Dress Code — or Dress Principles?

Dress Code — or Dress Principles?

Today’s companies are turning away from the lax dress habits of the last two decades. Instead of relying on a specific “dress code”, many professionals are able to choose their own attire. That can create a dilemma for some, as they wonder how to dress appropriately when there are few (or no) guidelines. What do terms like “casual Friday” mean? What is too casual? What is too formal?

We suggest you dress for the activity or event at hand rather than the day of the week. Casual clothing, such as tee shirts and jeans, are best for personal time. Dressy clothing, such as your suits and other custom professional clothing, should be used when conducting important business.

Your dress choices show others how you feel about your work. Take pride in both. Save extremely casual clothing for free time—your business accomplishments and capabilities deserve respect, and a tee shirt cannot communicate that.

If you’re unsure what is appropriate for a given occasion, wear your custom suit (or an ensemble incorporating portions of it). Its personalized fit and expressive style will do more to create a positive image than wearing exactly what others are wearing.

J Kent Erickson
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