Unless you work in an office where a full suit is the norm (in which case, wear a suit and disregard this card!), it's tricky to know what to wear to your first day on the job. You want to make a good first impression and not look boring or inappropriate. It's easy to pay attention to what other people are wearing in the office for a general business casual environment, but what do you do for your first day?
You're already nervous about a new job, so let me take care of your clothing for you.
Do wear... an a-line dress with a fairly high neck.
This is the safest bet when you just don't know what the vibe of the office is. Make sure that your dress high-necked, almost to your collarbone, and no more than two inches below. A shirtdress is a great option. If it's on the shorter side, pair it with opaque tights, but don't go full-on mini (see below). Don't go for anything that mildly resembles a cocktail dress, but you also don't have to look for the most boring grey sheath dress. I like a colorful print in a classic style, like a wrap dress, which accentuates your waist but doesn't show much skin.
Don't wear... a skirt or dress that hits mid-thigh.
It's hard to know what's appropriate office wear when you've never been there to observe. Some places don't care at all if your skirt is a mini or if your dress barely touches your fingertips, but you can't take that chance on your first day. A simple a-line dress or skirt is an easy choice on your first day to test the waters of casual dressing, but make sure it hits just above your knee at the shortest.
Do wear... simple trousers and a silky blouse.
If you're more comfortable in pants, try simple straight-leg trousers in black or navy. If you're willing to try a flared leg, that's fine too, but don't pick anything as loose or breezy as a palazzo pant. They should be tailored and in good shape to look professional but not as uptight as a suit. Pair them with a tucked-in blouse, either a button-up in a cool print or a pullover style that keeps your chest and shoulders covered.
Don't wear... extreme formal or casual workwear.
Unless you know that this is an office where everyone wears suits, or the most casual start-up out there, you'll want to avoid either extreme of formal or casual for your first day to avoid standing out in the wrong way. Don't wear a full suit; a blazer over a dress or pencil skirt with a sweater will be fine, but matching seperates are too much when you just don't know the vibe yet. Similarly, don't go too casual (it's better to be slightly more formal than more casual than the rest of the office), and avoid all denim. Not only do jeans risk sending the wrong message, no matter how stylish, but a denim jacket instantly takes your dress from being office-appropriate to looking like a sundress meant for the park.
Do wear... a slight wedge or short, chunky heel.
Many offices are heels-optional, but in a sleek or stylish work environment, you don't want to risk looking dowdy in the plainest of flats. Try a simple wedge with not too high of a heel to give your look some lift but stay comfortable, or a chunky heeled boot. Don't pick a brand new pair or you'll be hobbling around all day thinking about how much your feet hurt rather than paying attention to your new boss. Whether you've worn your shoes five or fifty times, make sure you have some band-aids in your purse!
Don't wear... stilettos.
Even if that pair of stilettos in your closet is just screaming to be worn in an office, the first day is not the time to wear this painful trend. You never know how much walking you're going to do the first day, if there's carpet in the office that could trip you up, or if you'll look overdressed and impractical in stilletos.