Guide To Professional Business Attire

Tips for dressing for success in an office setting.

Knowing how to dress in an office can be a key to business success. One of the problems of the modern office, however, is that dress codes are often not set in stone. In any business environment, the dress code of the workplace should be taken seriously. A person's appearance can say a lot about them. Dressing in a way that it is appropriate can help to lend credibility to your abilities.

The Formal Environment

The formal environment is probably the easiest in which to plan your wardrobe. For men, it can be particularly easy. A nice suit is the rule. Make sure that the color of the suit, the shirt, and tie match. The rule is typically to wear a tie that is darker than the shirt. In addition, if the shirt is striped, the tie should not be. Also, adding a matching handkerchief to the breast pocket of the suit jacket can be a nice touch""especially in very formal offices.

For women, the key is to go with the standard of the office. If other women, especially supervisors, are wearing pants suits, then go ahead and wear a nice pants suit. The rule, as with men, is to make sure that the color of the suit and the shirt go together and compliment each other. Also, especially for women, make sure that the jewelry you wear is tasteful and not overdone. Dangly earrings are probably a bit much in a formal setting.

Less than Formal

In an office that does not require a complete suit and tie, men and women have many more options in regards to dress. For men, if the environment is an office, it is still a good idea to wear a jacket and dress pants. In addition, wear a shirt that might be a little louder than the typical suit. Bright vibrant colored shirts can add a less formal, but still professional kick to a regular suit. This type of shirt will also get the attention that could be missing since you will not be wearing a tie.

For women, a nice pair of slacks and a nice blouse is key. The blouse can be a little more informal, but it still needs to look professional. As with men, the colors can be more vibrant than what you might wear in the most formal offices. As for jewelry, you still want to make sure that it does not detract from your professionalism.

Casual Fridays

One of the biggest problems that companies have with employee dress is "casual Friday." Too many employees see this as a chance to wear whatever they desire to work. However, casual Friday is not the time to wear your weekend shorts and flip-flops to the office. Instead, it is a time to be a little more creative while still being a professional.

For men, try wearing a nice pair of khakis and a polo style shirt. You should still bring in the blazer in case an important meeting comes up. For women, a sweater or lighter blouse along with a more comfortable pair of pants will help you keep your professional image and allow you to enjoy the more relaxed atmosphere.

The bottom line on proper dress in an office is remembering that your appearance should make you look like a professional. If you ever have any doubt about how a particular outfit makes your look, then you probably need to be wearing something else.

Of course, it goes without saying that anything you wear to the office should be neat and clean. In addition, your clothes should be ironed and free of excessive wrinkles. Remember, you are at work to work""even on a casual day.

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