An article published in “Psychology Today” revealed that it takes no more than 30 seconds before one person makes an impression of another. The clothing one wears plays an important role in arriving at this conclusion. If employed as a professional in business, men must make the effort to portray the appropriate message by being conscious of overall appearance. Among other things, the correct attire conveys someone who acts responsibly, pays attention to detail and exudes confidence.

Business Attire in General

Business wear varies from one company to the next. What male employees wear in a start-up compared to a tech firm or a Fortune 500 company will differ considerably. However, more and more companies from small establishments to corporations are reconsidering the need to dress for success. Many now require employees to don semi-formal or formal clothing during the work day.

Semi-formal wear typically consists of a clean and pressed dress shirt, with or without a tie, combined with a pair of decent quality dress slacks and a sports coat. Formal attire consists of a clean and pressed tailor-made shirt combined with a conservative tie. Trousers and suit coats must match. Matching vests might also be worn. Brown, gray or navy suits are the norm in solid colors or pinstripe options.

Additional Tips

  1. Grooming-Hair should always be neat, clean and no longer than the bottom of the shirt collar. Consider that a side part looks more professional. Facial hair should be adequately trimmed. Fingernails should be short and clean. A dab of your favorite cologne is perfectly acceptable. Keep breath fresh using sprays or strips. Avoid chewing gum or candy while at work.
  2. Shirts-Invest in a selection of dress shirts. This is especially helpful if one cannot afford a closet full of good business suits. Long sleeves are generally preferred over short sleeves. Solid colors and stripes are popular. However, some are transitioning into gingham patterns. Pointed collars are out and spread collars are now the new standard.
  3. Ties-Neckties should be tied properly in either a Windsor or double Windsor knot. Dress for the season. Silk ties are fine anytime of year. However, in the winter, knit or wool versions are acceptable. Many choose to include a white pocket square. Nonetheless, the latest in men’s business fashion suggests that colors and patterns that coordinate with shirts and ties are fast becoming the norm. Have a stockpile from which to choose.
  4. Shoes-Clean and polished leather dress shoes should be brown or black. Dressy boots are acceptable. Never wear hiking boots, athletic shoes or sandals. Dress socks should be dark and calf-length to avoid showing skin while sitting.
  5. Accessories-Keep jewelry to a minimum of a single ring and a wristwatch. Remove earrings before going to the office. Leather belts should match shoes. Work accessories might include an array of pens and portfolios, along with a leather-covered notepad and briefcase.
  6. Dress the part- If in a managerial position, dressing up is typically expected. However, avoid the temptation to overdo the ensemble with designer labels and expensive jewelry.

Remember always, formal dresscode is one of the critical dimensions through which your peers and bosses will evaluate you and nothing could be of greater importance in portraying your professionalism.

By Eddy

Eddy is the editorial columnist in Business Fundas, and oversees partner relationships. He posts articles of partners on various topics related to strategy, marketing, supply chain, technology management, social media, e-business, finance, economics and operations management. The articles posted are copyrighted under a Creative Commons unported license 4.0. To contact him, please direct your emails to [email protected].