What To Wear To Work - Deciphering Industry Dress Codes
March 19th, 2007
“The ideal look, as you claw your way to the lower middle rung, is that of a hip funeral director… To the delight of your boss, your sartorial restraint will signify a comforting subservience.”
Author, writer for The New York Observer
No industry standard is foolproof different companies within the same industry often have their own rules but there are some general guidelines that tend to remain consistent within a particular profession.
Till tweedy after all these years. While suits are not out of the question, most professors tend to wear business appropriate clothes: Jackets and ties, sweaters, turtlenecks, etc.
Those in executive accounting positions tend to dress in corporate attire. But for all other accounting
Titles bookkeepers, assistants it’s more casual. In smaller accounting firms, corporate casual attire can mean anything from jeans and khakis to a sport jacket. Larger firms, however, often require their paraprofessionals to dress professionally, or business appropriate.
Like many creative media, the dress code in advertising tends to be corporate creative. For entry-level positions, that means looking sharp, but not stiff and too dressed up a nice pair of pants and a dress shirt should do it. Midlevel employees can take liberties within a corporate casual to business appropriate range, but if they’re meeting clients outside the office, they should do their homework and know how the clients dress. Senior executives dress with similar freedom, in everything from Armani to jeans. Clearly, the more conservative the firm or a particular client the more conservative the dress code.
The dress code in architecture is similar to that in advertising: Casual but neat. Business appropriate is always acceptable, but suits are not necessary unless you’re meeting clients who are unless you’re meeting clients who are likely to wear them.
Banking has eased its dress code in the last decade, but the standard seems to be regressing. If you don’t have to wear a suit, you should at least remain business appropriate.
Ever since the dot-com bubble broke, the dress code for the industry has gotten somewhat more serious. (When your company is worth billions on paper you can wear what you want. When it’s no longer worth the paper that paper was printed on, you have to look professional. Still, business casual to business appropriate is the norm here.
The law is still very serious business. Corporate dress codes still apply at most white-shoe firms, but you could get away with business appropriate at some smaller firms.
Jobs in the media television and film production, publishing generally inspire a creative take on business attire. Anyone who is a producer tends to be at the higher end of the style spectrum. But, in general, business casual to business appropriate is the way to dress.
Aside from the white lab coat, doctors tend to wear a shirt and tie underneath or at least a nice dress shirt. As with everything in medicine, neatness counts.
If you’re selling real estate, you want to dress in a manner that your clients can relate to. So, if you’re selling high-end homes, dress high-end. Affordable housing, dress business appropriate. The key here is making your clients feel, well, at home.
Looking presentable is goal. Most stores will either want you to wear their clothes or at least represent the clientele. In other words, if you work at a high-end store, you should have a reasonably high standard of dress. After all, if you are recommending a $1,500 suit to someone, you can’t be seen in a T-shirt and jeans.
Service position hotel managers, restaurant workers often require a uniform. Otherwise, the rule of thumb is to wear crisp, well-ironed, and presentable clothes that fall into the business casual or business appropriate range, depending on the position.
Your first goal is to learn how to tie your tie. There are four basic styles, but for your job interview,
Simple and straightforward is best-the four-in-hand
STEP BY STEP
1. Begin with the tie’s wide end approximately one foot below the narrow end. Cross it over the narrow end and bring it back underneath.
2. Cross the wide end over again and bring it up through the loop.
3. Holding the front of the knot loosely with the thumb and index finger, take the wide end through the loop in front.
4. Tighten the knot slowly, holding the narrow end and sliding the knot to the collar.
Dressing for Your Goals Throughout Your Career
How you dress at a certain point in your career is often based on what level you attained or hope to attain. Are your clothes ready to climb the ladder of success?
GET A JOB
Whether you are just out of college, between engagements, or looking to get back to work after a layoff of years, getting a job is your mission. And every detail matters.
The main goal for you is to dress the part and let your potential employer know that you seem competent and would fit in. Research the company and determine how its employees dress. Then outfit yourself accordingly so that your first impression is a good one. Of course, if you have to alter that you are dramatically just to get a job; perhaps that job isn’t right for you after all. When you step through the door for that initial interview, let them think you already work there.
SUCCEED IN A JOB
Once you’re in the door, the object is to stay there. To do that, you need a wardrobe that works overtime right alongside you. It must be filled with versatile clothes that you can wear in every foreseeable situation and even a few you never saw coming. One again, though, looking the part will only get you so far. You have to back up your style with substance.
GET A BETTER JOB
In order to get ahead, you have to dress for the job you want to have, not for the job you are hired to do. Reassess yourself. Do you look like the kind of man who can be an authority figure? Do you respect clothes command? Or are you still dressing like someone’s slacker assistant?
Now that you’ve proved yourself for a while, you feel you’re entitled to some more money, a bigger office, and greater responsibilities. If your superiors see that you look worthy of a better job it will likely influence them to give you that opportunity.
DRESSING SMART-THROUGHOUT YOUR CAREERS
No job lasts forever. Most career paths are long and winding. As you change jobs, careers, cities, and perhaps even worldviews, reassess your wardrobe and what your goals are. Are you still dressing for your last career? Do your suits look as though they belong in a time capsule? Has your body changed dramatically, but no one notified your clothes? Along the way, every few years, reflect on where you have been and where you are going. Then take a look at your closet and determine if your clothes should come along for the ride.