How to Dress the Part of a Social Worker Dealing with Veterans
If you are nearing the end of your masters in social work and you have decided to focus on social work, helping veterans in particular, then you’ll want to be sure you are prepared for what awaits. Part of that preparation will include dressing the part so you appear professional, ready, and comfortable for whatever the job throws at you.
As a social worker who will be helping veterans, you will have a variety of tasks ahead of you, so you need to be confident and comfortable. With that in mind we’ve put together a list of the basic pieces you’ll need for work.
What Your Day Will Look Like
In your role as the social worker you will essentially be working as the advocate for veterans, which can include all kinds of tasks. You may need to run errands with them, help them to fill out and file government papers so they can receive their benefits, help them to find suitable housing and employment, and visit them in their home.
What this means is you want to focus on a professional and comfortable wardrobe that will allow for the long hours and busy days ahead.
While you don’t have to go out and buy a wardrobe of dress pants, comfortable khaki style pants and loose fitting trousers are excellent wardrobe staples. You’ll want to pick basic neutral colors so you won’t have a problem matching them up with tops. Opt for black, navy, grey, and brown to start with. Nowadays you can find professional looking slacks that in fact can be machine-washed and may even have an elastic waist for added comfort.
Cotton Blouses, Sweaters, and Cardigans
As for tops, a button-up cotton blouse/shirt is always a great option. The cotton will allow your body to breathe and you can pick a style that isn’t form-fitting. Layer a light cardigan or sweater on for added warmth and professionalism.
The Shoe Debate
When it comes to shoes there is a bit of a debate here. While sneakers would obviously be the most comfortable option, these can be too casual. Instead, opt for a comfortable closed-toed flat that offers arch support and cushioning.
Accessories Should Be Kept to a Minimum
When it comes to your work wardrobe, accessories are really best kept at home. If you must wear something, keep it simple so it doesn’t get in your way. Most places will also ask that you don’t wear perfume, cologne, or heavily scented products.
Exceptions to the Rule
Of course there will be days where comfortable clothing isn’t going to cut it. If you are attending a court hearing, you will need to show up in a blazer and slacks/skirt. With that said, having one suit in your closet is a good plan.
You’re Ready to Start!
Now that you’ve covered all the basics and you’ve got your professional yet comfortable work wardrobe, you are ready to get to work and start giving back to the veterans.