Whether you’re interested in growing your business, commanding a larger salary, or preparing for your next executive interview, we can help.
We can also assist you with wardrobe and style guidelines, etiquette programs.
Why Dress Codes Apply
Appropriate dress, along with basic etiquette, is one of the most common associations made to professionalism.
Small businesses may benefit by maintaining a strong professional image.
Clothing in a business environment is one of the first things we notice when encountering another individual.
This, of course, makes sense because clothing covers – or should cover – 80 to 90% of the body in a professional environment so it is inevitable that it makes a very powerful statement about who we are, how we feel about ourselves, and how we expect to be treated.
Clothing is a silent language that quietly speaks to others.
That’s why we encourage all employers to create and implement dress codes that speak the same language as their corporate brand and image. In fact, when a company defines its corporate brand and desired image, within that definition should be a clearly defined dress code that: promotes the company image reflects the company culture, instills pride and confidence in employees, and exceeds customer expectations!
BUSINESS PROFESSIONAL DEFINED
In years past, this was (and still is in most cases) the standard dress for a majority of professional environments.
The Business Professional look is made up of high-quality garments that are durable and well-constructed.
The nature of professional dress is somewhat tied to your industry. Professional behaviour for a lawyer, for instance, is likely different from that of a retail store manager or manufacturing plant worker. However, the standard of professionalism remains constant in that each of these workers is generally expected to exhibit traits and behaviours up to a certain standard of excellence for someone in his position.
Dress Code Basics
Appropriate dress, along with basic etiquette, is one of the most common associations made to professionalism. We form first impressions and overall judgments about people by the way they dress. If the way someone dresses affects the perception of your company’s customers or business partners, it is important to maintain a standard of dress that creates a positive impression. No standard or casual dress standards may make employees comfortable, but the point of professionalism and etiquette is to make others comfortable.
The way you dress carries certain messages to those who meet you. Thus, a company that wants to maintain a professional image or certain status in the marketplace should make a dress code a priority.
Corporate dressing refers to the art of dressing formally and correctly. Corporate dressing helps an individual to dress according to his /her work profile and organisation culture. Formal dressing, if done correctly goes a long way in shaping one’s personality. People take you seriously if you are dressed sensibly. Remember no one likes to speak to an individual who does not know how to carry himself/herself. Going to work in formals helps you create an image of yours. Dressing correctly helps you stand apart from the rest and be a role model for others.
Let us go through the importance of corporate dressing:
Dressing formally not only reflects your image but also the organisation you represent. You need to follow a proper dress code at the workplace. An individual just can’t afford to be casually dressed for important business meetings or presentations. Remember, you are not only presenting yourself but your organisation. An individual who looks presentable is liked and appreciated by all. Someone who is formally and sensibly dressed does not have to try too hard to impress a client.
Corporate dressing helps you develop a magnetic personality which attracts other individuals. You need to have that charisma and dressing formally helps you in the same.
Corporate dressing helps you inculcate a good and healthy culture at the workplace. Individuals tend to lose interest in their work if they are not formally dressed. Believe me, you really don’t feel like working if you are dressed in T shirt and jeans on a Monday. Avoid wearing T shirts, ripped jeans, sneakers, hats, chunky jewellery to work. (Weekends are an exception!).T shirts, torn jeans, multiple chains are a strict no no in corporate settings as they spoil the decorum of the organisation. Female employees should avoid wearing chandelier earrings, stacks of bangles and so on. There is absolutely no need of flaunting your gold jewellery at workplace. Remember, price has nothing to do with corporate dressing. You really don’t need to burn a hole in your pocket to buy designer business suits. Dress sensibly. Corporate dressing helps you flaunt your simple, clean yet elegant look.
Corporate dressing helps you create that first impression.
Remember, first impressions are important and they help you throughout your life. If you fail to impress someone in the first meeting, you will never get a second chance.
Formal dressing makes you feel confident at work. You get that energy and confidence, the moment you wear your crisp white shirt along with a black well fit trouser.
Dress code makes an individual disciplined and inculcates a sense of team spirit among employees.
While working in an office environment it’s crucial to meet the dress code. After all, the way colleagues and clients view you can help make or break your professional reputation.
Dressing for work – if you don’t have a uniform can often seem like a tedious and difficult chore, especially when performed five days a week, forty-odd weeks in a year. However, such an irksome routine of getting dressed in the morning can easily be mastered by following these ten tips.
1. Be prepared
Planning your outfits the night before can help you avoid looking like you got dressed in the dark. This can also help to eliminate any stress that can arise in the likely event that your go-to pants are in the wash and you have to put together an award-winning outfit in five minutes or you’ll miss your bus. Planning ahead can also reduce the chances of you committing the number one fashion crime of wearing the same outfit twice. Plus, you can use the extra minutes in the morning to catch up on some z’s.
2. Invest in an iron
If you plan on being taken seriously by your colleagues then the first step is to take your own appearance very seriously. The way you dress yourself each morning portrays your attitude to work and life. If your creased and crumpled shirt is telling your boss that you couldn’t care less if you got that promotion or not, then why on earth would they give it to you? Ironing your clothes is not something you should just pull out for job interviews – it should be mandatory for all occasions.
3. Dress like your boss
As the saying goes, ‘dress for the job you want, not the job you have’. The best way to gauge the dress code of the office is to emulate the people who run the place. If your boss has a penchant for the jeans and collared shirt combo then you too should happily indulge – however, caution must be taken when venturing into the territory of golf-themed ties and socks emblazoned with Bart Simpson.
4. Don’t forget to polish
Leave scruffy shoes in the past with your school uniform. As an adult you have no excuse for not being able to see your reflection staring up at you when you peer down at your feet. Polish will take years off your leather and instantly signal you as a serious player in the company. That said, don’t forget to team your black shoes with a nice clean pair of black socks – unless, of course, you’re one of the Blues Brothers.
5. Overdressed is better than underdressed
This does not mean that you should dress as if you are heading out for a night in Kings Cross. Instead, plan your daily outfits as if you have an extremely important meeting with an extremely important client. This way you’ll be prepared for anything, including if that important client just so happens to be in town. And have no qualms about looking ridiculously overdressed.
6. Quality over quantity
Investing in quality basic office apparel will not only save you money in the long run but also help you look like the star employee that you are. The last thing you want is to enter a meeting with a client only to find the button on your bargain bin shirt has popped off right at chest level. Suits in classic colours – black and navy that are tailored to your body will help you avoid looking like a 5-year-old playing grown-ups.
7. Less does not equal more
Unless you make money from wearing less clothing than the average human, it is advised to take a conservative approach when dressing for the corporate world. Immediately eliminate anything your mother would deem too tight, too short, too see-through – in fact, anything that is described with a ‘too’ in front of it needs to be thrown into the weekend pile. Leaving things to the imagination can be the difference between respect and ridicule. This also goes for fashion faux pas such as Visible Panty Line, plumber’s crack and black bras under white shirts.
8. Comfort = Confidence
If you spend most of your workday literally running in and out of the office, scaling large flights of stairs or visiting building sites then make sure your outfit accommodates your daily activities. Leave the towering high heels for days when you’re comfortably sitting at your desk instead of chasing taxis. Wear your favourite shirt on a day that you know will be particularly stressful. If you feel comfortable then this will help you to relax and focus without being distracted about whether your new tie matches your shirt.
9. Dare to be different
It is so easy to fall into a rut when it comes to your office wardrobe, but dressing for today’s work places is no longer black and white. A whole new playing field has opened up in office dressing, so don’t be afraid to inject a little bit of fun into your outfit with colour, prints, detailing and accessories. A brooch attached to your blazer lapel can be all it takes. And as frivolous as it sounds, sometimes an exciting outfit can be all the incentive you need to get up and slog through a hard day’s work.
10. Be yourself
Don’t lose yourself in the rules of office dressing. The fashion world is the fiercest advocate of the rule that rules are meant to be broken (especially top 10 lists). While dressing appropriately is key, this doesn’t equate to forgoing your personality or sense of style. Whatever the dress code is, personalise your outfit with your own brand of magic.
Life is too short to look boring.
Thank you with a smile,