up on your first day, you will likely incur some negative impressions that are quite likely not representative of the “real you” or your skills in the workplace. By keeping your outfit choices on the conservative, yet creative side, you’ll stand out in a good way.

New Grads: What Will You Wear To Work?

A corporate recruiter from marketing company Red Ventures claims that if you have to ask your your friends or mate if your outfit is appropriate or not for the workplace, it most likely isn’t. That’s one good rule of thumb to go by when you are interviewing for your corporate business job positions. By no means do you have to be dressed up in an over-the-top haute couture suit and tie to be considered as professional—just keep it simple and clean, and you’ll make the best impressions possible.

Depending on which workplace you choose to apply to, your dress code and clothing choice flexibility will vary. Some places do require that you dress more formally for certain events or days of the week.  Remember that it’s your choice to work there, if you are given the opportunity to. If the dress code truly disagrees with you and your style is that important to you, it might be wise to pick a different career where you can have more freedom in that regard—it could likely be an indicator that you’re not where you belong if you feel like an outsider based on wardrobe and other factors.

When you pick a job that requires you to speak with customers face-to-face, clothing choice is also super critical. Remembering to wear close-toed shoes that aren’t sneakers or sandals shouldn’t be too difficult for anyone to remember when picking out work clothes. It’s also important to all that your clothes are clean, wrinkle-free, and odorless—even what you consider a nice smell could be unpleasant or overwhelming to the boss or coworkers. These things also play a big part in making that first good impression in your new workplace.

One way to get an idea for appropriate work wear is to observe what others who already work there are wearing—this will give you the lowdown on what looks professional and what styles are acceptable in that particular work environment. Ladies, keep your skirts at a proper length and go light on the makeup. You’re sure to make the best impression by being yourself and conforming—just a little bit!