The world of office appropriate attire becomes increasingly complicated as work environments continue to evolve, now including trendy digital startups and shared spaces.
This guide will help you cut through the clutter and crack dress codes of today. You will now be able to arrive to work or a job interview confident and presentable from head-to-toe.
Broadly, there are five main office dress codes:
Always dress business formal for interviews. There’s no virtue in taking a risk and dressing in a less formal business type. It is better to be overdressed in relation to your interviewer than undressed.
A common mistake among candidates is to forget to take your personality into the interview. Although formal business attire, you can still use your outfit to get across your character. A well-chosen pair of earrings or your favourite cufflinks can be good ways to stand out from the crowd. But be subtle and use your best judgement.
Business professional is one level down from business formal. It’s slightly more relaxed but works just as well whether you are in the boardroom or at your desk. Avoid dressing more than one level up from your office dress code to avoid being overdressed.
Dress down days and offsite events have long been dominated by business casual attire. Increasingly though, blue chips organisations are loosening the dress code policy and making business casual the norm throughout the working week.
However, business professional or business formal still tend to be required for client-facing roles and meetings.
If you work from home, we would advise business casual dress. It helps shift your mind into work mode. Also, you never know when you might have to hop on a video call.
Pyjamas are the enemy of productivity.
Smaller companies on the whole tend to have a more relaxed dress code.
You can move up or down one level depending on circumstances but business formal or business professional will nearly always be inappropriate.
Tech companies, marketing agencies and other small, creative environments are often the least defined when it comes to a dress code or policy.
The best advice is to take note of the majority of employee outfits when getting an office tour or going in for an interview. Mirror accordingly.