our everyday life

Proper Dress for a Receptionist

by Jennifer Richardson-Moulaison, studioD

When you're a receptionist, you're the first person that a customer sees and interacts with, so it's very important that your appearance reflects well on the business. Before heading to the office, make sure your appearance is professional and ready to welcome success.

Modesty Rules

The first goal to keep in mind when dressing for reception is achieving a business-appropriate aesthetic. Low-cut tops and short dresses or skirts simply are not office appropriate and can reflect poorly on the company. As a rule, if you won't wear an outfit to church or dinner with your grandmother, it doesn't belong in the office. Lacy garments and sheer blouses should be moved out of the work attire section of the closet.

Think Chic

Chic, polished and modern attire is always a welcome sight, particularly in dull office environments. Just because a receptionist is expected to dress appropriately doesn't mean she can't showcase current trends, such as peplum blouses, vintage-inspired pencil skirts and a stylish pump. Adding jewelry and other vibrant accessories in moderation, such as a pop-of-color belt or statement necklace, is an opportunity to display personality in an appropriate way.

Appropriate Denim

Many offices observe or promote casual Fridays, permitting jeans and other denim in the office one day per week. At the reception desk, it is important to execute this freedom responsibly. Wearing dark, tailored denim without any distressing or embellishment is vital to pulling off an appropriate Friday look. Compensate for this casual dress with a dressy shoe, and add some jewelry for a little sparkle.


After dressing and grabbing that to-go mug full of coffee, recheck your selections to ensure they're worthy of a professional environment. If your outfit feels a bit too casual or as though it's missing something, add a layer. A blouse and tailored pants look fine, but a blazer or cardigan on top adds sophistication and elegance, preparing anyone, and any company, for success.

About the Author

Jennifer Richardson-Moulaison has been a writer since 2007. Her work has been featured in publications such as "Tucson Lifestyle Magazine," "Oro Valley/Marana Magazine" and various online publications, including the Sacramento Fashion Week blog. Richardson-Moulaison holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and creative writing from the University of Arizona.