Companies are forever moaning about the dress standards of their staff and what to do about them?
The simplest solution is to have a dress code that is relevant to your industry, your brand and your clientele.
The way you dress speaks volumes. make sure your clothes are sticking up for you.
Business Clothing Level One
This article is rich in content for you to understand exactly what works well and doesn’t work well when you are dressing for the workplace. You may not plan to work in a corporate environment, which means a lot of the information regarding the most traditional of suiting is irrelevant to you. Keep this in mind, no matter what industry you are in, if you plan to be successful you are going to be expected to look successful. It might be that you do not wear suits because you have to but you might end up wearing suits because you want to. This chapter will start explaining for you how to look your best in the clothes you are wearing and to ensure that the accessories you use are right for that look.
When we talk about corporate dress, it is easiest to describe it in 4 levels. There are many different schools of thought and many different ways to describe these levels. I know of another consultant who describes them in level 1 as the most casual and level 4 as the highest – kind of like a building. Myself, I work the other way around as I think of dance gradings I have done in the past where you worked your way up to level one and being the best. You can really give these any name or number you like. The whole idea is to ensure that you know what you are doing, what impact you are giving and what people are seeing.
The benefit to a business having a dress code is to stop the confusion os what is and isn’t acceptable by your staff at work. It is important to remember that dress codes should be important for ALL staff. It may be that different departments have a different uniform and that may be a formal uniform or it might just be a standard of dress due to work requirements. Businesses which do not bother with a dress regulation or grooming guideline are asking for trouble. If you need to counsel a staff member about their grooming you have nowhere to begin as it isn’t laid out and expressed anywhere and it can be deemed that your comments are based on a personal dissatisfaction and not a brand adherence.
The levels I use when I am training staff are the following
Level 1 is the most formal and professional – a suit is required (formally known as Traditional Business)
Level 2 it is a tad more relaxed – a jacket is necessary (formally known as Business Classic)
Level 3 is everyday office/retail wear. It is smart and professional. (formally known as Business Smart)
Level 4 is for casual Friday. It is relaxed it is the most dressed down you can be at work. (formally known as Business Casual – that’s an oxymoron to me but more about that later)
Today I am going to focus on Level one. Over the next few posts, I’ll go into detail on the remaining three dress codes.
Traditional or Classic Business Dress
|Suit- Dark serious colours. Black, navy, charcoal, pin striped and chalk striped.
Belts– Belts or Braces are applicable with a suit. Belts should be made of black smooth leather.
|Shirts– Long sleeved, solid or patterned in traditional colours of pastels or red or blue stripes on a white background colours. Regular collar not buttoned down.
Ties– Strong colours with a small print or pattern. Best to use Base Colours
Jumpers– Not applicable
|Pants– Same as Suit Coat in darker core colour. May be cuffed or uncuffed depending on your frame and size.
Shoes– Thin to medium a leather sole. Lace –up.
Socks– Dark, plain or discreet patterns. Long to the knee (no one wants to see the top of your socks)
|Watches-gold or silver face and matching band; gold or silver face with fine dark leather band.
Kerchiefs, gold or silver cufflinks, tie pins, pinkie ring
|Making it work
Ensure your suit is crisp at all times.
Never try to dress it down
Authoritative, credible, respectful, solid, analytical, precise, dominant, logical and reliable
Look the part. Unless you are in the fashion industry – dressing too faddish will have your bosses wondering if you are more concerned with your wardrobe than your job