Dressing for work, work attire, Professionalism, work relations, professionalism, body language
WORKPLACE SUCCESS / 14 December 2016
How You Can “Clothes” the Deal - Project a Professional Image at Work
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Eva Chen
Branding Intern

Work, work, work, work, work. No, I’m not talking about Rihanna’s song. I mean you going to work all five days of the week. For some of you, it may be your first full-time position, whether at your summer internship or shortly following your college graduation. You are probably wondering how you can follow the business casual or business formal dress code - with a different outfit - every day, especially when blouses, dress shirts, and slacks cost so much more than your quick, easy campus casual ones.

Well, you’ve come to the right place. This article will show you how you can dress to impress – your boss, to be clear –  and present yourself professionally at work with proper and comfortable clothing. Let’s first break down the three main business attires that are accepted at workplaces today.

Business Professional

Business professional is the most conservative dress code, as it covers as much skin as possible. With that said, careers that adopt the business professional dress code are similar in their more austere work setting, i.e. finance, accounting, and auditing. 

Male checklist


Female checklist

Pick a conservative blouse or dress shirt

Business Formal

Business formal is another type of business attire accepted at several workplaces, including but not limited to law firms, retail or department store management, or jobs where you are interacting with customers and clients. This would be considered a “dress-up” attire where you can throw in your own personality and not be as limited as a business professional. 

Male checklist

Female checklist


Business Casual

The last common attire at a work setting we will cover today is business casual, which as the term suggests, is the most casual of the three. While this dress code gives you more freedom, remember that you will still be in a professional or corporate setting. Think of business casual as what you would wear to a family dinner at a 3-dollar-sign Yelp restaurant. 

Male checklist

Female checklist

Other Useful Tips to Maintain Professionalism at Work

Besides your clothes, there are also several ways you can convey and express yourself – body language also plays an important role in projecting an overall image. Below are some pro-tips that you can follow to make yourself as professional as possible.

The Take Away

Now that you know the three main types of business dress codes at a work setting and a few things you can do to maintain professionalism, go and dress to impress! Lastly, don’t be afraid to let your personality shine – even in your professional attire.

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