WOMEN'S FORMAL BUSINESS ATTIRE
Women's formal business attire is generally conservative, dark and restrained. Many of the rules for business formal menswear also apply when selecting women's formal business clothing, such as classically tailored, coordinated suits with knee or calf-length skirts, ironed blouses with conservative necklines and classic closed-toe, low-heeled leather dress shoes. Hosiery, no perfume and minimal jewelry is preferred, and hair should be neatly styled. This formal dress code makes an ideal first impression on employers and is suitable for women in any type of office profession - from an entry-level administrative assistant to the higher.
Women's Business Casual Attire
As less formal dress codes become more acceptable in office-based professions, choices for women's business casual attire often cause confusion among workers. Generally, any clothing that reveals cleavage, stomachs or thighs is unacceptable. Business casual clothing consists of restrained makeup, jewelry and hair styles. Tailored knit sweater and pant sets are good choices during winter, and cotton or linen coordinates can be worn in summer. While hosiery is not mandatory in most casual business climates, more conservative industries will expect female workers to wear nylons, even during hot weather.
Men's Business Formal Attire
While less than 9 percent of white collar workers dress in business formal attire, this type of dress style remains the preferred look for job interviews and daily use in conservative professions such as finance and engineering. Business formal attire consists of classically tailored dark suits, conservative ties, coordinating button down, starched dress shirts, dark leather shoes and socks. This look extends to personal grooming as well. Earrings should be removed and facial hair should be neatly groomed. White collar workers are advised to choose the business formal dress code when attending a job interview or if there are any doubts about a company's dress code.
Men's Business Casual Attire
Famous high tech entrepreneurs such as Steve Jobs and Bill Gates chose not to wear business formal suits and instead made business casual attire a standard dress code for many male office workers. This look consists of lighter conservative color choices for pants, such as grey, khaki, Oxford button-down shirts and less formal footwear such as loafers or even well-kept athletic shoes. Although jeans are acceptable in many offices, all business casual apparel should be neatly ironed, free of frayed edges and in good condition. A business casual look for men does not include t-shirts, shorts or sandals and outward expressions of individuality such as tattoos and piercings.
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