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Career Advice: Tips to Help You Dress Appropriately For Work

Posted by Brian Spence on Nov 29, 2017 8:00:00 AM

Career AdviceKnowing what to wear for a new job can be difficult. You want to dress professionally, but you also want to avoid being too formal in your clothing choice. While not every workplace is going to have the same dress code, a recent Forbes article shared some basic dress code tips.

Some things you should not wear to work include:

  • Anything that would normally be worn to the beach, including flip-flops
  • Anything see-through or that does not have a back
  • Sleepwear and exercise clothing
  • Clothing that is too small or that shows off an unprofessional amount of skin
  • Clothing that is ripped, faded, or dirty

This is a general dress code, and it will not fit with every company or job. Plus, it may need to be adapted at times. For example, if you work as a yoga instructor, exercise clothing would not only be appropriate but necessary. If you work at a high school, you might be encouraged to participate in Spirit Days, where there could be a Pajama Day. While you would not wear pajamas to work on a normal day, it would be completely appropriate to pajamas that otherwise comply with the dress code on that specific day.

If you are unsure of your company's dress code as you start a new job, err on the side of caution. It is better to be overdressed than underdressed for work.

Unfortunately, you may one day find yourself in a leadership position over someone who has shown up to work dressed inappropriately. When this happens, it is important to address the issue right away. When possible, pull the person aside to discuss the problem privately. If the problem is minor, you may want to simply encourage the person to dress more appropriately from now on. If the clothing infraction is more serious, either provide alternative clothing or have the person go home to change. If you find people under your jurisdiction are often coming to work dressed inappropriately, you may need to have a company or department discussion about the issue, letting everyone know what standards are expected.

To learn more about this and related topics, visit the Career Advice section of our blog.


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