Mastering the Office Dress Code

Mastering the Office Dress Code

What is an office dress code? It is a set of rules for the employees to explain what they are expected to wear every day to work. 

Office dress code is crucial to set the right tone for an office environment and promote cohesion. Interestingly, these dress codes are not just restricted to the office premises.

Professionals might need to extend them for, say a country club meet, business meeting, or client presentations. And there is nothing wrong with it! 

After all, the right attire will represent your professionalism and position in the corporate world.

Therefore, it is vital for today’s professional corporate men to know the basics of different office dress codes. 

So setting the record straight, let us understand the modern office dress codes and some crucial tricks to nail them once and for all.

Mastering The Business Formal Look

Business Formal Look
Photo by Hunters Race on Unsplash

You see, business formal dress code goes for lawyers, doctors, executives, and other corporate professionals.

Gone were the days when this formal was all about a suit and a tie. It has undergone a significant transformation lately. Let us break down this dress code for you. 

The golden rule for nailing a formal business attire; your suit jacket and pants match in both style and color.

Black, navy blue, and dark greys are highly appreciated colors. You can also go for a dark brown suit, but make sure you pull it off impeccably.

Please leave your funky suit patterns at home. There are only two on-point patterns for a formal look; pinstripes and windowpane.

Pants are quite basic with no extra show-off. However, as far as the suit jacket is concerned, you can go for both single or double-breasted ones.

Coming to the shirts, crisp light blues, whites, pink, and vertical stripes are an excellent pick for a formal business look. The quality of the shirt should be good.

Go for thicker, well-made shirts only. Flimsy and thinner materials are fine to wear on weekends. Choose between a classic fit or slim fit for the best looks.

Human psychology says that over 85% of the people will notice your shoes before your attire. So make sure you score a brownie point in it.

Shades of brown go well with this dress code. Moreover, both matte and shiny finishes are acceptable, but make sure they are in leather material.

Wear a plain or patterned tie along with cufflinks, a watch, and a belt to ace this formal look.

Mastering The Business Casual Look

Business Casual Look
Photo by Chloe Kala from Pexels
Business Casual Look
Photo by Wherbson Rodrigues from Pexels

Men, at times, confuse business casual as the regular casual. Although, this dress code is almost similar to business formal, except a few omissions.

Most companies implement a business casual dress code for the ease of employees.  Let us decode this dress code and understand crucial tricks to ace the look.

Light blue, beige, tan, and light grey colors go well for this dress code. Moreover, the rule for the same suit and pants color does not apply here. Here, opposites attract!

Still, bold patterns and bright colors are not considered a part of this dress decorum. Coming to the bottoms, dark khaki, navy, and dark chinos are fantastic options for this ensemble.

Men can also go for well-tailored, dark-colored jeans. But track pants, cargo pants, and sweatpants are not meant for this style.

Amplify your look with a crew, V-neck, or a turtle-neck sweater (if the weather allows you to).  Make sure you pick a slim fit sweater for yourself. Shirts need to be well-made and crisp. However, you can also opt for a polo shirt.

Coming to the shoes, suede, leather, loafers, and neutral-colored sneakers get a thumbs up for this dress code. Make sure you have a discerning eye for the shoe color and pattern.

Use a pocket square, tie, suede belt, a watch, and a light-colored messenger bag to complete the look.

Mastering The Smart Casual Look

Smart Casual Look
Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

The saying of different strokes for different folks goes well with a smart casual look! It is a popular dress code that was initially introduced for tech professionals. Modern IT companies or technology start-up firms generally opt for a smart casual dress code.

This dress code is comparatively easy on the business casual dress code. But it is a world apart from the business formal dress code. 

Let us explore this creative look and learn some smart tips to nail it like a pro.

Zippered jackets paired with a crisp light blue or white t-shirt will go extremely well this dress code. It tends to offer a kind of ultra-hip look to the wearer.

However, wearing a jacket was never a compulsion in this dressing style. Hoodies, graphic, or mesh t-shirts are a big no for a smart casual dress code.

Coming to the bottoms, straight cut denim pants and chinos are a yes. Every man should have a pair of black straight jeans to master the smart casual look.

Apart from this, anything that is too tight or too loose is a misfit here. As far as the shoes are concerned; suede or penne loafers along with clean and sleek sneakers are ok.

Complete the look with a scarf, plain belt, polished fashion glasses, smartwatch, and a sleek bag.


That’s a wrap! So these were some essential tips to master the modern office dress code for men. Above all, make sure you pick attires that make you feel more confident and comfortable. 

Check out the changing business fashion dynamics at Upgrade your wardrobe accordingly and show everyone who the real boss is.

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