Decoding the “How Should I Dress for Work?” Dilemma

February 4th, 2013

Even if you’re not into fashion, it will cross your mind at least once during your career – especially when it comes to appropriate interview attire and first day on the job dress. We’re going to answer a few of your questions and provide you with some visuals and tips that will put even the most fashion-challenged at ease.

Q) I’m interviewing for a job, but I know everyone at this company is really casual. What should I wear?

A) Regardless of how casual the company dress code is, you still have to dress up for an interview. It shows your professionalism and the seriousness you’re placing on this potential job opportunity. If you’d like to dress down a bit, men can forgo the suit jacket and woman can replace high heels with tasteful flats (but make sure your toes are covered).  See our interview dress tips for women and interview dress tips for men boards on Pinterest.

Q) It’s my first day on the job and it’s the hottest day of summer. What can I get away with?

A) Not much. Even if there is no official dress code at work, think twice before slipping into a tank top, shorts and flip-flops. It’s just not appropriate for the work place even in hot weather.

Q) The dress code is “business casual.” What does that even mean?

A) There’s no clear answer to this. Your best bet is to weigh whatever information the human resource department or staffing agency provided you with. Many times that information can be found in the employee handbook.  On your first day, make a point to notice what your co-workers are wearing and try to copy that.  Err on the dressier side. As they say, “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.”

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