Within many professional environments there is a silent but precise standard of dress. If not adhered to, violations of these unwritten codes may result in a stagnant career path or in extreme cases an invitation to look for another place of work. It is important to discover the appropriate code of dress for each work place even before applying for the position. Attending the interview dressed appropriately will give you a definite advantage. Dress codes ensure that everyone gives the exact image that will solicit the most work and imply the greatest confidence in their level and field of expertise. 

While not all work places expect you to wear a suit to work, it will make you most comfortable when you understand what level of dress you are expected to wear. 

Corporations 

Competency and conservatism are most important here.  High flyers should dress with a quality and eye for detail that befits their aspirations and abilities.  Dress standards will vary depending on the position you hold. 

The overall image may best be portrayed by: 

  • Suits, structured or non-structured (structured suits have more power)
  • Suits may be matched in color or two-tone
  • Medium to dark in color
  • Pant suits (not to be worn for board meetings, important visits or if upper management disapprove)
  • Quality accessories in conservative amounts
  • Everything in good condition 

Law 

The appropriate image for the legal profession needs to be one of professionalism, conservatism, competency, and wealth. Why wealth? Well wouldn’t you rather go to firm where they appear to be successful? 

The overall image may best be portrayed by: 

  • Conservative, one-color classic suits
  • Rich, medium to dark colors
  • Low to medium contrasts
  • Quality accessories including the imperative gold pen
  • A touch of drama such as in the tie or braces
  • Everything in perfect condition 

Financial Institutions

Here the image is quality, established money (long term wealth), confidence and, in some instances, a touch of flamboyance.  Exact dress will be determined by what level of financial institution you’re in – accountancy to merchant banking, with the standard of dress being a reflection of the salary earned. 

The overall image may best be portrayed by: 

  • Structured suits
  • Suits may be matched in color or two-tone
  • Medium to dark colors
  • Medium to high color contrasts
  • Quality accessories
  • Quality suits in the best designer labels
  • Everything in perfect condition 

Manufacturing Centers

Here we are dealing with professionals who need to be approachable, helpful and relatable. Dress codes are often casual, however, at all times your appearance and behavior must signal credibility, trustworthiness, capability, knowledge and friendliness. 

The overall image may best be portrayed by: 

  • Tailored pants
  • Sweaters
  • Casual jackets
  • Semi-casual footwear 

Real Estate

Professionalism and competency are most important here. Dress standards will vary depending on your location and clientele. Agents in middle to lower economic areas would be best to aim for a professional, well-pulled together look rather than anything expensive or flashy (clothes and car) to gain client’s trust. 

The overall image may best be portrayed by: 

  • Matched structured suits
  • Medium to dark in color
  • Quality accessories in conservative amounts
  • Clothes and accessories to be in perfect condition (especially shoes)
  • Tasteful and conservative color combinations
  • Perfect grooming
  • Clothes, colors and accessories that say ‘today’ 

Advertising 

In advertising, we need the image to be indicative of the creativeness of the creator’s mind. A structured conservative suit would, in most cases, not only stifle the creator’s thinking processes but also make us feel that the conservative person in front of us will not have the creative genius to mastermind a successful and innovative advertising campaign. 

The overall image may best be portrayed by: 

  • Creative, but well put together outfits
  • Mixed suits
  • High fashion boots and shoes
  • Hairstyles that is non-classic 

Entertainment 

Someone who works in the entertainment field is expected to dress anywhere from that of a trend setter to a unique costume that sets their character apart. 

The overall image may best be portrayed by: 

  • Flamboyant costumes
  • High fashion and fashion forward trends
  • Almost anything goes
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