Have you ever looked at some people in your office and said to yourself, “is it appropriate what he/she is wearing?” We can totally relate! Some people really don’t have a sense of what is suitable and unsuitable for a professional setting. Especially when many industries and companies have allowed a more casual dress code than they used to in the past.
Dressing for job interviews was more straightforward in the past. Regardless of the job title, industry, gender, and other things, all that was needed was a suit with slight variation. The same went for dressing for work. I could effortlessly wear a Khaadi women’s top paired with formal pants on an interview or a regular day at work. Those were simple days!
Now the definition of an “appropriate outfit” for interviews, casual workdays, and special meetings has become trickier.
For the folks who are working in casual and creative industries, wearing a suit is a rarity. They can perhaps only wear it on the day of their interview. Hiring managers do not look very kindly on the candidates who show up in anything other than a suit. That’s your interview folks!
For regular workdays, you can stack your wardrobe with comfy and casual outfits. Also, in tech startups and media companies, the dress code is more relaxed and you can go of tees and jeans in regular workdays.
While in some other industries and companies, where formal meetings are a regular thing or you have to attend and greet foreign delegations, you will have to stick to formal suiting most of the time. The dressing requirements also differ from department to department within the same company. People in human resource management dress more formally than the tech engineers who have to deal with data centers and cables all day long.
Standards have slightly changed now. We’ll help you catch up with them.
Dressing Formally for Interviews/Meetings
You have to pull off your best business attire and that’s regardless of the dress code of the organization on your interview. Your goal should be to convey professionalism. Reflect your experience and ideas through your attire. Let’s give you some quick and crisp tips to pull off suitable business attires for interviews and formal meetings.
- Choose a solid color.
- Go for a coordinated blouse with a conservative suit.
- Pick moderate shoes in decent colors.
- Pick tan hues for pants, stockings, leggings, etc.
- Stick to limited, not-so-flashy jewelry.
- Professional and neat hairstyle.
- Get your nails manicured.
- Put on light makeup and little perfume.
- Choose a solid color.
- Go for a long-sleeved shirt with a conservative suit.
- Wear dark socks.
- Wear a conventional tie.
- Go for professional, formal shoes.
- Stick to a neat hairstyle.
- Your nails should be trimmed.
- Apply little or no aftershave and cologne.
Casual Wear for Regular Work Days
First things first, your guide is the corporate culture of the company you have joined. If you see people dressed up every day, this means you should too. If they are more on the casual side, you should be too. follow the culture and take inspiration from whoever you think is your best-dressed co-worker. You don’t have to essentially be very informal if you have a knack for dressing up.
In addition, if your co-workers dress up differently on events like conferences, luncheons, meet & greet sessions, dinners, attending delegations, and other such occasions, then you should do the same. Keep your regular workday attires different from these. Just make sure you don’t overdress for any of the aforementioned occasions.
- Go for corduroy, khaki, cotton or twill skirts or pants.
- Make sure your dresses are neatly pressed. It’s casual, not rugged!
- Consider wearing twinsets, sweaters, knit or polo shirts, and cardigans.
- Prefer solid colors to bright patterns and prints.
- Go for cotton pants or gabardine in khaki hues.
- Make sure your clothes are neatly pressed.
- Wear button-down, long-sleeved shirts, knit shirts and polo shirts with a collar.
- Tie is optional
- Wear sweaters and sweatshirts.
- Always wear a belt.
- Prefer leather shoes.
Expert Tip: Be Practical and Approachable
It doesn’t take a genius to understand that it’s hard to gel with new co-workers if you wear an exquisite three-piece and they are in tees and flip-flops. You need to blend in and give away approachable vibes. Don’t end up distancing yourself from your new team and leaving a bad impression.
Business Professional Or Business Casual?
It’s good to be a keen observer and all but let’s not leave everything to guessing and assuming. Speak to your manager or your HR to know about the dressing conventions. Another valid reason to ask away is that “business casual” doesn’t have a particular or fixed definition. In some workplaces, it means jeans and polos. While in others, it means button-down shirts and khakis. For instance, in my company, it’s okay to wear anything from both these categories. I often wear my khaadi bottoms with casual or slightly formal blouses and shirts.
Don’t ignore the “business” aspect of the business casual attire! Don’t go slack and wear your grubby sneakers and ripped jeans – that will definitely get you several frowns…