Professional Office Attire

Professional Office Attire

What is their EXPECTATION of you?
What is their…PERCEPTION of you?
THAT will determine your CREDIBILITY with them?

Look Polished and Professional

  • Even in a business casual work environment, clothing should be pressed and never wrinkled. Torn, dirty, or frayed clothing is unacceptable. All seams must be finished.
  • Any clothing that has words, terms, or pictures that may be offensive to other employees is unacceptable.
  • Clothing that reveals too much cleavage, your back, your chest, your feet, your stomach or your underwear is not appropriate for a place of business, even in a business casual setting.

Appropriate Tops
Casual shirts, dress shirts, sweaters, tops, golf-type shirts, and turtlenecks are acceptable attire for most business work environments. Most suit jackets or sport jackets are also acceptable attire for the office. Basic jackets: black, grey and brown

Inappropriate Tops
Tank tops; midriff tops; shirts with potentially offensive words, terms, logos, pictures, cartoons, or slogans; halter-tops; tops with bare shoulders; sweatshirts, and t-shirts unless worn under another blouse, shirt, jacket, or dress.

Acceptable Dress Pants
Slacks that are similar to Dockers and other makers of cotton or synthetic material pants, wool pants, flannel pants, dressy capris, and nice looking dress synthetic pants are acceptable in most professions. Basic Pieces: black, dark blue, grey and brown

Unacceptable Pants
Jeans, sweatpants, exercise pants, Bermuda shorts, short shorts, shorts, bib overalls, leggings, and any spandex or other form-fitting pants such as people wear for biking.

Appropriate Dresses/Skirts
Casual dresses and skirts, and skirts that are split at or below the knee are acceptable. Dress and skirt length should be at a length at which you can sit comfortably in public.

Inappropriate Dresses/Skirts
Short, tight skirts that ride halfway up the thigh are inappropriate for work. Mini-skirts, skorts, sun dresses, beach dresses, and spaghetti-strap dresses are inappropriate for the office.

Acceptable Footwear
Conservative walking shoes, loafers, clogs, boots, flats, dress heels, and leather deck-type shoes are acceptable for most work environments. Women: Wearing no hosiery is acceptable in warm weather (except for a formal interview)

Unacceptable Footwear
Flashy athletic shoes, thongs, flip-flops, slippers, are not acceptable in the office.

How to Dress Professionally on a Budget

  • Mix and match your outfits. If you have two suits, you can change the look on a daily basis by wearing a different shirt with each suit. To be budget-minded, you should buy clothing that coordinates with your current clothing.
  • Buy good, comfortable shoes that you can wear daily.
  • Match your shoes to your wardrobe, which may require that you have two pairs of shoes, one black and one brown pair
  • For women, a pair of low pumps works well for both casual and formal attire
  • Use accent pieces. You can use a scarf or a tie to dress up an outfit. Most accessories can be bought on a budget and can be used with a variety of outfits— just not too flashy
  • Invest in quality clothing that can be worn repeatedly