Simple hints to help you appear fashionable and professional in the current workplace.
The only thing guaranteed in life is change, and this is especially true when it comes to what you bring to work. Except for a few industries, the days of power outfits and business attire are essentially over.
Business casual is an overarching phrase for its stylistic successor, which is attire that is designed to be more relaxed while maintaining professionalism.
Wearing clothes appropriately for your work is probably not at the top of your priority list, but following a dress policy may demonstrate that you’re making an honest attempt to follow the company’s culture and be a member of the team as a whole.
The issue is that casual business dress may be construed in a variety of ways. Jeans, for example, may be permitted if worn with a button-down shirt and jacket at one employer but not at another.
If you’re starting a new job with a business casual dress code, you don’t want to create a bad first impression by dressing too casually. If you’re unsure if an outfit is acceptable, lean on the side of professional discretion during the first few weeks.
You know how it’s customary to dress more professionally for an interview? That same attitude won’t get you in trouble after you’re formally hired, but it may reflect negatively on you if you go the opposite way. (Hint: If you’re undecided about what to dress, go with your instincts.)
What Is Business Casual and what does it mean?
There are no clear dress code guidelines conforming to the general understanding of business informal wear: professional attire that isn’t as formal as the usual suit-and-tie ensemble.
Shirts with button-down collars and blouses, cardigans and polo or knit shirts
Sweaters with crewnecks and blazers
Dresses and skirts that fall just below the knee
Shirts with buttons and/or long sleeves
black or brown shoes
black or brown belts
Business casual attire
Is your business casual attire too tight? Too dowdy? Make an appointment with a specialist. Invest in a few good pieces and customize it to look good.
Do not expose too much flesh. Some skin is unlikely to be a problem (examples: V-neck blouse, sleeveless dress). Use your judgment.
Please, please, please, avoid using loud designs. Those working in the arts or creative sectors are exempt. Keep the parrot-print Hawaiian shirt in your closet for the beach and the BBQ.
Maintain good physical condition at all times. Disqualifications include stains, creases, fractures, and faded areas.
Are Jeans Appropriate for Business?
It all depends. If jeans are required for business casual attire, they should be darker colors, devoid of rips, stains and frays, and not too tight or baggy.
You want a good contour appearance. A solid pair of jeans coupled with a shirt and jacket is a business casual essential in any office.
Not quite certain which pieces of casual business apparel make the grade for your company? There are a few methods for determining the limits on your own.
How to Dress for the Office
Grab your inspiration from the sort of workplace you’re entering. Is it a dynamic atmosphere with an open concept, vivid decorations, and local artistry, or even a more typical corporate setting with executives sitting at oak workstations and meetings held in a boardroom?
Consider the nature of the firm. A law or banking sectors firm is likely to be more formal, but an advertising or technology startup is likely to be more business attire focused. Of course, there are always outliers, but these are things to think about.
Examine the surroundings. Study what others wear on a regular weekday throughout the screening and hiring process. Are most males dressed in collared shirts with brogues, or do flannels, cargo pants, and sneakers predominate? Do trousers with turtleneck sweater combinations and flats prevail among women, or do you notice a lot of skirts and jackets?
You don’t have to imitate someone else’s look, but remaining in the same stylish proximity is a good and safe idea.
Having said that, you must be ready to dress and impress. Even in relatively informal situations, you may be expected to wear more professional outfits at times, such as when an important customer visits.
Keep a minimum of one extra fancy office attire in your wardrobe for emergencies.
What Is Never Acceptable as Business Casual Attire?
Individuality is normally appreciated in most companies nowadays, but you may want to avoid getting more piercings or wearing huge, bright, showy display items if they would make you stick out too much.
Additionally, there are several sorts of apparel that will almost certainly not work with even the most modest of dress standards.
Here are some office-appropriate outfits you should never wear:
Pajamas. You are going to work, not to sleep!
Yoga and gym attire. Although certain trendy and fashionable sneakers may resemble dress shoes (and cost three times as much), you should absolutely reserve your gym shoes and high-tops for when you are done with work.
The same is true for jumpsuits and athletic clothing.
T-shirts. In a relaxed corporate environment, ladies can appear professional in short sleeves, however tanks with thin wire straps are not workplace acceptable unless worn with a coat or jacket.
T-shirts with graphics. In certain companies, a basic t-shirt underneath a suit can be worn for a sophisticated look. But the key word here is “clear.” For the breaks, keep the Marvel, Star Trek, and sports franchise apparel at home.
Nightlife fashion and attire. If you wouldn’t wear it to brunch with your grandmother, it’s likely not business casual.
Unless you operate in Jamaica, you should not wear shorts.
Sandals. In the summer, certain establishments may allow women to wear open-toed shoes, but they must be trendy sandals or wedges, not the flip flops you put on when getting a pedicure or going swimming.
Does workplace etiquette include more than just business casual attire?
You may maintain good taste by stealing ideas from your coworkers and wearing attire that match your office culture.
Relaxed dress requirements are only one of the many ways the workplace has changed in recent decades, and you can bet that more changes are on the way.
Remember to be fashionable and trendy but in an appropriate way.