The Dos and Don’ts of Work Dress

Katelyn Hare
The Dos and Don’ts of Work Dress

Becoming an adult means  coming to terms with how we dress in the workplace. For most of us, we are in a time where we are going on interviews, looking for jobs or internships or recently was offered a job. So what are the different levels of dress codes and how do you dress for each?

If you’re in the tech field (I’m talking to you, web developers and programmers), or if your company allows “Casual Fridays,” this is the section for you.

Although your employer is allowing you to dress casually, this should never mean coming to work in pajamas, or T-shirts with inappropriate messages on them. You should always look neat and clean in your workplace. Appropriate T-shirts, jeans, and tennis shoes are allowed. Shorts in the summer are debatable and you should check your dress code (either in your employee handbook or with HR) before wearing them.

Business Casual
Most workplaces fall into this category.

For the gentleman:
For a business casual look, you should have plenty of collared shirts. Some nice dress pants, khakis, or cargo pants. Dress shoes are a must, and you need to have your shirt tucked in, so wear a nice belt, too.

For the ladies:
For the business casual look, you should have plenty of appropriate blouses, jackets, dress pants, and blazers. And of course, a nice pair of dress shoes. Skirts and dresses are optional unless otherwise stated.

Business Formal
This category is for interviews (you always want to dress to your highest standard for interviews), higher-up positions, and client/business meetings.

For the gentleman:
Business formal requires a suit and tie (make sure the tie is appropriate), and dark socks and dress shoes. Make sure the suit is appropriate for your height and that the pants touch your dress shoes. Some jewelry is acceptable and optional.

For the ladies:
Business formal requires dresses, skirts, pants suits, and skirt suits. Some companies require you to wear hosiery as well. Some jewelry is acceptable, and your hair should always be up or pulled back. No hair should be in your face. Shoes should be dressy flats or pumps. These should not be open-toed and the heel should be low.

Some Dos and Don’ts for Your Average Workplace

Do keep your hosiery colors to beige, tan or nude, ladies.
Do remembered to be well groomed at all times, and to keep up with hygiene.
Do make sure your colors coordinate with each other.
Do remember that its always better to overdress than underdress.
Do keep your glasses clean from spots or smudges, if you wear them.

Do not wear bold or crazy (neon) colors.
Do not wear revealing clothing.
Do not wear flip-flops or hats.
Do not wear too much perfume, cologne, body spray, or aftershave.
Do not wear more than one set of earrings.

If you remember nothing else from this post, just remember the word “conservative.” Always be conservative in a professional work environment and everywhere public.

How do you feel about your dress code? Tell us in the comments!