Acceptable Business Attire

Acceptable Business Attire.

When you first enter or are in the business world, you must know how to dress appropriately for any given situation. What you wear for an interview or career fair is likely to differ from your day-to-day business attire. In the world of business, what you wear shapes the public’s perception of you and the company you represent. Most businesses provide their employees with dress code policies to give guidance on what type of clothing is allowed and prohibited on professional and casual dress days. Here is a quick guide to help:

Do’s and Don’t’s

  • Do not wear revealing clothes like tank tops, low-cut shirts and tight-fitting clothing of any type (pants, skirts, shirts) is a big not.
  • Do not wear casual work clothes like khakis, wrap dresses and short-sleeve jackets.
  • Do not wear un-tucked shirts, vests or t-shirts under your jacket.
  • Take out your tongue ring or any other visible body piercings.

  • Cover up your tattoos.
  • Your skirt length should be no more than 1⁄2 inch above your knee.
  • Do not take your jacket off during the interview.
  • The heels of your shoes should be 2 inches or less. Men – no dock shoes.
  • Men – wear socks!
  • Women – only one pair of earrings is necessary. Men – no earrings.

For Men

  • Business formal attire is an upgrade from your normal day-to-day professional outfits.
  • You need to find a suit that dresses you up for business occasions.
  • For example, if you’re planning to make a pitch to a group of corporate executives, you don’t want to be under-dressed.
  • A business suit can include only two pieces — jacket and pants — or it can include a third piece, a vest that matches the jacket. Finish off the look with a dress shirt and tie.
  • The suit should be tailored and more expensive-looking. In the office, you might go with a simpler look such as a navy blazer and bone-colored dress pants.

For Women

  • A dress pant or skirt with matching jacket is considered business formal for women.
  • Depending on the season, jackets may be ¾ length or short sleeve.
  • A crop pant suit is also suitable; however the pant hem should hit mid-calf and this style is not recommended in an interview setting.
  • Skirts should always sit at or just above the knee.

  • A collared blouse or dress-material top is recommended, and should either be tucked in or fall just below your waistline.
  • Tops should never hang below the hem of your suit jacket, or be so short that they show your belly.
  • Always be cautious that dress shirts are not too revealing in any business setting.
  • Pantyhose are not required, however during the fall and winter seasons, darker pantyhose or tights are recommended when wearing skirts.

Important Pointers

  • Drape your jacket over an empty chair, or bring a hanger to work and hang it up when you aren’t wearing it.
  • If you place your jacket on the back of your seat and sit on it, it will look like you placed your jacket on your seat back and sat on it.
  • The shoulder strap of your seat belt goes under your tie.
  • Unless you’re 210% confident on how to pull it off, don’t wear sneakers with a suit.
  • There’s nothing impressive about looking goofy.
  • High-quality clothing is designed to fit better.
  • Clothes that fit well make you look better.
  • In the case of clothing, always focus on quality over quantity.

  • The point of your tie should never fall below your belt buckle.
  • Button-down collars on simple dress shirts are not your friend.
  • If you still wear them, it’s time to update.
  • If your dress shirt bags around your waist, it doesn’t look like a dress shirt. It looks like a blouse.
  • Don’t ever skimp on quality shoes.
  • A great suit with lame shoes is wasted money on the suit. If you must prioritise, get a good suit and great shoes.
  • French cuffs are always appreciated by women – as long as your cufflinks don’t out-sparkle her jewellery.
  • It’s better to be overdressed than under dressed. The most polished man in the room commands attention and leaves the rest of the men wishing they had dressed better. Be a leader not a follower.

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