Dress code at work 8. May 2016 – Posted in: General

You are wearing a uniform? Then you’re all set. Everybody else should pay attention to the issue of dress codes.

Even if in some sectors dress regulations are dealt with more casually now than they used to in the past, they still apply to many business areas. While you can easily go to work in sandals and shorts in your start-up business, you will need to reconsider when working for example in a bank or an insurance company.

 

Business (very official)

Occasion:
Management level, big business events

What to wear: 
A dark suit including a vest will be a good choice. With dark grey, anthracite or dark blue, also with pinstripes you are dead on. At night, it may also be black. The shirt should be white, the tie plain or quietly patterned.

Accessories:
Cufflinks will make the look perfect, they should be modest and elegant. Smooth leather lace-up-shoes with leather soles are a must.

Styling-advice: 
Please never show up without a tie! Light colored suits or turtleneck pullovers are way too casual for these occasions.

 

Business (official)

Occasion:
Employees in middle or higher management, business events

What to wear: 
With a two- or three-piece dark suit you are appropriately dressed. Beside dark blue and anthracite, the suit may also be in dark shades of brown. But beware: shoes and belt need to be geared to the colors of the suit. All in all the rules are a bit more loose: colored ties and shirts in pastel shades with subtle stripes or squares are permissible. But don’t do too many patterns at once: No more than two! The overall look should be modest, not colorful. Smooth leather lace-up-shoes with leather should be included in this style as well.

Styling-advice:
Also in this case: Don’t show up without a tie. Pullovers and button-down-shirts are among the most common faux pas. 

 

Business Casual

Occasion:
Sightseeing on a business trip, internal meeting outside the office

What to wear: 
Even if the occasion sounds casual, you cannot show up in jeans and a T-shirt. You can leave the tie, but you shouldn’t go without a jacket. Instead of a shirt, you should choose a well fitted polo-shirt. You may also pick a subtle knit pullover combined with classic chino pants, cotton or cord pants which also suit the occasion. In many cases, dark suits are accepted as well but they shouldn’t be washed-out or ripped anywhere.

Styling-advice:
Casual pants or even shorts and sandals are a no-go, unless you are dealing with camping professionally. Smart casualty is the order of the day: Here it’s suitable to wear a turtleneck pullover with a dark jeans, a tweed jacket combined with elegant leather lace-up shoes.

 

Smart Casual

Occasion:
Employees in middle management, informal soirees

What to wear: 
The book of etiquette asks for a casual business outfit. This means: Wear the day’s suit but omit the tie. We say: It may even be a bit more casual. Instead of the shirt you may pick a polo-shirt or pullover, loafers or slippers may replace the business lace-up shoes. Some employers also allow neat jeans in dark colors.

Styling-advice:
For many men this motto is a problem: It’s a matter of taste. There are no strict rules that need to be followed, but different unwritten laws that you might violence. If you’re unsure, don’t risk daring color combinations, leave it at no more than two patterns per outfit and orient yourself by your boss.

 

Come as you are

Occasion:
Business dinner, drink after work

What to wear: 
Attention: Even if it sounds like you may show up in your jammies to the even, it is still about a business outfit. No one needs to change for such an invitation after duty hours – that’s the idea. But it is not the case for lifesavers or soccer coaches: A suit or at least cotton pants and a shirt should be on order.

Styling-advice:
Take off your tie before going.

 

Casual

Occasion:
Employees in sectors without a strict dresscode

What to wear: 
There are indeed sectors that do not have dress regulations. But even in these professions a certain etiquette applies. These say: You only wear sports- or beachwear when actually doing sports or going to the beach. Grant your colleagues the optical gusto of a nonchalant but appropriate outfit. Long casual pants, neat jeans, subtle knit pullover, polo-shirts and blazers will be the best choice.

Styling-advice:
If it says ‘casual’ on your invitation to a formal occasion (for example a wedding), you will come off best choosing a suit casually combined. Omit the tie, instead wear a turtleneck pullover or a suit in light colors.