Professional Appearance Checklist for Women

A Quick Check Before Facing the World

Before you leave for work or a social engagement, examine with your best friend--a full-length mirror--the overall picture you present and the details from head to toe. Make the necessary changes, add or remove accessories and be sure your appearance and grooming are impeccable. This daily exercise will take just a few minutes but the confidence of being well dressed will be worth it. If you can check all the points, you are ready to face the world!


  • Choose simple, carefree hair styles
  • For colored hair, avoid roots showing
  • Avoid extreme fashion styles and colors
  • Pull your hair back if longer than shoulder length
  • Always wear makeup � at least blush and lipstick
  • Keep makeup subtle and blended
  • Keep fingernails short to medium length
  • Avoid too bright nail polish colors (fuchsia-orange-purple)
  • Avoid  chipped nails
  • Avoid dark lingerie with light clothing
  • Avoid slip showing below hemline
  • Avoid high split in skirt
  • No slip showing between split in skirt
  • Avoid heavy fragrance
  • Clothes are clean and well-pressed
  • There are no buttons missing or falling hems
  • Nothing is torn, stained, or discolored


  • Does not wrinkle across the back or under the collar
  • Buttons easily
  • Does not pull across the back
  • Always keep a jacket at the office in a neutral color for unexpected meetings


  • Buttons must remain closed with at least one inch of fabric 1" on side of the bust  line
  • Longer than the hip bone
  • Neckline 2" above the cleavage
  • Sleeveless blouses or tops underneath a jacket only
  • Sleeveless blouses or tops without a jacket (only if  accepted in your organization)
  • No revealing neckline front or back
  • No tight tops or sweaters
  • Cardigan style should be able to button or zip comfortably
  • No see-through or bare midriff


  • Pleats should not pull open
  • No crease or pull across break of leg
  • Skirt should easily turn around your body
  • Straight skirts should hang from buttocks in a straight line and not curve under
  • Not shorter than around the knee
  • Loose enough for two fingers to be inserted in waistband
  • No high slit in skirt
  • No visible lines under skirt
  • No slip showing below hemline or between slit


  • Coat dress, shirt dress, one or two piece
  • No sundresses
  • Neckline 2" above cleavage
  • Medium to long sleeve
  • Sleeveless dress (only if accepted in your organization)
  • Medium to small print
  • Avoid floral prints
  • Not shorter than around the knee


  • Pleats remain closed
  • Zippers and closings must lie flat
  • Long enough to break in front
  • Do not wrinkle across the front
  • Fall straight from buttocks
  • Waistband loose enough to allow two fingers to be inserted
  • Panty line must not show
  • Worn with jacket for a professional look
  • Capri pants only if accepted in your organization
  • No shorts or leggings

Shoes & Hose

  • Select neutral shades that coordinate with hemline
  • Select neutral shades or colors
  • No sandals or "strappy" shoes
  • Avoid too high or narrow heels
  • Keep heels in good condition
  • Keep shiny shoes polished
  • Sneakers clean and in good condition (only if accepted in your organization)
  • Avoid mules or shoes that make noise
  • No clogs or flip-flops
  • Hose color does not bring attention to leg area
  • Choose natural color hose that blend with hemline
  • Hose color is nude, same shade as shoes or lighter, never darker
  • No colored hose (red, purple, pink)
  • Avoid patterned or textured hose
  • No hose runs, snags, or bagginess


  • Small to medium earrings, simple styles
  • Avoid dangling or large hooped earrings
  • Avoid noisy jewelry or pieces that move
  • Avoid too many pieces
  • No tinted glasses

Makeup and Grooming

An  impeccable professional image earns you respect and provides you with a competitive edge. Quickly checking these points on a daily basis will help you to sustain  a consistent and energetic visual impression. 


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