When you walk into a new job, one concern you may have is how to dress. It is almost always best to be over-dressed on the first day. If the company paperwork did not offer a dress code policy, and it didn’t come up in the hiring process, it is probably not going to be an issue.
There are generally four corporate dress codes: business formal, business professional, business casual, and casual. Start with basics and make changes as you learn.
This office dress code is usually for people in authority, executives, or other high-level positions. A strict dress code like this one is considered the highest level of professional dress.
- Wear a tailored one to three-button suit that is solid and neutral in color.
- Ties should be solid but brighter, high-end quality, and modest in color and style.
- White button-up shirts with collars and closed-toed oxfords that are brown or black will be expected.
- A good fitting pantsuit or skirt suit in a neutral color is a good choice.
- White button-up collared shirts will be the norm.
- You should choose closed-toe heels in neutral colors.
- Conservative and stylish jewelry can be important. You will benefit from taking time to find affordable but elegant jewelry to wear at work.
- Neat and uncolored nails will be expected.
Under this code, you will always dress professionally, but with a little more room for expressing your style.
- You will need one or two-button conservative suits. Checks or stripes are okay.
- Lighter colored pants worn with a sports jacket would be acceptable.
- Colored and patterned ties are good. Avoid novelty ties.
- Quality accessories are good. Take time for finding affordable but elegant jewelry (Watches, cuffs, or tie clips) to wear.
- Choose colored button-up shirts.
- Wear brown or black oxfords or polished loafers.
- You will need suits or skirts, tops, and jackets with neutral colors.
- Choose colorful collared button-up shirts.
- Wear dark or nude-colored hosiery.
- Closed-toe pumps with neutral colors will be what is expected.
- You may wear jewelry that expresses your personality as long as it does not become a distraction for others.
- You should keep well-manicured nails with neutral colors or clear coat.
The business casual dress code is the most common. You will see more colors and accessories.
- Wear colored dress shirts with or without a tie.
- If you do choose to wear a tie, do not wear novelty ties.
- Pullovers or sweaters worn over collared shirts work nicely.
- Dress pants or khakis are good choices.
- Business separates will work—no need for a full suit.
- Colored shirts and blouses or sweaters and cardigans can be worn.
- You will wear dress pants and Khakis often.
- Wear jewelry and scarves if you would like.
Casual dress code:
The main thing to remember with a casual dress code is to avoid getting too relaxed. You always want to look neat and well dressed. Unless HR approves it, do not wear jeans or sweat pants and never wear tennis shoes or flip-flops. Be sure that you are always conservatively dressed.