Business attire refers to the clothing that employees wear to work. Finding business attire for women is not an easy task. We have all experienced difficulties of dressing formally because it isn’t really the most creative or exciting wardrobe.
Is this blouse too long, too short, or work appropriate are just some of the questions we may ask ourselves while standing in front of the mirror and trying to decide what we’re going to wear today?
Still, depending on the workplace, various levels of the formality are expected. Therefore, the dress code range from traditional and formal to business casual and smart casual.
However, people nowadays may get confused with these fairly new terms, and often feel pressure to dress work-appropriate. Employees want to fit well in their workplace. Thus, wearing the standard clothing is expected, and the dress code itself is the one that dictates it. But, how to choose an outfit that suits the dress code well?
If you are a new employee, the best advice you could get is from people who are or were in a similar situation. Therefore, you could always ask your colleagues for advice. However, you could bear in mind that your boss, hopefully, represents everything your new company stands for, so you could look at what he/she wears. Your observations alone will tell you everything you need to know about proper business attire for your work.
Also, bear in mind that the first impressions are important, and even though we say that the book shouldn’t be judged by its cover, that doesn’t apply to the workplace. You want to leave a good first impression, so you should dress better than you believe is the norm.
Now, one of the best tips you’d find in the workplace success guidebooks is that you shouldn’t dress for the job you have, but rather for the job you WANT to have. So, don’t act like you’re already one of the employees, but PROVE you’re the right choice for the company.
Business attire sends a message about you – it tells whether you fit into the work environment and forms opinions of your bosses, colleagues, customers, clients, and executives. The dressing is a simple way of your self-presentation, which could later lead to your success and promotion.
Drawing attention to the quality of the provided work is sometimes as equally important as being well dressed and leaving a good impression. And now we will distinguish the difference between formal and semi-formal attire.
So, what is the difference between formal and semi-formal attire?
Business formal attire enhances the professional image of your personal brand and your workplace environment, and even though it’s a conservative dress code, it is viewed as a way of showing respect to the situation and not drawing attention.
The rule is ‘the darker – the better’! The darker the suit, the more formal you look. The standard dress code in the business formal environment:
- Full matching business suit (including a jacket)
- Dress pants or a dress skirt
When it comes to business informal attire, we have to bear in mind that this term is most commonly used for business events, meetings and job interviews, including occasions from corporate events and cocktail parties to holiday gatherings.
Also, business informal attire is expected for the evening events such as weddings. So, there’s no standard dress code like in the business formal environment. However, there are some tips that can help you when choosing an outfit for a semi-formal occasion.
Women should wear a tuxedo or dress pants with a dressy top, made of appropriate fabric, a skirted suit, a long-sleeved, knee-length dress or a dress with a jacket. Semi-formal fabrics include chiffon, velvet, satin, sateen, velour, silk, polyester and cashmere. Don’t go over-the-top with trendy earrings or sparkling jewelry. Instead, wear a scarf pinned at the shoulder of your suit.