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Published On: Wed, May 23rd, 2018

Business Attire: Cracking Dress Codes for Men and Women

Do all men and women out there know exactly what every single dress code means? For instance, everyone understands the concept of “black tie”, which refers to wearing a tuxedo and a long or a formal cocktail dress, but how about the creative black tie or black tie optional? Well, people should not be afraid of these words because it gives them more freedom when choosing their outfits for the event. In what concerns creative black tie, men do not have to resort to the old and boring penguin suit. Instead, they can go with a red bow tie or a simple black shirt. As for women, they can wear anything that could match the event or the theme as long as they exude a trendy vibe. Other dress codes include cocktail, festive, casual dressy, casual, business formal and business casual. Since this article focuses on business attire for both men and women, we are obviously going to tackle the last two.

photo TheAndrasBarta Pixabay

There are four different types of business attire

Nevertheless, the reality is that, when it comes to the business field, people are not just dealing with the basic concepts of casual and formal, but also with business professional and small business casual. Each workplace demands a certain level of formality and everyone, from employees to their superiors, must comply with the written rules, but how many of them actually master all the dress codes mentioned? If you feel confused after hearing these concepts, then keep reading in order to discover more about the topic. Of course, you can also grasp the basics of business attire if you just look around you in order to determine what outfit is appropriate for every workplace including yours, but we advise you to pay close attention to his entire article to be one step ahead of everyone else, particularly your co-workers.

Business formal is the stern father of business clothing

Starting with business formal, you have to keep in mind the following thing when combining the clothing articles: dress to impress. The main idea is to go a step further than your everyday professional outfits because only important occasions like formal business events organized in the evening or even award ceremonies usually ask for such an eye-catching type of business attire. Men can easily get away with a dress shirt under a suit of dark color, maybe black and a plain tie. Silk pocket squares also represent a requirement. Another option includes a tailored suit in gray or solid black, closed-toe oxfords and elegant accessories like cufflinks and tie clips. Women should opt for a tailored pantsuit or skirt, a white shirt with collar, closed-toe heels and conservative jewelry meaning no statement necklaces or flashy earrings.

Business professional is less strict than business formal

Moving on to the next dress code, namely business professional, once again we start solving the mystery by helping men and women master this type of business attire. The main difference between formal and professional in this case is that the latter is stricter. Therefore, business professional, also known as business traditional, refers to day-to-day business attire, but with a little more personality infused in every outfit. More specifically, men should go with a conservative suit, but with a subdued pattern, a blue or colored shirt, a tie in solids or patterns and loafers. These pieces of clothing do not have to empty your pockets if you know where to look. Ask your co-workers or search online for a great example of a small boutique fashion store with clothes at affordable prices. In what concerns women, especially those who work in the finance or accounting field, a business professional outfit should involve a sort or pantsuit with patterns or vibrant colors, sleeveless shell tops, closed-toe heels and statement pieces of jewelry.

Any dress code containing the word “casual” focuses on comfort

The last two dress codes include the word “casual” and it is not an error; in fact, there is a difference between them that every men and women should understand. Even though you wear a business casual attire, it does not mean that you have the permission to let your professionalism aside; it just means that you can select clothes that help you feel more comfortable. Men can opt for a dress shirt or a polo shirt, sweaters and pullovers, oxfords and loafers, casual accessories and even a sports jacket if they consider necessary. Women can dress up in business separates, a casual top, opaque hosiery, flats or loafers, but also stick with closed toed heels.

The final dress code that we need to address for all the confused men and women with a solid presence in the business world refers to small business casual and we can state that it is the most approachable of all dress codes mentioned in this article. Both men and women can get away with dark wash jeans, comfortable, but high-quality shoes, casual blouses and button-down shirts.

Author: Cynthia Madison

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