How To Wear Outfits For School Presentations Without Looking Like A Penguin

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In need of tips for presentation dressing? Last-minute Googling “how to wear outfits for school presentation” and end up only finding the standard “penguin suit”? If you don’t know what that is, the “penguin suit” is typically characterized by a white blouse/shirt and black pants/skirts with black leather/court shoes. This for some reason seems to be the default attire for everyone during their first interviews or presentations.

Seniors, especially those of you going into the working field, take heed on these following fashion tips to change your wardrobe a little and avoid being seen as a freshie, if “business attire” still means “penguin” suit to you!

1. Light Top, Dark Pants

In formal wear, the general rule of thumb is to have a lighter top matching a darker bottom. It doesn’t have to be white and black – there’re loads of grey areas in the world too you know!

A light yellow top can be used in place of that white shirt, or a pair of brown pants in place of a black pair.

Never wear blue jeans or light grey jeans to work, even if you think you look damn good in it. If your work requires you to wear formal business attire, you better go get a few sets of clothes – which are also flexible in allowing you to mix them around when you wear them on different days.

2. Collarless Top With A Blazer

A blazer covers all the flaws you have with your attire on the inside. If you are heading out after your interview and are not interested in bringing extra clothes to change out of, you can wear a normal collarless top that you can use for your after-interview event, while carrying an extra blazer that can also serve as a jacket in the cold air-conditioned interview room.

Proper pants and shoes are still needed, but dressing differently on top might gain you that few impression points especially if you’re applying to the creative or advertising field.

Generally, smaller firms or expat firms will not enforce strict dress code in the office, but they do take pride in showing their professionalism out of the office, especially when they have to attend a meeting at the client’s office or present at a third party venue.

3. Black Jeans And Ankle Boots (For Girls) For Smart Casual Office Wear

Girls, if you do not want to go with the boring black pants + court shoes dressing, you can consider buying a pair of black or leather ankle boots that you can wear with black slim jeans.

Not leggings, but get the type of jeans that can vaguely pass off as formal pants. Not wearing the typical fashion items doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re not professional or disrespecting the job, it just means that you are more confident wearing something that suits your style more so than having to conform to the fashion norms of the office.

4. Leather Jacket And Basic Tees (For Guys) For Smart Casual Office Wear

Leather jackets are less common in the office, for they are seen as too much of rocker wear than professional office wear. However, it depends on how you wear your leather jacket.

Have your leather jacket not too bulky or loose, fitting closely just like how a blazer would fit, and wear basic tees or a singlet inside. Note that this is not a good idea for an interview, but as a change of style on a random day at work, or when you need to have dinner with your colleagues where smart casual dressing can be passed off.

5. Slight Alterations To The “Penguin Suit”

The “penguin suit”, for those who still feel the most comfortable sticking to it, can still be tweaked around a little.

Guys, try using slim ties or bowties instead of the normal ties, and change the colour of your belt. The general rule of having your tie length at the buckle of your belt, as well as having your socks colour the same as your shoes are still important and neglecting to follow that might make you the laughing stock at the office. You definitely do not want that to happen on the first day of work.

Girls, perhaps put on some accessories like a badge or a brooch on your blouse to draw yourself apart from the others in the office, or wear heels that are just 4-5cm in height instead of court shoes. You want to look smart, but not give your boss the feeling that you’re overpowering her.

So there you have it. You no longer have to question what to wear for a presentation as long as you keep these tips in mind. These are outfits that are universal, which means that you can wear them to work, or wear them to a school presentation, especially when it’s supposed to be pretty formal.


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