Dressing for the workplace can be confusing. Everyone experiences it from time to time. You want to impress your colleagues (and your boss) but you don’t want to come off as overdressed or over excited when your colleagues’ attire is more toned-down. So what is the proper way to dress for the business world?

General Guidelines:

Briefly: dress neat and subtle—don’t be distracting. Your wardrobe should tell people that you are serious, professional, and trustworthy, not goofy or daring. The fit of your clothes should be comfortable. They shouldn’t involve any adjustments when sitting, leaning over, or walking. Also, don’t go crazy with trendy hairstyles or overpowering perfume or cologne.

When you begin a new job, observe what other employees wear for the first week or two. Businesses often have their own company style. It may be acceptable to be a little more toned down in your attire, or you might need to step it up a notch. Until then, it is better to be overdressed than underdressed.

Dapper Dressing Rules For Men

  • Pick dark suits in black, navy, or gray. Pick a shirt that is a lighter color than your suit. White will never steer you wrong.
  • The sleeves of both your shirt and blazer should reach your wrists. Anything shorter doesn’t fit you.
  • Chose a necktie made of silk or a similar material. Stay away from loud, cartoonish prints.
  • Your socks should match the color of your pants or your shoes. They should reach the height or your calf—don’t allow the skin on your ankle to show!
  • Your shoes should be clean and polished and match your belt.
  • Keep your hair short and well-maintained. Shave or clean up any facial hair.
  • Limit your cologne use; either use a light scent or none at all.

As you get to know the atmosphere in the office, some of these rules can be bent. Fun ties, relaxed hairstyles, and button up shirts or polos can be perfectly acceptable given the right settings. Just be sure to get to know your office first. If you’re looking for more fashion tips or faux-pas, check out this blog post from lifehack.org.

Awesome Attire For Women:

Dressing for a woman in the business world is more difficult than it is for a man, and working women have struggled with this problem for decades. They need to be presentable, but not overly distracting; Feminine, but authoritative. While there are many opinions on this topic, the best way for women to dress professionally in the business world is the same as it is for men: keep it simple.

  • Professional wear for women usually includes a suit with either a skirt or pants. Skirts typically fall on or below the knee. Do not pick a skirt that is too high or has a high slit.
  • If wearing a skirt, wear stockings underneath. Choose a pair that is sheer to some degree; Black, gray, or skin toned colors are your best option.
  • The top layer of your suit should be a well-fitting shirt, sweater, or jacket. Stay away from tops that are low-cut or too tight.
  • Pick colors that are subtle and not too busy. Just like with men’s clothes, bright colors and loud patterns can be distracting.
  • Perfume and makeup should be light and neutral. Stay away from heavily scented perfumes. Makeup should be a daytime, neutral look. Keep nails trimmed and, if using polish, choose a light or clear-coat.
  • Shoes should either be flat or with low heels. Avoid high-heeled shoes, sandals, or shoes with open toes. Choose something comfortable.
  • Accessories should complement your look. Scarves or belts should be simple. Jewelry should stay simple as well. Small studs or hoops are a good choice for earrings. A classic necklace or a simple statement ring works as well, but don’t wear too much jewelry! As the famous fashion icon Coco Chanel once said, “Before leaving the house, A lady should look in the mirror and remove one accessory.”

As we’ve said, it’s best to get to know your office when considering your wardrobe. As the cliché goes, dress for the job you want to start off, and go with formal wear for the first few weeks. Once you get to know your co workers, office atmosphere, and clients, you will have a better idea of what is acceptable and what is not.

When you are considering a space for your next meeting, check out Earle Brown Heritage Center. Try on a few different spaces and choose the one that fits you best.