Business Dress Code For Men

Business dress code, Smart Casual, Business Casual, Dress down. We are often requested to dress to a certain dress code at work but it’s not always clearly defined and can leave us somewhat confused. So let’s unravel the one dress code that gives us the biggest headache!

As an Image Consultant, I am frequently asked for advice on the Business Casual dress code. Many men are comfortable in the formal (Business Dress) dress code where it is clear that a suit, shirt & tie are required. Similarly, a charity dress down day provides them with no real challenges as all the boundaries have been removed for that day.

However, when it comes to Business Casual, so many find it challenging to put this look together. I can tell you that Business Casual means less formal than Business Dress yet must still be appropriate for the business environment. It does not mean untidy or scruffy or casual.

So here are some tips on how to achieve an acceptable Business Casual look;

Ensure your clothes are complimentary for your colouring and your build. They must also be current and appropriate for your working environment. Adhering to all of these rules will help you become a well dressed man.

You must be well groomed. Clean shaven with a neat and tidy haircut is essential. Your finger nails must be of a reasonable length and clean. (maybe sounds crazy but you’d be surprised at the how many men have dirty finger nails!)

Maintenance of your clothes is highly important. If you don’t like using an iron on your shirts, use a Dry Cleaning service on them instead. You must ensure you change your clothes and shoes daily as they need to be freshened and rested.

Make sure you are pleasant to be around; good personal hygiene is paramount.

So let’s put this into practice; here are some tips on how to create acceptable Business Casual outfits;

– you can do away with the formal suit and opt for a smart jacket and trousers
– a soft collared shirt is acceptable and a tie is optional
– a suit teamed with a smart t-shirt or polo shirt is acceptable
– alternatively, a smart shirt and tie with trousers and no jacket is also acceptable for Business Casual
– you must always wear smart shoes, trainer style footwear and sandals are not acceptable

So now you have all the rules and best tips for achieving your Business Casual look. If you would like to find out more, visit your local Style & Image Consultant.

Business Dress for Entrepreneurs

The subject of business dress has changed a great deal since the turn of the 21st century. Up until that time, suits for men and women were expected in all but the dirtiest of jobs. Even then, it was not uncommon to find mechanics wearing ties. Now, dressing up seems to be confined to upmarket shops and city offices, whereas dressing down for Fridays seems to have extended to the rest of the week. What should entrepreneurs wear while at work?

Business dress as we know it probably came from the style of clothing that artisans, farmers, and merchants wore prior to the rise of the white-collar worker. Hundreds of years ago, you could guess someone’s profession by noticing what they wore: Falconers had leather padding on one forearm, and blacksmiths wore leather aprons; seaman had flared trousers, and court jesters could be seen in colorful costumes that were so silly that no one else would want to wear them.

At first, the man (or the woman) made the clothes, but gradually the clothes made man or woman. Then the dress of the day was largely for functional reasons. Leather on the forearm of falconers protected them from the claws of the bird of prey that perched on their arms. The leather aprons worn by blacksmiths kept their clothes from catching fire from the hot sparks as they were pounded off of the glowing metal. And the flared trousers were so made so that men who fell overboard could get them off more quickly.

Today, those in certain professions are expected to present a particular appearance. Suits, for example, have no functional purpose, as did the professional clothing in past centuries. In fact, suits can be very uncomfortable to wear; but they continue to be worn because that is what is considerable de rigeur for the job.

There also was a time, not long ago, when business people were expected to dress “above” the level of the customer. The intent was to provide some authority for what that person did. Suits evoked the highest authority.

Quite recently, the attitude has changed, and I think for at least three reasons.

1. Business people realized that they needed to be able to communicate with customers on all levels. If the customer wasn’t dressed up, then it looked as though the entrepreneur was attempting to be superior in some way. People tend not to buy when they’re made to feel inferior.

2. Telecommuting has meant that there was no need to “dress” for work. You could wear whatever you wanted to.

3. Generation Y (born 1980-… ) not only wanted to work where, when, and with whom they wanted, but also in the clothes they wanted. Dressing up was considered to be part of the jumped-up hierarchy that wasted, rather than saved, resources.

Today, entrepreneurs have to decide on a case by case basis what dress for them will be the most appropriate. There are no hard and fast rules. Some of the most successful people seem to wear the scruffiest clothes possible. The clothing runway has even made a fashion out of selling “pre-worn-out” apparel.

Home Business – Dress for Success – or Not

There is the opinion that “the suit makes the man,” or, in a woman’s shoes, the power suit makes the successful woman. Although fashionable attire is always appropriate in certain situations, it quite often only gives the look of success but not the measure of it. This is the radical change that is happening within the home business landscape. If you go to any home business conference, brainstorming session, or meeting, you will not see the full business suit that was once required. You will look upon some of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world, that were once a part of corporate America, walking around in Hawaiian shirts and sandals. The leap from the big business world to home business, gives you the opportunity to reach a desirable and fulfilling place. A place where a suit is not the benchmark of who you are.

There is a new wave of those abandoning the precepts and fears of corporate life and day to day pressures of a “job.” There is a new generation of internet babies who now have a choice not be confined by a suit and a cubicle. Rather, staying at home, taking a vacation, or what ever else feels right is the freedom that is experienced within owning a home business. It doesn’t take a miracle and it doesn’t take a forceful hand, all it takes is the resolute decision to make a change.

The power to make the change is within all of us. Every day I get up, drink my coffee, and then start my marketing, all in my shorts and t-shirt. There is no suit to be found, except my bathing suit when I sit by my pool answering emails and making phone calls. It all came from answering one question: “Do I want to look successful or do I want to live the life beyond the structure that is a facade and share in a life of freedom?” I have answered this question for myself, but you have to ask it of yourself. Owning your business is the key, not wearing a suit is your right.