Trousers or slim-fit pants? Is it more acceptable to wear a tie or go bare? Loafers or dress shoes? You could ask yourself these questions every morning while you pick out your work clothes. And depending on your company’s dress code, your fashion selections might be dead on – or off-base. Only 55% of companies have a dress code, according to a Salary.com poll. Ask HR about the official policy if it wasn’t included in your new employee orientation. But, even if your welcome brochure says to dress “business casual,” what does it mean? What constitutes appropriate mens workwear— and what does not? Business formal, business professional, business casual, and casual are the four most common corporate dress codes. For each category, below are some general guidelines for males. Stick to the essentials and make sure you’ve dressed adequately at all times.
Formal Business Attire
You may be requested to wear “business formal” or “boardroom clothing” if you work in law, routinely meet with directors, or otherwise occupy a high-level position. This is the pinnacle of professional attire.
- A fitted suit in a consistent, neutral shade like black, grey, or blue with one, two, or three buttons.
- Ties and other jewellery should be minimal in colour and design, with solid, bolder colours (like a red tie) or patterned subdued neutrals (like a blue plaid tie) – and also high-end in quality. Novelty ties, like sports team designs, are not permitted.
- Shirts with a white collar and a button-up front.
Business Professional Attire
Business professional attire is a step backwards from formal attire, but it is still tidy, conservative, and conventional, but with a bit more leeway in colour and pattern. “Traditional business” is another term for a business professional. Expect to maintain a professional demeanour daily while adding flair to your clothing through jewellery and colour choices.
- A suit with one or two buttons. Suit colours should still be traditional, but patterns can be more creative — for example, a conservative stripe or check.
- Dress pants with a lighter hue that have been pressed and worn with a sports coat.
- Conservative ties, but don’t be afraid to experiment with colours and designs. Wearing a blue-striped corporate tie, for example, is OK, but no quirky ties are permitted.
Business Casual Attire
One of the most frequent dress standards is business casual, which allows employees to express themselves while being professional. You should anticipate a lot more in terms of colour and accents in a casual business situation.
Coloured, buttoned-ups in any hue are acceptable for men. Conservative patterns like checks or stripes, worn with and without a tie, are also suitable. NiceStuff Clothing’s short-sleeved, button-down shirt is an excellent example: it’s both comfy and stylish.
If you’re lucky to work in a laid-back environment, the key is to avoid dressing too casually or creatively. You may ensure that casual attire isn’t holding you back by getting to work in casual clothing that is nevertheless tidy, ironed, and suitable for your work. Wear slacks and casual pants, but never denim unless HR specifies they are appropriate.
If only because your employer may view business casual separately from another, basic suggestions are the essence of the game when reading corporate mens workwear. It’s usually wise to evoke a sense of caution and appear a little more professionally than required regarding office dress rules until you understand what is and isn’t appropriate at work. It’s difficult to go wrong if your business apparel credo is clean, fitted, and professional, regardless of the setting in which you operate.