office-what-to-wear-dress-code

The Do’s and Don’ts of Office Attire

It’s time to make your triumphant return to the office… but maybe you’re a little out of practice now that you’re no longer dressing from the waist-up? Not to worry, we have the complete breakdown of what to wear to the office, so you can take the guesswork out of getting ready and focus on making an impression. 

Your Outfit

Your workday look may vary depending on how strict your office is, but there are a few universal tenants to keep in mind. Follow these guidelines to avoid a faux pas.

Do

  • Pantsuits, or pencil skirts with matching blazers are a safe bet for offices on the stricter side of the spectrum. Men should remember to wear ties with their collared shirts and stick to conservative colors and patterns.
  • If complete suits aren’t necessary every day, then reach for khakis, trousers, slacks, and skirts that hit at or below the knee.
  • Blouses, button-downs, and polo shirts are all great options for mixing and matching with your slacks and trousers. Men should remember to tuck in their shirts and wear a belt to keep their ensemble looking sharp.

Don’t

  • T-shirts are probably a little too casual for the office. Unless your workplace is extremely relaxed, and even then, it’s a little dicey. Play it safe and avoid wearing t-shirts to work.
  • Jeans are more contested. Some workplaces are strict and only allow denim on casual Fridays, whereas others allow solid wash jeans to sub in for slacks. Stick to what’s tried and true for your first month back, and then let yourself be guided by what you see your boss wearing.
  • Distressed clothing, anything with fading, fraying, or holes (intentional or otherwise), is a hard no for the office. They are simply too casual for a professional setting.

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Your Shoes

Shoes are more than simply what you wear on your feet, they pull the entire outfit together! While offices may vary on their dress code, footwear selection is a bit more universal.

Do

  • Women should wear closed-toe shoes or pumps with a heel around 3 inches or less.
  • Oxfords and loafers are a safe bet no matter where you work.
  • Sneakers should be approached with caution. Some offices may allow the combination of leather or canvas sneakers with your slacks, whereas other places may deem them too casual.

Don’t

  • While a modest pump is suitable, seven-inch stilettos border a little too closely on evening wear for the office.   
  • Anything you would wear to the beach, such as flip-flops, crocs, or worn-out sandals, should never be worn to the office.
  • Ensure your shoes are clean and free of holes and excessive wear to look put together.

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Your Accessories

Don’t underestimate the importance of accessories! These are the final pieces of the puzzle, and we would hate for you to miss out when you’ve worked so hard to put the rest of your look together.

Do

  • Briefcases and leather totes are great options for looking professional while carrying everything you need.
  • Ties are an easy addition to your collared shirt. Not all offices are strict about this one, so start out wearing them and play it by ear from there.
  • Belts are essential for pulling your outfit together. Men should wear their shirts tucked into their trousers, and that would just look silly without a belt now, wouldn’t it?

Don’t

  • Backpacks are a matter of execution, rather than category. A sleek, leather briefcase-style backpack is professional and practical. A slouchy canvas backpack, the type kids take to school, is a hard pass.
  • Canvas totes, especially anything with graphics or illustrations, should be avoided.
  • Flashy accessories, such as very large earrings, bracelets, or necklaces, should be toned down for office wear.

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There you have it, your fail-safe guide for dressing to impress no matter where you work! A solid understanding of your office dress code will set you up for success, but everyone knows the best outfits have the best accessories. Check out our newest fall 2021 arrivals and complete your look with the perfect piece.

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