Business Professional vs Business Casual
Business casual dress has created a whole new dilemma in the workplace. The old rules of dress for success no longer apply. Putting together all the elements isn’t as easy as coordinating a suit. It’s more difficult to look professional in business casual mode.
- Draw attention to your face. The first rule of business dress is to draw attention to your face, so people pay attention to what you say. That’s why the white shirt is so common with a dark suit. The V-shape of the white dress shirt, contrasting with a dark suit or jacket, highlights the wearer’s face.
When you dress casually, it may be harder to draw attention to your face. But think about what you wear, and how it will be perceived. Women who wear sweaters or jackets with a lot of detail, and anything too tight, see through or low cut, will draw attention to the parts of your body that are revealed. Think about making your face the focal point, so people will listen to you.
Men who are dressed too casually, or inappropriately for the workplace, can also draw negative attention to themselves. Make sure your clothes are sharp looking, especially with business causal wear. Your jackets should fit you well. Pants and shirts should be clean and neat, and well pressed.
- Dress up for important business events. A common rule for business is to dress in traditional business attire for important meetings with outside business people. They still expect to see a business suit or jacket when a business deal is closed. Wearing a suit to meet a new client, or for a job interview, shows respect. Wear traditional business clothing when conducting business overseas.
- Add clout to your outfit. You can look very professional in casual clothing by always being impeccable in your dress and hygiene. This mean wearing shoes that are in good condition, making sure you get a haircut before you need one, and making sure your nails are well manicured at all times.
- Use color to command presence. Dark colors are still considered business clothes. By wearing dark pants and a jacket, you can create a versatile, professional image.
- Look promotable. Look around your office, and at your best-dressed clients. What are they wearing? Dress for the position you want, and to match or exceed your clients’ expectations. You will be associated with the position you want, rather than the one you have.
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