Men’s Guide to Workplace Fashions

Some say the clothes make the man, others believe it’s what’s on the inside that counts. With this Men’s Guide to Workplace Fashions you will steer clear of becoming a fashion victim. Did you know your favorite clothes might be sending your boss the wrong message? That beat up leather jacket may have your boss thinking you are unreliable and immature. By using this Men’s Guide to Workplace Fashions and choosing to dress for success, you’ll look like you know what’s going on without having to work twice as hard to prove your mettle.

But dressing the part isn’t easy these days – a 2001 poll by the Society for Human Resource Management states that 86% of US companies allow some form of casual attire in the workplace. It’s up to you to decipher your workplace dress code and build your wardrobe accordingly.

The first item of business is to determine your workplace style demands. There are three general categories: Conservative, Business Casual, and Casual.


Conservative offices include, but certainly aren’t limited to: law firms, accounting firms, government agencies, and the banking industry.

Style demands:

* Suit, dress shirt and tie are required.
* Dress shoes required. Shoes should match belt in color.
* Must wear socks (no holes).
* Dark suits are preferred.
* Dress shirt should be blue or white solid. Stripes and checks are acceptable if they are tasteful and small prints.

Business Casual

Many offices are now business casual. Sales departments, service industries, information technology are all industries when less formal dress is the norm.
Style demands:

* Long trousers, no denim or shorts.
* Shirts must have collars.
* Loafers are acceptable – skip the sandals and flip-flops.
* A tie is not necessary.
* A sportcoat or blazer is a nice touch (especially for managers).
* Shirts should be tucked into pants.


Casual office attire would be suitable for men who are in construction, deliveries, maintenance, repair, or other jobs that are physically demanding and may result in stains and sweat.

If you are gunning to move up in your present job to a position in management, dressing well can show you’ve got what it takes to get out of the trenches and into a desk job.

Style demands;

* Look clean and tidy – no holes in your clothes.
* No ratty sneakers.
* Avoid t-shirts with writing on them.

If you still can’t figure out what to wear to work it may be because you’re entering a new realm. It’s true. There are times when you need to follow different rules for dressing. Here are a few examples:

Fashionable Offices

Jobs in fashion, advertising, public relations, media, film and television and a few other creative industries often have their own clothing standards.

How to dress:

1. Observe your coworkers and take their lead.
2. Once you feel comfortable in your position, take a few fashion risks and gauge the reactions of your coworkers.
3. Subscribe to a men’s magazine like GQ, Men’s Vogue, or Esquire to keep up to date on the trends.

Things that may be acceptable in fashion forward offices:

* Turtlenecks
* Flat front trousers
* Denim jeans worn with a blazer
* Bright colors and bold patterned shirts

The Interview

Never take fashion risks on a job interview. Here’s what to wear:

* A two-piece suit in a solid color.
* A solid blue or white dress shirt.
* Ties should have a simple pattern.
* Shoes should be polished and socks should be dark colored.
* Skip the cologne.
* Shoes and belts should match in color.
* Keep the jewelry to a minimum: watch and wedding band.

Of course, use your noggin when planning your interview wardrobe. Obviously if you are applying for a job where you’d look absurd walking into the lobby in a suit and tie – skip them and dress like your potential coworkers.

When it comes to your career, why take chances with dressing for the office? Take the simple advice spelled out hear and wow your boss with your ideas.

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