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As the saying goes, dress for the job you want, not the job you have. Taking your work-wear seriously can pay dividends when it comes to promotions and new positions.
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But dress codes for work can be hard to plan for. If your company has a specific dress code, be it business casual or business professional, understanding how to keep your wardrobe together is the key to unlocking your “dressed for success” look. Here’s a good formula to follow for each type of business dress:
Heading out for an after-hours happy hour with the team?
Or maybe a business luncheon or office party? Many companies have off-hour meetups, and it’s always best to play it cool with a Smart Casual style. For women, this means a pencil skirt and a silk blouse or some other light, flexible material. High heels are your best option, but a dress pair of flats will work too. Men should lean toward trousers, a collared shirt, and loafers.
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Dinner out to discuss that big deal with the boss?
Did you get an invite via a phone call or email to discuss work-related items? Ladies, no matter where the dinner meet up is, wear dress pants or a skirt with a full-sleeve blouse. High-quality flats with some embellishments are perfect footwear. Consider patent leather with a leather bow or an ornamental piece. Men, wear dress pants and a shirt with sports coat or blazer. Loafers or a slip-on show will work just fine for your footwear. At all costs, ladies and gentlemen, never show up in tennis shoes, shorts, denim, or workout clothes. This is dinner; we’re civilized after all.
What about business casual?
Many companies tout this dress code around in Human Resource manuals and training classes. You’re expected to know what that means, but for some, this could mean a dark denim jean pant and a short sleeved button up shirt. You may see you co-workers running around in this get-up and be tempted to do so yourself since no one seems to mind, but try to control your casual weekend side. Woman, stick to all kinds of skirts, khakis, and dress pants paired with long sleeved shirts, tight knit sweaters, or three-quarter length shirts. Men, break out the khakis or dress pants without pleats. A polo short or long sleeve shirt will dress up your business casual look just enough to count.