The very definition of ‘formal attire’ or ‘professional attire’ or ‘business attire’ has undergone a drastic and dramatic change over the past few years. Irrespective if your office has a strict dress code or you have a casual dress code policy, there are still certain distinct pieces of clothing that you should don depending on your industry and level.
Have you ever considered if your choice of professional attire is hurting your career? A lot of people undermine the power of power dressing! Then again there are those who live in the stereotype that business attire is synonymous with business suits. Of course, suits make for good business attire – but they most definitely are not for everyone. It would be a little inappropriate to teach grade school kids in a power suit or head to work in the cafeteria in your best formal dress.
The most important dressing tip when it comes to office wear is to dress up according to your job and the level you are in:
The more traditional field like those of banking, law, finance and so on demands the traditional business suits. This could include knee length or below skirts for women. Deep colors and simplistic styles are the best when it comes to giving off an authoritative and competent look. They also work fantastically for interviews.
The more creative businesses like art, advertising, entertainment and fashion call for business attire as well but with a brighter approach to it. Pick out lighter colors, softer fabrics and come up with interesting combinations. Remember, this does not translate into weird – choose something creative but competent.
Then there are people oriented businesses like social work, medicine and teaching which call for business attire as well – something that is non-threatening, conveys expertise and is approachable. Coordinated separates like a formal skirt and top also work well for this industry.
Keep a check on the corporate culture of your business place. It differs from one work place to another. Get your wardrobe to adapt to the work culture of your company. You could try marching to your own drum as well. Sometimes, that might work for you!