Business Professional Dress Code

Define Business Professional Dress Code

Business professional dress code is a very strict code that leaves little in options for the employee. It may not sound pleasant, but the objective is to portray trustworthiness and an air of education to the individual representing the company. Specific industries will require business professional as we are hardwired to believe they must look a certain way. Lawyers and certain aspects of the financial sector will require business professional. Ask yourself this question, would you trust a lawyer wearing board shorts and sandals in court? Probably not!

Business Professional Dress Code Code Policy

Sample policies focus on the business suit for both men and women. Jacket and trousers should be tailored to the body. All items be pressed, wrinkle free, and clean. Modest dress is a must, avoid wearing anything with a low neckline or short hem. Hair should be cleaned and neatly coifed. Men, a basic rule of thumb for your hair is off the neck and above the ears. Jewelry and makeup should be kept minimal, avoid anything drastic that draws eyes to any particular area. Absolutely no tattoos, facial piercings, or hair colors that stray from natural colors.

Business Professional Dress Code for Men

Men should wear a two-piece suit and tie. Suit should be neutral colored, tailored, neat, and clean at all times. Button down shirt should be of a solid color that compliments the suit. Ties should stay in the realm of a solid color, striped, or small design. Avoid anything flashy! Shoes should be limited to something neutral and conservative.

Business Professional Dress Code for Women

Ladies should also wear a suit. Trousers or skirts are acceptable options and skirts should be below the knee. All suits should be tailored, pressed, and clean at all times. Neutral colors are most desirable; black, grey, dark blue, and dark browns. Shoes must be conservative heels, from one to two inches high. Hair should be neatly coiffed, clean, and of a natural color.

Business Casual Female

Business casual for women is a little looser on the rules and adds more options. Trousers and skirts are still acceptable and skirts can be to the knee or longer. Knit tops, sweaters, and casual blouses are acceptable. Rather than a tailored suit jacket, a blazer is an appropriate option. Shoes can include flats and pumps but still in neutral colors. Jewelry should still be minimal and same rules for hair apply.

Women’s Business Attire

If you need to go shopping for new business wear, we have a great guide to help you!

Suits – A jacket, trousers, and skirt a perfect combination. Stick with neutral shades like black, grey, dark blue, or dark brown.

Shirts – Always opt for a button-down dress shirt or dressy blouse. Stick with a complimentary and neutral color to avoid drawing the eyes away from your face.

Shoes – pumps are appropriate for casual days, otherwise pick sensible heels that are no higher than two inches. Always opt for a conservative heel, nothing strappy and certainly no stilettos.

Jewelry – jewelry should be kept minimal. Small earrings, necklaces, and delicate bracelets are a great addition. Keep rings simple to a wedding band, small diamond, or small simple cut gem ring. On casual days, you can opt for a statement piece that is a bit larger.

Business Professional Dress Code for Social Occasions

You may think that the dress code will alter for a social engagement. Unfortunately, that is incorrect. No matter what the occasion is, if the dress code is business professional, use the guide above to dress appropriately.

Business Professional Dress Code vs Business Casual

Professional dress is a bit stricter in terms of appropriate clothing. There are less options since you are limited to suits, no matter your gender. With business casual, you can remove your suit jacket and tie. You can mix in knit sweaters and khakis. Shoes can be relaxed with loafers and women can switch out the heels for flats. Jewelry for the ladies can get a little bit bigger within reason.

Business Professional Dress Code vs Semi Formal

For the men, nothing changes with their attire. Ladies find that they have a bit broader options with clothing. Cocktail dresses without a respectful neckline and hemline are appropriate in this setting. They can get away with slightly larger and sparkly jewelry since it’s a fancier setting.  Heels can go a bit higher but do avoid the stiletto!

Business Professional Dress Code vs Formal Dress Code

This is where there are changes to the dress when it comes to formal. Men should avoid the suit and go directly to the tuxedo with black tie and cummerbund. Patent leather shoes are the appropriate footwear for a formal dress code. For women, long gowns with a respectful neckline are the best options. You have freedom with color, style, and designer but we do stress not to go too drastic and daring. Heels of 3 inches or higher are most appropriate, including stilettos. Jewelry should be complimentary and dazzling to your dress. Hair should be neatly coiffed by a hairdresser. Makeup can be daring but should match what you are wearing. For both men and women, no tattoos should be visible!

Does Business Professional Dress Code Mean a Suit is Required?

Yes, you must wear a two-piece suit regardless of gender. Women can swap out trousers for a skirt that is below the knee. Suits should be black, dark blue, gray, or dark brown. Shoes should also be conservative and neutral in color. All suits should be tailored to your body and always pressed.

Does Business Professional Dress Code Mean a Tie is Required?

Yes! The tie should be solid color, striped, or a small design. Avoid any ties that are flashy or distracting to the eye. Make sure that the tie matches the suit you are wearing. While women have been wearing ties for the last decade or so, the business setting is still not appropriate for women to wear ties.