The Do's and Don'ts of Formal Work Attire

The Do's and Don'ts of Formal Work Attire

Millions of people work in jobs requiring them to wear a formal outfit or attire. If you work in an office, for instance, your employer may have a dress code such as this. And failure to comply with this code could jeopardize your future at the company. So, if you're struggling to grasp your concept of formal work attire, keep reading for some helpful tips. In this post, we're going to explore some do's and dont's of formal work attire, revealing what you should and shouldn't wear to work.

Do Check Your Company's Dress Code

Not all companies have the same dress code. Therefore, you should check with your employer to determine what exactly you need to wear to work. Some companies have lax rules regarding work attire, whereas others are more strict. The only way you'll know what's allowed, however, is by checking with your employer.

Don't Wear Suit Separates

What's wrong with wearing suit separates? Well, it usually lacks the cleanliness and cohesion of an actual two- or three-piece suit. As you may already know, wearing suit separates means you are essentially wearing different trousers and a different suit jacket. Your trousers may feature a solid gray color, for instance, whereas your suit jacket features a pinstripe pattern. When these two elements don't match, it creates a messy appearance that should be avoided in the workplace.

Do Change Your Suit

Of course, it's also a good idea to change your suit on a regular basis. Assuming your job requires you to wear a suit on a daily or almost daily basis, you need to own several suits so you can rotate them throughout the workweek. If you only own one or two suits, you'll probably find yourself wearing the same one day after day. Your employer and coworkers will take notice, resulting in a poor image of yourself. Thankfully, this probably is easily avoided by investing in several high-quality suits for your work wardrobe.

Don't Wear Baggy Trousers

A serious fashion faux-pas that you don't want to make is wearing baggy trousers. Sure, they may feel more comfortable than tight-fitted trousers, but they look awkward and unattractive. And if they are too long, the bottom may drag on the ground, causing the fabric to wear away. If you're going to wear a suit to work, make sure the trousers are designed to fit your body. If they are too big, either take them to a professional tailor for adjusting or invest in a new pair.

Do Button All Shirt Buttons

Another mistake to avoid when getting dressed for work is leaving some of your shirt buttons undone. It's not uncommon for guys to button all of their shirt buttons except for the very top. Being that it's around the collar, the top button can feel somewhat constricting when fastened. However, this doesn't necessarily give you the green light to leave it undone. If you want to create a formal appearance, which you should, you need to button all of your shirt's buttons, including the top collar button. Leaving this button undone results in a sloppy appearance that reflects poorly upon your image as an employee/ turn-on-3020730_960_720

Don't Forget to Wear a Necktie

There's no other way around it: if you want to create a formal, appropriate appearance for the workplace, you must wear a necktie. For business casual attire, it's perfectly fine to omit the necktie from your outfit. Formal attire, however, requires it. So, don't make the mistake of wearing a suit to work without a necktie. Once you get the hang of it, you should be able to put on a necktie in just a few minutes, and doing so will drastically enhance and improve your appearance.

Do Wear Dress Shoes

Following that same principle, you  also need to wear dress shoes. Wearing a pair of dirty old sneakers with a suit isn't particularly flattering, nor is it recommended. Formal work attire requires a full-body approach, meaning your shoes must also feature the same level of formality as your suit. So, what dress shoes should you wear to work? It really depends on your personal style -- as well the suit that you'll be wearing with it -- though some popular choices of dress shoes include derbies, oxfords and loafers.

Don't Mismatch Your Shoes with Your Suit

Wearing the right dress shoes is important, but you need to consider the color and whether it matches your suit. If you are wearing a traditional all-black suit, for instance, you should avoid wearing brown dress shoes. Instead, consider wearing black shoes that compliment the color of your suit.

Do Wear Calf-High Socks

The workplace isn't the right environment in which to wear ankle-high socks. Some men assume that no one will see their socks, so they wear ankle-high socks as a result. While it's true that no one should see your socks when you are standing, this doesn't apply when you are sitting. Sitting in a chair will force your legs to bend at the knees, which in turn causes the bottom of your trousers to rise; thus, revealing your socks. If you are wearing ankle-high socks, your legs may be exposed as well. To prevent this from happening, wear either calf-high or above-the-calf socks to the workplace, either or which are suitable.

Don't Let Your Undershirt Show

There's nothing wrong with wearing an undershirt with your suit. In fact, many guys prefer to wear an undershirt because it's warmer and more comfortable. But if you're going to wear an undershirt, make sure it doesn't show. If the top of your undershirt appears through the collar of your dress shirt and suit jacket, it will look messy and unflattering. Ideally, no one should be able to tell that you are even wearing a dress shirt. A simple solution is to wear a v-neck dress shirt that dips down far enough in the collar that it's concealed by your dress shirt.