What to Wear to Work – Tips for 3 Types of Office Dress Code

Skirt or slacks? Bare legs or tights? Stilettos or sandals? These are the neverending questions you find yourself asking each morning as you select workwear. In theory, the question of what to wear to work shouldn’t pose such an unsolvable problem. Most workplaces have at least some kind of an unwritten dress code. If no one ever wears jeans, you probably shouldn’t either. For those who work with customers and perform service jobs, a specific uniform is required. 

No matter where you work, psychology experts say that the way you dress can directly affect your success in the modern workplace. Although your workwear certainly won’t change the way you perform, wearing the right one can boost people’s first impression of you. Depending on the dress code that your company has or doesn’t have, you could be spot on – or entirely off base – in your fashion choices. The mass media has made the association between competence and traditional workwear trends so strong, that only these past few years’ workwear trends have managed to sway it just the tiniest bit.

In the era of millennials, work-appropriate clothes do not mean boring clothes. Today’s work environments and behaviors aren’t rigidly controlled. You could just be yourself, get creative with your imagination, and bring your full self to work.

Changing traditions

In the late 50s and 60s – a period of all-around liberation, combined with a recession that meant employers were struggling for cheap ways to raise employee morale, a casual culture in office environments was introduced. The famous Casual Fridays in the 50s, combined with a rise in smart casual lines from brands like Levi’s, have made the workplace increasingly more relaxed. Nowadays, more than a third of the workplaces around the world have a casual dress code all week round, with jeans and t-shirts replacing shirts and ties – usually for roles that aren’t actively facing customers.

But it’s not just the dress code that is becoming more casual in the workplace. The working atmosphere is more relaxed in many companies compared to how it was in the past. A great number of people are choosing to work from home on a more flexible basis. The informal atmosphere, fun breaks, free food, and table football became a public perception of relatively new companies and startups.

Though casual wear in today’s workplace is becoming more and more popular, you still need to understand the etiquette of office wear and how to dress appropriately for work. Here are some tips every professional should follow to look their best in the workplace:

Going casual

A more casual dress code can have a real impact on the office vibe. It’s good for morale if employees are comfortable and more relaxed. A positive workplace culture that preaches self-expression, employee engagement, and individuality is very much appreciated. 

A fashion psychologist, Dr. Karen Pine, says that when we put on an item of clothing it is common for the wearer to adopt the characteristics associated with that garment. Clothing has symbolic meaning for us, so when we put it on we prime the brain to behave in ways consistent with that meaning. 

Your best bet would be to don a choose joy t-shirt which is designed to help spread positivity, gratefulness, and love. This is the kind of t-shirt that would uplift your mood and one that will spread a message of positivity to those around you. It can easily be paired with different fashion pieces to help you nail a look that suits the occasion best. If you wanna rock your presentation and leave an impression then pair it with a cool skirt and fancy sneakers. When it comes to graphic t-shirts with appropriate messages on them, your possibilities for fashion combos are limitless.

Although going casual seems rather easy at first glance, keep in mind that the trickiest part might be making sure you are still maintaining a level of professionalism. 

For men, you can expect t-shirts, button-down shirts, or sweaters on top. Bottoms might include jeans, khaki pants, or shorts. Casual shoes can include sneakers, loafers, or sandals. 

Women can wear fitted blouses and tops, slacks, or skirts. Sneakers, low heels, or sandals are part of casual workwear. Fun patterns and colors fit with a casual dress code.

Uniformed look at the work office

When it comes to benefits, workwear, and specific policies governing the workplace, companies have many choices to make. The choice of whether to wear uniforms or not is a tough one, depending on the industry. For example, restaurant employees and retail store employees usually have uniforms to be easily recognizable to customers. 

The benefits of wearing a uniform are well known. They develop a sense of solidarity with co-workers, and teamwork is enhanced. Uniforms remove the socio-economic component of clothing. Employees are evaluated based on how well they perform rather than how they look. A well-fitted, high-quality, and stylish uniform will boost employee morale and self-esteem.

For medical personnel, a uniform is required and obligatory. That doesn’t mean that your white medical coat should be dull. You can make your look more stylish and vibrant if you pair it with some amazing kitten heels. Adding accessories like playful headbands or bows for women, and colorful glasses for men will express your unique style. You can even choose lanyards that are cool, trendy, and that compliment your look just as well as any other fashion accessory. A sophisticated and modern design will help you look like the most fashionable doctor in your hospital.

Formal workwear look

If your working environment is a bank then the standard dress code for everyone is a suit,  jacket, pants, or a skirt. Wearing sharp workwear is just as important in maintaining a formal business image

Just make sure you keep in mind that maintaining a professional image in a formal business environment always includes dressing appropriately for the workplace. Your accessories, which may range from your jewelry to your perfume to your notebook or briefcase, must also fit the scene. They should be worn or carried in good taste.

Final thoughts

When it comes to workwear, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and dress a little more formally than necessary until you have a better grasp of what is and isn’t acceptable at work. If your clothing mantra is “clean, tailored, and professional,” it’s pretty hard to go wrong, regardless of the environment in which you work. In case, your company allows fun and casual outfits then you can go on and just dress cool and hip.

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