Tips to look smarter

In today’s corporate culture, office is a second home for many people considering the hours spent working. In today’s workplace it’s inevitable to consider your choice of office attire. Below are a few tips.

In today’s corporate culture, office is a second home for many people considering the hours spent working. In today’s workplace it’s inevitable to consider your choice of office attire. Below are a few tips.

Business Attire
This is as formal as it gets.
• Business-suit and tie for men, no exceptions.
• Women have a bit more scope and can wear skirts as well as nice blouses with pressed trousers, but clothing should be tailored and well-fitting.
• Closed-toed shoes are a must, as are pantyhose.
• Avoid too much flashy color, such as an all-neon suit. However, a splash of color in a tie or scarf is appropriate.
• Styles should be classic, with nothing too trendy or obtrusive. For instance, a purple velvet suit is still a suit, but less appropriate for an office. 
• Accessories such as jewelry must be simple and traditional. Piercings anywhere besides earrings for women (one in each ear) must be removed. Tattoos must not be visible.
•  Hair should be clean-cut and carefully styled. No messy hairdos or days-old facial growth. If facial hair is worn, it should be groomed often and already exist during the work-week (no growing a beard on a Thursday).
•  Many companies encourage women to wear subtle make-up, however, they cannot legally force you to do so. If you do choose to wear make-up, choose subtle colors and avoid sparkles or flash.
•  Shoes should be heels for women, or dressy flats, and men should wear nice polished shoes.

Business Casual
 This is the most common dress-code you will encounter, and the interpretation of this term is the broadest. In general, consider the following:
• Clothing should be conservative and nice. Button-down shirts, trousers, blouses, sport coats, and skirts are suitable.
• Shoes need not be patent-leather and polished; loafers or similar styles are acceptable. Avoid sneakers and sandals, and in most cases closed-toed shoes for women are still required. However, styles can vary toward more trendy looks.
• Keep skirts knee-length or longer.

Casual
 This is the most poorly interpreted dress code option. Casual still means work-appropriate, so your clothes must still be neat and conservative.
• Showing a lot of skin (like a bare midriff, or too much cleavage) is always a no-no.
• Avoid sweats, cut-offs, tank tops, and flip-flops. Sneakers are okay, as long as they are new-looking and clean.
• Pair jeans with nicer shirts like polo shirts or casual button-downs. Avoid t-shirts with slogans or ads for things such as beer companies unless you work at these companies.
• Hair, make-up, and accessories can reflect more personal style, as long as it does not get in the way of your job (such as hair dangling in food, etc.)
 In general: it varies by region, so keep that in mind. Take your cues from the leaders in the office to choose your wardrobe.

COMPILED BY GLORIA I. ANYANGO

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