Every office and company differs in their dress code. Some require professional dress Monday through Friday, others offer business casual with casual Fridays. But do you know what the expectations are for these recommendations? Will you be able to dress the part and fit in at your new job? Here are a few basic guidelines for common dress code types to help you dress for success.
Professional – This dress code consists of suits, button down shirts and dress shoes. It can also include ties and vests for men, and pantsuits or skirts with nylons for women. Professional attire is the most formal in a business environment. Full suits are appropriate for everyday wear in certain professions, as well as special presentations and meetings in more casual atmospheres. Professional dress is also the most appropriate interview attire.
Business Casual – Saved for relaxed but professional atmospheres, business casual attire is made up of button-down shirts and slacks for men, and a skirt or slacks with a blouse for women. Wearing a coordinating sport coat or blazer is a nice touch but isn’t usually required. Khakis and a polo shirt that bears the corporate logo is usually acceptable as well.
Casual – This type of attire is reserved for the most casual work environments. In some offices, it’s only allowed on casual Fridays. Casual wear can include jeans, sneakers, polos or even Hawaiian print shirts. If your company allows you to wear casual attire, avoid wearing jogging suits, T-shirts, sandals or revealing clothing. If you aren’t sure how to dress on casual Fridays, khakis and a polo are a safe bet. It’s better to dress one step up than one step down from the dress code.
Make sure you check the company’s dress code before you start your first day at a new job and plan accordingly to make a great impression. If you aren’t sure what dress code should be followed once you’re on the job, ask a supervisor or manager. You can also take clues by observing what others wear to the office, especially those in leadership positions.