When we’re at home, we tend to have a slob mentality. We wear clothes that our mothers think should have been thrown out decades ago, and we stubbornly leave our hair exactly as it is after we’ve washed it. We don’t even bat an eyelash when we accidentally spill milk on our shirt. No judgement here, it is after all, a safe place. However, the office is an entirely different matter.

At work, everything we do is evaluated, so if there's anything we can do to swing the votes in our favor, we should quickly take advantage of it.

“Proper hygiene and good grooming are the basics,” says Pauli Antoine Porquez Genuino, President and Founder of Etiquette de Manille and Red Archon. “Being well-groomed is about looking polished.”

It's not just about following office protocol either—it's also about respect. Showing up to work with crumbs on the side of our mouth and our shirt sloppily untucked shows that we don't care how we represent the company, and as a result, don't care whether we get to keep the job or not. And obviously, that's not the impression we want to give our bosses!

Pauli's grooming tips, however, should clear that misunderstanding right up. Check them out below:

1. Prepare your wardrobe and accessories ahead of time.

Mornings can be quite hectic. To save you the trouble of running around looking for something to wear, get everything ready the night before. That way, you won’t miss out on important details such as missing buttons or torn sleeves.

2. Don’t groom in public.

Need to touch up your makeup or control your frizzy hair? Do it in the wash room. Grooming right in your office cubicle might give your employer the impression that it's the only thing you do all day.

3. Keep your hair away from the face.


There is something generally unkempt about hair that gets in the way of your face. It makes even the most organized employee look harassed and incompetent. Solve this problem by applying a form of control serum on your hair and tying it neatly. “Baby hairs should also be given attention,” says Pauli. “[They] shouldn’t stick out.”

4. Always bring mouthwash and your vanity kit.

If your work involves meeting with different people, toting around a bottle of mouthwash or a tin of mints is a must. Your clients don’t need to know what you had for breakfast. Your vanity kit is just as important, as it keeps your face oil-free and presentation-ready at all times.

5. Always bring a shawl to work.

This fashionable staple isn’t just meant to protect you from the office air conditioning, it’s also meant to hide unsightly stains on your outfit. Call it damage control. “A shawl is always a lady’s best friend, especially toward the end of the day,” says Pauli.

(Photo courtesy of Zara; edited by Jennifer Chan)

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