Career Tips: Office Attire

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Allison Crick
WSS Student Contributor

Katherine Nocon
WSS Student Contributor

Leandro Alvarez
WSS Student Contributor

While working in a physical office or in a remote setting, there are a variety of ways to express yourself simply based on your attire

Allison Crick

When choosing my outfit for the work day, I am certain to comply with any dress codes and then I consider what my work environment will be for the day. For example, a day of research without meetings allows for more casual dress. On the other hand, a day with meetings call for more professional attire. Although you can hurriedly change into more professional wear when the boss calls you in for a random Zoom check-in, that is not the case in the physical workspace. 

It is important to dress in what makes you feel good and radiates confidence especially during days where you will be presenting. The key is dressing for success while embracing your authentic self.

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Embrace Your Authentic Self

This can be accomplished by wearing bright, bold colors or accessorizing your outfit with jewelry.

Another tip is to find ways to express your interests. If your favorite team has a big game that night, be sure to incorporate the team colors into your outfit. It is also helpful to have company branded clothing such as a polo with the logo in order to represent your company when meeting with customers. 

If you ever have to question whether you should wear something due to wrinkles or appropriateness, take the safe route and choose another outfit. Dress with an intention for each day. This allows you to take control of your day before you even clock in. It is also helpful to dress in layers to be more versatile throughout the workday. You may not want to sit in your office for seven hours in a suit jacket but it is ideal for your one-hour meeting with the executive board. My approach with work attire is that it is certainly better to dress on the more professional side. 

(By Allison Crick)

In my opinion, office attire has not changed if you are required to be on a video conference with coworkers.

Katherine Nocon

However, if it is not a requirement to be on a Zoom conference with coworkers, then I personally like to dress down. I would much rather be comfortable if there is no expectation of professional attire. Regardless, I do go into the office for my internship and as such, I do dress in professional attire.

A new garment that has become commonplace is a face mask. A professional face mask is a must. This means no logos or bright highlighter colors. I have a four-layer face mask that I use quite often. It also has the added benefit of being reusable.

Mask Up

The face mask that I typically wear to work is blue and white pinstripe, both fun and professional.

I would recommend buying (or if you’re feeling crafty) making some professional face masks so that you have the option of switching them out daily if you don’t feel like washing your face mask every day. My place of employment has a very strict mask policy, so due to the pandemic, a mask has become everyday attire for me.  

(By Katherine Nocon)

In today’s professional setting it is common for employees to come in dressed to their respective workplace environment wearing appropriate attire. In the office atmosphere, it is common for both men and women to wear clothing that falls under the category of informal wear.

Specifically, men typically wear the following: Dress shoes, such as Balmorals or Oxfords, dress socks, dress pants or khakis, button-up shirts, neckties, and suit jackets. In contrast, it is customary for women to wear the following: Dress shoes, either a skirt or slacks complemented with a blouse or business jacket. On a side note, jeans should never be worn in an office environment. 

Employees must maintain a professional look that is in accordance with their workplace’s expectations. This helps the company maintain a more professional image and helps them be viewed as a more competent organization in their respective field of work.

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Dress for the Occasion

There are three scenarios in which I will wear a full business suit with a jacket: When it is required, I am conducting a business presentation, or during the interview process for a job.

Typically, I work as an accountant. While I am at work, I usually wear dress shoes, dress socks, dress pants, button-up shirts, and a neck-tie. I tend to wear something similar to this each day. On rare occasions, I may wear khakis instead of dress pants. Traditionally, I have a penchant for wearing a dark color, long-sleeve button-up shorts in the office environment, but may occasionally wear light-colored long-sleeve shirts.

In each office setting that I worked in there is usually a day of the week or period of days in which the employees are allowed to wear business casual clothing. One of my employers allowed its employees to wear business casual clothing during the summer, while another employer of mine allowed employees to wear business casual clothing only on Fridays. On days such as those, I tend to wear Khakis more often, frequently wear polos, and never wear a necktie on a business casual day. Furthermore, on business casual days, I tend to wear short-sleeve button-up shirts that display vibrant colors such as blue and green. Additionally, I never wear short-sleeve button-up shirts unless it is a day I am permitted to wear business casual clothing. 

Moreover, when I am asked to attend a business meeting, I usually wear a long-sleeve button- up shirt, a necktie, dress shoes, dress pants, and dress socks. Unless I am required to wear a business jacket, I will not wear one. However, if I am attending an event in which  I will win an award I will very proudly wear a jacket. If I am attending a business casual event related to my job, I will wear khakis with either a short-sleeve button-up shirt or a polo. 

First impressions are really important and a prospective employee should never be under-dressed for a job interview. Showing up under-dressed can be viewed as a sign of negligence and disrespect depending on who the employer is. 

(By Leandro Alvarez)

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