Easy Guide to Workplace Dress Codes

By Josh Clark

What is considered appropriate work attire can differ among various companies. While some offices ask employees to show up to work in suits, others prefer a more casual environment where jeans and a stylish top make for a perfectly acceptable outfit. No matter where you work or what the dress code is, you can find corporate wear that is both professional and stylish.

Before you start filling your wardrobe with professional wear, it’s important that you have a clear understanding of the required dress code. Companies often use words like “business professional” or “business casual” to inform employees what is expected of them. Here’s a quick guide to understand the varying workplace dress codes:

Easy Guide to Workplace Dress Codes

Business formal/professional – If you work for industries such as finance or law, most likely you will required to wear formal clothing. This means suits, dresses, skirts, blazers, dress pants and ties.

Business casual – In business casual, you won’t have to wear a suit. Jeans, however, are still not an option. A polo shirt with a pair of khakis is a good example of what is acceptable.

Casual (small business casual) – Some offices, especially smaller companies, allow employees to dress very casually. Jeans are often allowed and employees can wear their everyday wear as long as it’s not wrinkled, does not have holes, isn’t baggy and doesn’t display inappropriate wording or designs.

Once you know what dress code your job requires, you can then put together a collection of workwear that will please both you and your boss. Even corporate wear can still look and feel stylish, so search for suits, dresses and button-up shirts that have flattering fits. Try a unique color that will help you stand out to co-workers and upper management. If searching for business causal wear or casual clothing, you can get even more creative and use patterns, colors, accessories and styles to make an impressive statement.

Having a job and dressing professionally doesn’t mean you have to lose your sense of style. Details make all the difference, after all, and the fit, colors, fabrics, patterns and accessories you choose can all impact how you look and feel at work.

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