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What to Wear to Work – How to Dress in the Workplace

Posted by Anna Reilly on May 8, 2014

Does adhering to a dress code really matter at work? The answer is yes; what you wear to work can either make or break you. You’ve heard the old adage “Dress for Success” and it is true. Not observing dress guidelines makes you stand out in a bad way. No one wants to be known for wearing ripped and faded jeans, a razorback tee and crocs to work. Remember that humans are inherently visual so if you make an attire mistake it will stick in your coworkers or supervisors minds.

Navigating the nuances of dressing for success can be hard. To help I’ve compiled a simple list of attire that is appropriate for a casual, business casual, and professional work environments. These are just guidelines so remember to be cognizant of the specific guidelines for your job and your company.

Guidelines for Casual Attire:

what to wear to work

Women

  • Sundress
  • Long skirt or short
  • Jeans or khakis
  • Casual button-down or tee
  • Sneakers, loafers, sandals

Men

  • Jeans or khakis
  • Casual button-down or tee
  • Sneakers, loafers, sandals
  • Casual button-down or tee
  • Polo shirt

Guidelines for Business Casual Attire:

Women

  • Skirt, dresses, khakis or dress slacks
  • Knit shirt, sweater
  • Loafer, heels, dress shoes

what not to wear to work

Men

  • Blazer/Sport Coat
  • Khakis or dress slacks
  • Button-down shirt (tie optional)
  • Loafers with socks

Guidelines for Business Professional:

Women

  • Skirt suit/pant suit
  • Dress with jacket
  • Stockings (optional in summer)
  • Heels or dress shoes

Men

  • Business suit
  • Leather shoes or dress shoes
  • Conservative Tie