Are you confused by what to wear for an interview? What do office dress codes really mean?

Remember your outfit needs to make a great first impression as, rightly or wrongly, what you wear for the initial meeting has a big impact on how a potential employer will view you and your capabilities.  For an interview situation you should take your inspiration from the Business Professional/Traditional dress code (see below).

So, what happens next when you are ready to start work and have been offered a job? In short, you will need to uphold your professional image and learn to dress appropriately for different situations and working environments.

Unfortunately working in an office can be the most difficult to get right and it’s not always easy to gauge.  Have a look at the different options below:

Business Formal This is super-smart business attire that is usually adopted in roles that involve regular meetings with executives.  We’re talking boardroom attire such as a sharp suit and tie, alternatively a jacket with smart trousers/skirt or a tailored dress.  Typically the colours to opt for would be black, grey or navy and don’t forget to ensure you include smart footwear.

Business Professional/Traditional The next step down is Business Professional which still requires neat, conservative and professional attire but usually allows a bit more wriggle room when it comes to bringing in colour, pattern or accessories.  A great option for interviews as you can keep it business-like while demonstrating a little bit of your personality.

Business Casual The business casual dress code is often the hardest to get right as you still need to avoid being too casual or creative with your outfits.  You should also bear in mind that business casual can mean different things to different companies.

Dress Down Dress down days can be popular in some organisations however you still need to approach this with caution – steer away from slogans and anything deemed to be revealing such as shorts and crop tops!

Your employment contract may confirm which dress code to follow however if you are unsure about what your company expects then do make sure you speak to your manager or the HR department to clarify whether any guidelines have been set.

Hopefully you are now ready to promote the correct image and look the part!

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