We hate to judge a book by its cover, but how you present yourself at work counts. “Today’s work environment is about what problems you can solve and how you can make a difference rather than how you present,” says recruitment expert and co-founder of 325 Consulting, Dominic Moore. But, having said that, Moore adds that small details count and there are some basic grooming guidelines you should follow.
Rule 1. Never leave the house without brushing your teeth
“Brush your teeth first thing in the morning as soon as you wake up,” says dentist Ellie Pikoulas. “That way if you are in a hurry, you won't forget to leave the house without brushing them. Morning breath is a complete turn off!” Keep mints in your pocket and mouthwash in your desk to use after lunch, she adds. At night, floss your teeth then brush for two minutes. Also give your tongue a thorough brush before bed.
Rule 2. Prep against sweat
“You can usually remedy sweat circles with a combination of prep, cleanliness and self-acceptance,” says Dan Jones, author of Man Made: The Art of Male Grooming. “Make sure both you and your best outfit are freshly scrubbed; your clothes should be 100 per cent cotton or wool (man-made fibres will make you sweat even more, and smell bad, too). And wearing too much antiperspirant can have the opposite effect, so go against your instincts and take it easy with the spray. Just be clean and confident.”
Rule 3. Match your facial hair to the dress code
“Clean shaven should be your default facial hair position,” says Moore. “There’s a direct correlation between how much facial hair is acceptable and how formal your dress code is.” Moore has this basic rule of thumb. Gotta wear a tie = no facial hair. No tie? Three day growth. Smart casual? You can get away with a trimmed beard. No dress code? Free swim.
Must-have: Tom Ford Conditioning Beard Oil
Rule 4. Look after your lips
“Lips don’t contain oil and sweat glands so they become dry and chapped quite easily,” says beauty therapist Jocelyn Petroni. “Apply your eye cream around your mouth and onto your lips too. Eye creams are fine enough in texture to be absorbed by the delicate lip area plus you’ll be preventing lines around the lips too. I love Sodashi’s Eye and Lip Smoother, it smells delicious and contains all natural ingredients including rosehip oil and vitamin E.”
Rule 5. Go easy on the cologne
“Feel free to wear cologne but go easy,” says Moore. “Cologne shouldn’t be a statement at work – if it polarises people chances are you will do the same.” Best bet? A light daytime scent that will appeal to all, he adds. We like Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gio.
Rule 6. Keep your skin hydrated
“The dry air in an office environment accelerates water evaporation from the skin, leaving the skin dehydrated thus accentuating fine lines,” explains Petroni. Sitting at a desk all day slows lymphatic drainage and capillary circulation of oxygen rich blood to the skin's surface. This leaves the skin looking sallow and dull. It also slows toxin removal, so skin can become congested. Some computer screens and lighting emit UVA rays, which accelerate skin ageing also. Petroni’s recommendation? “Ideally get out of the office and do some exercise in your lunch break. At least make sure you take a break and go for a walk in the fresh air. Keep a glass or drink bottle by your computer as a reminder to drink one to two litres of water each day. Wear a broad spectrum (UVA and UVB) sunscreen every single day, rain hail or shine. Combat trans-epidermal water loss by applying a couple drops of a good quality face oil like Swisse Cranberry Antioxidant Facial Oil under your moisturiser to help prevent water from evaporating from your skin.”
Rule 7. Don’t forget to style your hair
The number one no-no for office hair grooming is to let it grow out too much. “Whatever your look, continuity always looks more professional,” says James Pearce, editorial hairstylist. Secondly, to get the best out of your hair texture and type – choose styling products that suit you. “Fine hair needs gritting up and thickening with matte powder or sea salt spray. Thicker hair needs strength and weighing down with paste.” Curly hair? Use pomade or wax to define and control curl, adds Pearce.
Rule 8. Always be prepared
“Always have in your desk drawer the following items,” says Moore. “Use items one and two daily after lunch and escalate to item three if need be.”
2. Chewing gum or mints
3. Toothbrush, toothbrush and floss if possible
4. Spare cufflinks and black socks
5. Spare undies for post-workout sweat emergencies
For more health and grooming advice from Men's Health, head to menshealth.com.au
Main image credit: Getty
Melinda is a beauty and travel writer, content creator, podcaster and mama. She has penned prose for the likes of Vogue, Women’s Health, Harper’s Bazaar, Mindfood, nine.com.au and body & soul. Melinda loves trying out pretty things, talking to talented people and travelling to picturesque places then telling everybody all about it with witty words. She keeps a journal, drinks ten cups of tea most days and listens to seventies disco in the car.