Office Dress Codes

Every office has a dress code, some stricter than others. Google’s policy of "you must wear clothes" is certainly more relaxed than most office dress code policies. It is generally accepted that office wear should be smart and professional, although in certain countries erring on the side of conservative is definitely the norm.

For office employees in countries like the USA or Australia, work wear would generally consist of a smart shirt, suit or tie for men and a smart dress, skirt or pants with a blouse for women this may not be considered acceptable the world over. In many Middle Eastern countries such as Dubai women who wear pants may find this is frowned upon, and in China high heels would not be acceptable.

Wherever you work it is advisable to dress smartly, with care and attention. Clean, ironed clothes and modest dress is generally considered professional, though you can usually add a bit of your own style to your workwear. Women should not wear revealing clothing such as tight, short skirts or plunging necklines as this does not convey a professional image.

If your company embraces a casual Friday dress code, find out first what everyone else will be wearing. What you consider casual, such as denim shorts and sandals, may not be acceptable at your company.

The type of business you work for will also have an impact on your office dress code. If you are working for a law firm then sophisticated, corporate dress which creates a good impression would be advisable. If you are working for a young design agency jeans or casual wear may be acceptable.

"Smart casual" is generally considered informal while still smart, so while you may still be expected to wear pants and a collared shirt, you wouldn’t have to wear a jacket and tie. "Business casual" would be at least one smart item of clothing, such as collared shirt teamed with jeans or a pair of chinos with a t-shirt and jacket.

Make sure to enquire about the office dress code before your first day in a new job. Whatever you wear ensure you look presentable and project the desired professional image. Personal grooming and hygiene is extremely important no matter where you work.