Are you confused about what is the appropriate dress code for interviews, business meetings, special occasions, professional attire, or dinner parties? The meaning of dress codes has changed so much through the years that many of us are confused about what acceptable attire is and what isn’t.
Let’s say you receive an invitation that states the dress code for a special occasion with terms you’re unfamiliar with. The invitation might say that the dress code is casually elegant, smart casual, chic casual, dressy casual, or creative dressy.
You may be wondering to yourself…
What are these labels supposed to mean?
Let me tell you right now, you are not alone if you are clueless as to what these dress codes are meant to be because these trendy dress code names are not helping anyone.
As if the invites confusion is not hard enough, there are also workplace dress codes for meetings, interviews, the regular workday, and casual Friday. These are a bit easier to understand than the special occasions dress codes.
This is how I see it…
** Interview Dress Code: Whether you are a man or a woman, always wear a suit to an interview. When you are dressed in a stylish suit, you give the impression of being in control of the situation and confident in you own abilities. It’s all about getting your foot in the door and business formalwear is just the way to do it.
Just picture yourself strutting into the interview in a men’s navy, single-breasted, two piece pin striped suit with a blue dress shirt, tie, and a silk handkerchief in the pocket.
Can you feel the self-confidence building within yourself as you present a professional, stylish impression on your new employer? Yes, you’re already thinking, ‘new employer’. That’s the feeling you get for being on top of your game, self-assured in your classic, business suit that says, “I’m the one. No need to look any further.” You get the idea of what a dynamite business wardrobe can do for your self-image.
** Business Outing Formal Wear: For a more conservative, yet contemporary style for business formal wear, try the double breasted suit in charcoal or olive. This is an ideal choice for the up and coming executive or maybe your company is throwing its annual cocktail party and you’ll be rubbing elbows with all the VIPs’ and CEO’s. You’re sure to leave a lasting, professional impression on the people who have a say in your future success by dressing the part.
** Interviews and Business Meetings: A women’s black suit with either a skirt or pants is ideal business wear for interviews or business meetings. It is professional and stylish at the same time, giving an impression of confidence and experience. This business suit presents an air of authority that is a plus during any interview.
Break the mold with an unusual, chic women’s suit that sports a long, navy, knee length jacket with black pants and blouse. This is a contemporary style with a professional flair. Just the right message you want to give when going to that important interview or business meeting. When you are wearing this suit, you emanate success. You will be seen as a modern, informed woman ready to take on the business world.
** Casual Dress Code: If your workplace dress code is more flexible and you can wear business casual attire at work, you want to make sure that you’re comfortable but clean and neat in appearance. Business casual does not mean jeans and a t-shirt. Unless your company states that jeans are allowed, don’t wear them.
** The no-no’s: Shorts, warm-up pants, and sweat shirts should be avoided. Feel free to wear sweaters, polo shirts, button down shirts, and sports shirts as long as they are clean and neat. Heat up the iron and put a crisp seam in your casual cotton or synthetic pants.
You don’t want to be too revealing for business casual attire. Dresses are acceptable but don’t wear anything too low cut or too short. Wear a dress or skirt long enough so you will feel comfortable while sitting in a chair and it won’t be offensive to co-workers. The dress should also have sleeves that cover the shoulders and upper arms. Although you might look sexy in a strapless dress, keep it in the closet until you go out for a night on the town. It is not appropriate for business casual wear.
Although the dress code labels have become more complicated through the years, it’s always a safe bet to be neat and groomed in appearance. Have fun choosing your work fashions and take pride in dressing for all those special occasions and moments in your life.
Dress codes are all about finding the perfect balance of comfort and style for all occasions.