Decoding Workplace Dress Code

Times have changed! Gone are the days of fancy three-piece suits, replaced with khaki and polo’s. In some corporations today, it’s even casual Friday every day of the week! Even though our workplace dress standards are more relaxed in today’s society, it is never a good idea to arrive at work in torn shorts and a baggy t-shirt. With a little thought and creativity, you can bring together workplace dress standards and your individuality.

Know your Workplace – Your work environment and company culture are important factors to consider when determining work-appropriate attire. Get a feel for how others dress and keep your wardrobe appropriate to who you interact with. For instance, meeting new clients may involve more business professional dress, whereas your everyday activities with co-workers may allow for business casual attire.

Wear Clothes that Fit your Body – Great style is an attainable goal for anyone but it all comes down to how the clothes fit you. It is well worth the extra time and money to find the pieces that give you a slim and tailored fit to provide you with a sense of professionalism. Ladies, this does not mean that you should wear hip-hugging mini-skirts to work! When warmer weather approaches, take into consideration what is and isn’t work appropriate. A good rule of thumb when deciding what is and isn’t appropriate is to stay below your knees on the length of your bottoms and to cover your shoulders by either wearing a shirt with sleeves or bring a jacket/sweater to wear.

Classic Pieces for Every Outfit – It’s still good to have a few classic pieces in your wardrobe for special days at work (meetings, conferences, etc.). Men should have a suit jacket, tie and dress pants available to them. Women should have a knee length (or longer) skirt/dress pants and a blazer on hand.  

Personal Style – Don’t forget to add your individuality to your work outfits, that will help you identify with your co-workers. Accessories are fun, trendy, inexpensive and appropriate for most work environments. Keep in mind that minimalism is still key in an office environment so don’t wear all your favorite jewelry on the same day! For men, a simple tie, leather belt or scarf can accessorize your outfit without being too much.

Your appearance on the job is a mirror that reflects your personal style in the context of the office culture and nature of your job. What you wear continues to say a lot about your work and who you are. So, think about your company, your co-workers, clients, management and your position when reaching into your closet for your outfit tomorrow morning to ensure that you will come out a winner!

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