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.

Basic Principles of a Modern Business Dress Code

A lot of business companies today have unspoken rules of a corporate dress code; some of them even have the written ones. The importance of business attire and its influence on the customers has been recognized by most of the world. The right clothing of the personnel symbolizes professionalism and loyalty for the clients.

American business clothes designer Adriana Coley says that the appearance of the staff can tell more about the company than they can tell themselves.

A dress code for the employee connotes a sense of unity and a sign of belonging to the particular group. Moreover, clothes speak for its owner: the way an employee or a businessman is dressed can tell a lot about him as a person. Usually people make a first perception about your professionalism, intelligence and credibility by looking at your dress. You may have not uttered a word yet but your partners and colleagues have already made their judgments. Often, your look at work influences not only the perceptions, but also the job promotions.

That is why being well-dressed is so important and we are going to tell about the general principles of the modern business dress code in this article.

According to some job-search websites, a person dressed in business casual style should look “pulled together,neat and professional”. What does it mean?

There is a list of standard requirements in terms of dressing and grooming successful businessmen usually keep up to. First of all, you need to think of your audience and the company’s corporate culture when you choose your dress.

Secondly, always wear clothes that perfectly fit you, forget about tight pants or narrow skirts – they are uncomfortable since they restrict your movements.

Clothes should be well-pressed and have no wrinkles.

Formal jackets must be buttoned.

As for the perfume – a fragrance has to be mild, both for women and men.

It is absolutely prohibited to wear shorts, snickers and slippers almost in every organization. Transparent clothes, deep necklines and short skirts for ladies are not appropriate in business. We do not advice to wear too tight or bright clothes as well.

Women are allowed to wear classic pant or skirt suites (remember to check the skirt’s length – it should not be too short, better when covering the knees).

Usually women are obliged to wear hose or tights of skin color in the office. Shoes should be on heels (but not too high). Black and dark colors are preferable.

Your hair must be always under control;natural colors and simple haircuts are classic business approach. Manicure and make-up ought to look calm and modest.Middle length-nails with French-style manicure would be the best option.

Women dress-code is quite strict towards the jewelry. You have to be careful about its size and brightness: colorful bijouterie or big pieces are way too much. Earrings and necklaces should not make noise when you move; minimalism is the core principle of wearing jewelry and the whole business dress code.

As for the model blouses and skirts, the sleeves are supposed to be long. In summer you can wear short variant, but the shoulders are better to be covered up.

Jeans are not on the “white list”in most of the serious corporations. Though some modern companies allow their employees wearing smart casual clothes on Fridays, the best alternative for both sexes is still a classic suit.

If you are working in a business environment, the color of your clothes is assumed to be quiet and restful. Classic black or elegant dark blue can be combined with various tints of gray, beige and brown. But there should be not more than 3 different colors and 2 types of pattern in your dress.

You are allowed to diverse your attire with some stylish accessories.

Finally, let us take a closer look at the men’s dress code.

Conservative business style includes traditional dress shirt, preferably white, lace-up shoes, preferably black, classic jacket and a suitable tie of restricted color that reaches the middle of a belt buckle. Classic but chic watch would not be superfluous. Over-the-calf socks should fit the color of suit or shoes.

Some of the most common and appropriate combinations for men can be:

  • Polo shirt with chinos pants, casual belt and leather shoes;
  • A classic long-sleeved shirt with cotton trousers, suitable belt and loafers;
  • V-neck sweater with a round-neck undershirt, straight-leg jeans and lace-up leather boots.

Knowing the basic dress code rules accepted in the business sector is not only the attribute of style, but a sign of your sophistication and an exquisite taste.

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