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Dress code at work

By: Stephan Smith | Date: 10 April 2014

Dress code at work New article


How we should dress at work is a question that has no definite answer. The etiquette in clothing depends entirely on the nature of our job. There are strict requirements in terms of clothing in some professions: this applies in cases where the appearance of the employee contributes to the prestige of the company for which they work. Other professions allow wider freedom. In the following  material we will touch upon different types of dress code and some general rules and will give valuable advice for both men and women.


The purpose of the right choice regarding clothing is to make a good impression to others. Naturally, clothes are not everything, but anyway the appearance largely influences the impression that you create. The aim is with the selection of suitable clothes to show other people that we respect them as well as ourselves. Remember that generally clothes should create a good impression, but not to attract attention.


Some general tips

No matter the field you work in, one of the rules that the etiquette imposes is that your clothes are clean, well- ironed, have no visible spots and are not ragged. In short – they must be clean and make you look tidy. Therefore, you’d better  choose fabrics that do not crumple.


Offices with a strict dress code


It is good idea for the stronger sex to bet on a combination of pants and shirt in neutral colors. Clothes must be appropriately combined: dark trousers with a light shirt or vice versa.


As to the tie, it must be neither too long nor too short. Narrow ties are not suitable for the office.


The shirt should be well packed in the trousers, preferably with long sleeves. Even if it is hot, do not roll up the sleeves because it will spoil the overall impression of a well -selected appearance. If you choose a short- sleeve shirt, do not combine it with a tie.


The belt must be refined, preferably black or brown, with a normal buckle.


Wear black or brown clean shoes, not rattling when you walk. Choose socks that go well with the color of the trousers and shoes. White socks are unacceptable. In terms of the length, choose one that doesn’t show a naked leg neither when you’re up nor when you sit down.


Another important requirement for men is to be well- shaved and trimmed - this will certainly contribute to the overall impression they create in others.



Women should choose clothes that are neither too loose nor too tight. Too open blouses, sleeveless and backless tops are not suitable for business settings. The same goes for too short skirts. Instead, the weaker sex can bet on dresses, suits, skirts. Possible options for tops are: a blouse or a shirt with long sleeves or sleeveless blouse combined with a jacket as a rule.


Shoes should be closed, not very high, with an average height of heels, not more than 4 cm. Forget about thin heels.


The pantyhose is also obligatory as the bodily color is considered as most neutral and colorful patterns and those in figures - inappropriate.


The bag must match in color with the overall appearance.


The manicure should not be very long. Neutral colors are recommended. The makeup should be light.


As for the accessories, women should avoid large earrings and jewelry, and hats as well, unless they are outside and it’s raining. Scarves are allowed, as generally they make people look elegant. Tattoos and piercings should be covered as much as possible, especially if the woman works directly with clients or is at management level at work. Heavy perfumes are taboo.


Women should bear in mind that the pony- tail hair gives a tidy appearance.


As a whole, both men and women should follow the corporate business etiquette. If a person is about to go to an interview or to be hired, but is not aware of  the dress code etiquette, there is a possibility to consult with an employee from human resources or to bet on the classic style, avoiding ultramodern clothes.



An interesting fact is that in many American companies the following law has laid down– on Fridays employees can wear less formal clothes. Yet even then, sneakers, T-shirts and too sporty jeans remain taboo. This practice applies even in   American companies in foreign countries.


Professions  allowing freedom in choosing clothes

Note that in some areas such as advertising, fashion, journalism and others -more creativity is allowed in the choice of clothes: jeans , short skirts, open shoes and massive jewels are completely alright.


Other creative professions do not impose requirements regarding clothing at all. This goes for musicians, actors, artists and others. In such cases, it can even be said that personal style in choosing clothes and accessories is highly appreciated.


In conclusion, we can summarize that no matter if we have to abide by a strict dress code, the choice of clothes worn at work should be well thought over as clothes play a role in the way others perceive us.

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