Business Dress Code

It goes without saying that your skills and competencies are essential to your success in business.  However, the impression you give away when speaking with your coworkers and business partners is just as important.

First impressions are made in a matter of seconds.  That is why you should be careful what kind of first impression you have on others.

For that reason, we bring you a few tips on how to pick the perfect outfit that won’t violate the dress code at your workplace.

There are four degrees of formality when it comes to business attire:

Business Formal / Business Professional / Business Casual / Casual

Business Formal

This is the most formal and elegant dress code, most commonly worn by senior management, as well as the employees of banks and insurance companies.

For men, it is simple: formal suit, tie, dress shirt, and elegant dress shoes. Women should dress in conservative skirt suits or pantsuits and match them with formal block-colour dress shirts. When it comes to shoes, women should wear closed-toe pumps in a matching colour.

The outfit has to be elegant yet simple, with discreet jewellery and subtle makeup. An appropriate hairstyle is a must: shoulder-length hair doesn’t need to be tied, but hair longer than that does.

Mini skirts, low-cut tops, open-toe shoes (sandals), bold colours, and too much make-up or jewellery are not allowed.

 Business Professional

Business Professional is something people wear to work in smaller companies, or on days when they do not meet clients, as well as on business trips and more casual business lunches.

Business professional means an elegant yet simple sleeveless dress that does not show off cleavage, paired with stockings and pumps.  Dress pants and colourful shirts also get the green light.

Too short skirts, too much jewellery, denim, and open-toe shoes are a big no-no.

Business Casual

Start-ups often do not insist on the strict dress code that is embraced by banks and other similar organizations. Style of dress can be casual, but it doesn’t mean you can wear the clothes you wear off work.

Jeans are allowed – preferably dark and spotless. Add a dress shirt and an elegant sweater to the mix and you get the perfect outfit. Shoes should be elegant, but that does not necessarily mean pumps. Oxfords or low-heel ankle boots are certainly a good way to go. Also, you can’t go wrong with dress pants with a button shirt or just a shirt.

You should avoid distressed and light wash jeans, shirts with spaghetti straps, see-through clothes, and mini skirts.


People who work in creative departments or in jobs where they don’t meet clients can dress pretty casually.

This essentially means that you can wear the clothes you usually wear off work.  However, you still need to hold onto a sense of decorum and keep in mind that you’re not going to the beach.

Women’s mix and match options are virtually limitless.  In general, men are also permitted to wear almost anything. However, shorts are still not a welcome sight at the office.

Scruffy looks, flip flops, ragged feet in sandals, and tight and see-through clothes are out of the question.


_ _2 _3 _4 _5 _6 _7 _8

ShareTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on Facebook