If you’re someone who owns a company or works in human resources, you might be wondering how to instill the kind of dress code that will celebrate people’s own individuality while still encouraging the staff to remember that they are coming to a place of business and so therefore, they should look professional and presentable at all times. In order to accomplish that fine balance, it is necessary to develop a dress code. Basically, it’s an official list of some do’s and don’ts as it relates to professional office wardrobe guidelines.
Are you curious about what some of the things on that list should be? We have three do’s and three don’ts that every office simply should not do without.
Do dress for the position. If you are the administrator at a school, that is going to present a different kind of dress code than if you are the CEO of a Fortune 500 Company or the founder of an accounting firm. The important thing is that you make sure to clearly articulate to your employees that they need to dress based on the kind of job that they do. If they work outside with kids all day, they still need to wear nice jeans and clean sneakers. If they work in an office where corporate attire is more appropriate, then that is to be expected.
Don’t be too casual. Some offices allow a more casual dress code, but still remember that you are not going to a ball game or to the movies with your friends. Even if things like jeans are allowed, it’s best to go with a darker denim that has as little embellishments and pockets as possible. Also make sure that the only skin that is showing is your legs and your arms. In other words, no mid-drift, cleavage, whole back or thighs. You are there to do a job; not to distract others from doing theirs.
Do make sure to be well-groomed. Although it should probably go without saying that you should definitely make sure to exhibit good personal hygiene, being well-groomed doesn’t stop there. If you are a guy and you have facial hair, make sure that it’s properly kept and manicured. If you are a woman, be sensitive to the fact that people in the office may have allergies and so you should opt for softer scents when it comes to body sprays and perfumes. If you have a lot of tattoos, it’s a good idea to cover them as much as possible so that they won’t be a cause for any potential diversion. And make sure that your clothes are clean and pressed at all times.
Don’t break the dress code. There are not many people who like all of the rules all of the time, but they are there for a purpose. By respecting something as simple as a dress code, that speaks to the fact that you also respect your job and the leadership that is put into place. When your wardrobe reflects that, it sends a clear message that you can be trusted in other areas, so make sure to honor it at all times.
Do have options. There are a lot of jobs that tend to have different events, seminars and conferences that require having a variety of options to choose from. Therefore, it’s a good idea to have basics that can be switched around. In other words, it’s a good idea to have a couple of business suits and a few pair of jeans and slacks. If you are woman, make sure that you also have some shirts and dressy blouses. And for both men and women, it’s a good idea to have your shoe wardrobe upgraded a couple of times per year. If you’re someone who likes to shop online, there are some promo codes here at RetailMeNot.com to hundreds of your favorite retailers so that you can stay presentable no matter what the occasion, professionally, may be.
Don’t lose your sense of style. Remember that a dress code is a set of guidelines, but just because there are boundaries, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t plenty room for self-expression within them. There are many studies that support the fact that when you feel good about how you look, you tend to perform better on the job. So, make sure to put time and your own “fingerprint” into your outfits. Your job will be all the better for it!