WHAT NOT TO WEAR TO WORK: WHO CARES ABOUT THE RULES?

The First rule; what you wear to work is important. Second rule; it’s certainly someone’s business.

“Dressing well is a form of good business”. – Harmony Attise.

Is it just okay to wear anything to work? There have been a lot of buzz about what people should wear and should not to the work place and business meetings in recent months. Some employees have lost their jobs or laid off as well as business owners have lost big contracts because they did bothered little about what they wore to work and their appearance to some business functions. There were others who had also expressed their views on the fact that, the rules of what to wear as professionals have changed; it’s a personal style. Fashion have indeed evolved and styles have changed but what is appropriate and not appropriate had never changed.

Not everyone knows how to put together an appropriate outfit for the office or other business occasions. Certainly not all of us have the fashion senses. Some people are terrible with dress fits, colors and all the do’s and don’ts of styling it right.
The professional environment is conservative. Dress codes now are ambiguous; almost everyone now defines their own casual and professional looks for work.

When you are employed by a company that has almost everything working out, you are given a company handwork or guide. A Company’s handbook is to guide you through the company’s rules and regulations, ethics, responsibilities etc. If you own your own business, then your personal style and brand identity would factor into what who wears to your work place and not.

The “casual” look has overridden what professionals used to regard as corporate looks. Some professionals even slip their Friday looks all through the week with no regards.
The work place or business meetings are not your party venues or social gatherings.
Nobody said suit up or zip up your whole body in a strict business look. It has always been tricky to know what is appropriate or not but, we all fail to get it right pretty times. Keep the fashionable casuals for your friends and flashy nights out. Business is business, mean it.

Who set the rules of dress codes for business settings? Nobody did. The ethics of the profession or business does.
What you wear defines who your are. This notion goes a long way to give thumbs up first impressions about you, your professional credibility, to an extent, even boost business success etc. In the professional world, what you wear isn’t who you are but what you do. And what you do should be the focus and not what you wear. What you wear influences your customers choices, it defines your reputation, affects productivity, and have direct influence on your teams attitude.

What Do You Wear To the Business Setting – Corporate Office?
The first question to ask is; what is the industry? As I noted from the beginning of this article, what to wear to work is mostly defined by ethics of the industry or profession. Traditionally, a suit is good to go. Wearing just suits does not end there. Finding the right pair of suits is also important – the texture, design are all factors to consider. It is also worth remembering the weather – when to wear what kind of suit fabrics.

Dress appropriately for your industry.

The financial industry is known for its strictly conservative code of dressing.
People in the entertainment industry can run wild and crazy –it is what sells their services, products and brands. The business services and consultants keeps to a “professional” casual looks.

When next you are wearing anything to your place of work, remember it is what sells you. Would you make remarkable profits or a loss?

Does Your Personal Fashion Statement And Style Matters?
You are only there to work and achieve the business’ visions statement and not to make a fashion statement. The selection of clothing brands is a personal choice but your professional looks is based on what defines your office outlooks. Personal styles and picks such as several piercings, wearing skimpy clothes, tattoos and luxury make ups are not welcomed to the office. If you have tattoos cover them up. If you love to wear skimpy clothes, drawing attention to your curves and others, try wearing a more conservative clothes instead.

Fashion brands, lifestyle, and a sense of style are your personal interests of clothing.

What Is The Purpose Of The Clothes?
Do you wear favorite sweatpants to the office or swimsuits to business meetings? What are hoodies for? Do not misuse clothes for the wrong setting because it feels comfortable, smart and appears casual to you.
Define the purpose of the clothes or dresses for work. But are they appropriate for your industry? Conform to the standards, don’t create yours, unless you are building a personal brand that requires making fashion statements.
There have always been the right dress for the right work. Nothing has changed, the rules are still the same.

Who Cares About What You Wear?
So long as what you wear does not negatively affect total productivity, company’s brand, teams attitudes towards work and the general success of the company; your employer definitely cares about what you wear. I came across some interesting debates about how an employee had dressed up for work and his/er boss expressed dissatisfaction and the employee took to social media to seek public support.
Always take in consideration that, the public do not own the business or company where you work. Most importantly, you are an employee not the boss. It is alright to feel a little disappointed because, you may have put effects into looking good. But you have no right to tell your boss what is right for you to wear to his office. Get another job if you’re not okay with the company’s codes of dressing.

Clients cares about what you wear. – There are some clients or customers who only understands the nature of your work or what you do by what you wear ( your appearance). To simply wear anything these days is totally off the table. The rules may have changed but looking professional as possible is one way to tell potential customers what you do, who you are and how credible you are to win them over.

Your professional networks. – I was taken aback recently, when I joined a couple of entrepreneurs for a casual meeting and I encountered quite an unpleasant moments with how some of these professionals showed up. For a moment, I had a second thought if I was at the right place. Professional networking events are not social parties or a place to attract sexual partners. It is very unfortunate to see responsible young men and women, who with many challenges are thriving to build businesses (relationships), wears just about anything to show up for professional meetings because they are business owners or high managers at corporate organizations..
What you have to remember when attending these meetings are these;

1. You must look professional. You’re not a party guest.
2. You are representing your business brand. How well should you do it?
3. You are there to build business relationships. What does your appearance say about you? Do you look credible, responsible and trustworthy?
4. You are communicating the company’s and your personal values. What do they mean to you?

Some Tips On Don’t’s Of What Is Acceptable And Not.
Many professionals are guilty of multiple fashion faux pas. Image consultants and experts admits to women being the most guilty. In general, there are wardrobes you should avoid to the work place. Inappropriate office attires can be a huge distraction to work. Eg. Wearing visible panty lines, multicolored hairdos, sheer clothing, body-cons, sneakers etc

For Women:
1. Don’t wear too bright colors
2. Don’t look to sexy
3. Stick to Uniform if there is any
4. Keep a simple hairdo
5. Don’t look overly expensive
6. Cover up, show less cleavage
7. Avoid too many accessories
8. Avoid Visible under wears under sheer clothing

For Men:
1. Avoid bright colors
2. Keep a clean shave and haircut
3. No casual pants
4. Don’t wear untucked shirts
5. Don’t wear T-shirts
6. Don’t wear wrinkled clothes
7. Don’t wear pants without belts

 

Have an opinion? Do share with us in comments or via email.

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Author: STARTUPRENEURS

The Startupreneurs is an exclusive startup and small business subsidiary of Commec Ghana Ltd - A Business Development Company. All articles are originally written and owned by the Startupreneurs. Want to start a business, or already in business? Find the inspiration with us, access membership only deals, business packages and discover the enormous supports to help you grow and sustain your business. We are your best solution !

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