When it comes to figuring out what to wear on the job, sometimes it’s not clear at first what is meant by terms like “Business Professional”, “Business Casual”, or “Casual Friday”. However, there are certain standards you can apply to safely determine what will look appropriate. If you’re not sure what the dress code is for your workplace, your best bet to ensure a positive first impression is to show up on the first day wearing a business professional outfit. Then, once you arrive, observe the office environment and ask an experienced colleague or your supervisor what the expectation will be on a day-to-day basis.
Some general tips to keep in mind:
- Be cautious of bright or distracting colors and patterns.
- Avoid see-through materials.
- Shirts and pants should always be pressed with no
- Keep your professional dress shoes shined and in good
- Avoid running shoes.
Here are some guidelines to help you understand the difference between different workplace dress codes.
- Suit jackets/blazers/pants/skirts should be in matching colours
- Conservative ties
- Solid, dark or neutral colours (navy blue, black, or grey)
- Professional shoes that are shined and in good repair, brown or black shoes to compliment your suit color
- Closed-toe heel or dress shoes
- Suit jackets are not necessary
- Ties are optional
- Plain-colored, collared shirts, cardigans or sweater-vests in a wide range of colors are generally accepted
- Nice pants/slacks
- Professional shoes that are shined and in good repair, brown or black to compliment your casual yet professional look
- Jeans, khakis, or corduroy pants are acceptable
- Plain or plaid shirts, golf/polo shirts and company shirts are all acceptable
- Loafers are acceptable; avoid sneakers/runners and refrain from wearing shoes that have holes and are dirty or raggedy
- Sweat pants and shorts are not appropriate
- If you are going to wear leggings, ensure they are made of thick material and worn with a long top reaching at least to your hips
For more tips for your first day visit the MCS website’s resource page!