4 Ways for Decoding the Work Dress Code
From professional functions to boardroom meetings, being appropriately dressed is key and should not be taken lightly. It’s a representation of you as a person and can either give you an overall good or bad image in public. First impressions do matter and you’d want to make yours positive especially as a professional at work.
Some companies are flexible with the way you dress up as long as it’s not sloppy or unprofessional (that’s putting it out there bluntly). Regardless of the dress code policies, dressing up is a form of self-respect, expression, and can help you achieve success. Ever heard the saying, ‘dress for success’ or ‘clothes maketh the man’? Well, studies and personal experiences have shown that it’s an effective strategy to climb the corporate ladder.
Puzzled at the thought? Fret not, as we’ve shortlisted 4 ways to encourage you to dress well for the office. Here goes!
1. Check with Your HR Department
It’s the easiest way in the book and you can’t go wrong with asking the right people. Check for specifics and go through your handbook. Does your company strictly follow the dress code to a tee or do they provide a skeleton which you can include your own fashion favourites to? Knowing this straight from the source will lessen your worries.
Take time to observe. Does your boss come in a full power suit daily or do your colleagues don casual jogger pants and high kicks to work on Fridays? Try to strike a balance in between blending in and standing out so you’ll have a memorable persona yet stay out of trouble because of your attire.
2. Recognise Your Industry and Seniority
Does your company handle corporate clients, organise events, or require you to work outside of the office space? If you tick one of those boxes, taking care of what you wear is ideal. Corporate and creative industries do vary from each other so keep that in mind. In the corporate world, it’s better to wear solid, familiar, and dark colours whereas in a creative field, you have the opportunity to try out bright colours like neon yellow or tangerine plus wear seasonal patterns like trellis or chevron.
One of the reasons why the traditional corporations gravitate more towards the ‘safer’ side of fashion is to keep things coordinated and streamlined. In a large corporation where hierarchy and business ideals are in place, it is preferable to be uniformed and dark colours connotes authority, formality, and dominance.
For creative jobs where thoughts and ideas are ever flowing, it is imperative to keep it that way to get fruitful results. Hence, it is more acceptable for employees in this field to wear clothes and accessories that matches their personality; ranging from being loud and bold to preppy and minimalist.
Another thing to note is, to not expect to receive the same treatment as your bosses, in terms of your attire. Although they may come into the office wearing something that stands out or out of the handbook, it does not mean you should do the same. A rule of thumb is to keep your work outfits easy-to-wear, tidy, and clean.
3. Add a Dash of Your Character
Dressing properly doesn’t mean being ordinary. Jazz up your workwear outfits with these style favourites!
Tips for women:
Preppy, Sophisticated Look
Inject a bit of preppiness to your work ensemble by wearing a cool pair of work pants, solid tone top and a chic pair of heels or statement flats. As for jackets and blazers, slouchy and unstructured blazers give a fresh take on the workwear staple. Pile up on accessories that’ll give you a punch of colour or stick to simple studs or necklaces to complete your look.
Wearing dresses to work can be fun. Just keep it appropriate and be comfortable in it. Choose a shift dress that hugs your curves nicely and at an acceptable hemline. Make sure it isn’t too short for when you need to bend down or reach the top cabinet in the pantry. Pick dresses with delicate floral prints or a nice colour combo. Explore different cuts like flare or A-line dresses for variation and dress them up with a structure blazer for more formal occasions like management meetings and client meet ups.
Tips for men:
Smart Yet Fun
Treat your chinos as dress trousers and vice versa. Match a khaki, grey, or indigo pair with a classic white collared shirt or patterned long-sleeved buttoned down checked shirt for some edge. Keep your dress shirt tucked in to look neat and match your belt to your shoes to finish a coordinated look. Brogues are your safest bet to keep things formal but if your workplace is pretty chilled, give boat shoes a go.
Suit up and Look Sharp
Some men prefer not to wear suits to work due to the hassle to get is cleaned and pressed. On the occasion that one does decide to put on a full suit to work, why not opt for a business casual slim suit to keep things modern yet polished. A solid coloured tie is the best accessory because of its versatility.
4. Overall Self-Improvement
If like any regular junior to middle level executive in this day and age, getting noticed at work is something that can help increase your chances of getting acknowledged by your bosses hence, lead to taking up bigger tasks or roles. Being well-groomed can definitely boost your enhance your presence and people will be more accepting to trust you, especially your more senior colleagues.
The three key things that you can expect and benefit from dressing well for work: it’s a confidence booster, it commands respect and trust, and lastly, it’s a form of expression which can inspire others to do the same. In a nutshell, it can be deduced that when you look good, you feel good, and you will do good!
Interested to swap careers? Start your job search now! What is your style of fashion at the workplace? Share it with us down below.