How to Dress (for Businessmen)
Almost all professional positions require a certain kind of dress code. Things are no different for a businessman. If you aren't dressed appropriately, you may not make a great impression on your coworkers, bosses, or clients. People often base their opinion of your character and ability on your appearance alone.Bearing this in mind, it becomes clear that dressing appropriately as a businessman is critical if you want to find success.
Knowing What to Wear
Ask your professional contacts.If you are starting work with a new employer, try asking your contacts there what to expect when it comes to dress code. Your contact should be able to tell you exactly what to wear. Don't be afraid to ask those you know at your new company for help when deciding what clothes you need to select.
- You can ask during an interview.
Do some research.If you are unsure of what to wear, do some research on-line to learn more. Look up similar companies and industries and try to learn what their representatives are wearing. Researching what other companies require for their dress-code can give you a better idea of what you can expect for your own position.
Check out men's fashion magazines or websites.If you aren't sure what the current trends in men's fashion are, you can try reading over some men's fashion magazines or on-line style guides. These magazines and guides can help get you up to date and give you a better idea of what businessmen are wearing today.
Ask for professional help.If you aren't sure what would look good or where to start, visit a tailor or men's clothing store. The professional staff will help you make choices that look good and are specifically selected with your own needs in mind. Look for some men's suit stores or tailors near you and ask the staff what they think would work best for you.
Overdress if you are unsure what to wear.If you can't get any idea of what you should wear to work on your first day as a businessman, overdress. It's better to overdress than to under dress, which may look too casual. Always overdress if you aren't sure what you need to wear.
Dressing in the Business Professional Style
Pick out some suits.The suit is a staple for most every classic business dress code. A well fitted and properly matching suit will help you look professional and earn the respect of your coworkers and clients. Keep some of these tips in mind when picking out your suits:
- Generally, cotton suits make a good choice in regards to the material.
- In cold areas, suits made from wool might be a warmer fit for you.
- Make sure that your suit has a jacket and pair of pants that match.
- Grey and blue suits are almost always in fashion.
- Lighter shades can be a good fit during months with warm weather.
- Darker suits can look great during months that are colder.
Select some dress shirts.You will need to find the perfect dress shirts to match your suits. These shirts can add another layer of professionalism and create an interesting color contrast with the hue of your suit. Remember some of these points when building your dress shirt collection:
- Generally, long sleeved shirts with a collar are the best choice.
- Cotton shirts are generally your best choice.
- Dress shirts will almost always be button-up.
- In some cases plaid or other simple patterns may be acceptable, so long as the pattern isn't too busy or clashing with your suit.
Find the best shoes.Although they may seem like a small detail, wearing the wrong kind of shoes with your business dress can send the wrong message. Business shoes are almost always made entirely from leather, including the sole. So long as your shoes are made from leather, you have a wide range of styles available to choose from. Take a look at some of the following qualities your business shoes should have:
- Should be entirely made of leather.
- Can come in a variety of styles. However, brogues, wingtips or square-toed shoes should be avoided.
- Loafers are acceptable to wear.
- Make sure your shoes are polished and clean at all times.
- Never wear white socks with your shoes. Always try for something dark or that otherwise matches your suit and shoes.
- Your socks and shoes should match the color of your tie and both a generally dark colors.
Have your suit tailored.Having your clothes tailored to your unique measurements can help you stay comfortable and look great. Having your suit tailored is necessary if you want to achieve a professional looking fit. Look for a local tailor that can fit a suit to your exact measurements and help you dress for success.
- Wearing a suit without having it tailored will result in a poor fit.
- A tailor can fit your clothes in a way that will make your posture, physique and overall appearance look great.
Make sure your suit colors go well together.Even if you've got all the items you need to dress business professional, you will still need to make sure your outfit matches. Wearing only one item that clashes with the rest of your outfit can ruin your entire look. Keep some of these tips in mind when considering which items will go together best:
- Keep everything dark for an easy way to match your outfit.
- Wearing a dark suit with a white dress shirt can give a classic contrast.
- Black and white will match with any other color.
- Navy colors match well with oranges and golds.
- Yellow can pair well with purple.
- Greens or olives can match with reds.
Dressing in the Business Casual Style
Find some dress pants.Business casual allows you to look professional while still being comfortable. Dress pants are a great fit with the business casual look, allowing you more freedom in style, color and material. However, there are still some basic rules you should follow when selecting a pair of dress pants for your business causal outfits.
- Khaki pants are likely not a good choice.
- Try to avoid any cuffed or pleated pants.
- You should always wear a belt with pants that have belt loops.
Get the right style of shirt.Although business casual focuses on comfort, you won't likely be able to wear something like a t-shirt. Instead, you will want to find a good sport shirt, dress shirt, or similar style to meet the standards required by most business casual dress codes. Keep some of the following tips in mind when looking for a good business casual shirt:
- Polo shirts can fit with the business casual style.
- Button up shirts can also work well with business casual. Just make sure the designs and patterns aren't going to clash with the rest of your outfit.
- You can try wearing a sweater over a collared shirt.
- You generally have more options in regards to the color of your shirt. Just make sure your shirts match your outfit.
Get some great shoes.Business casual allows you more freedom when selecting your shoes than classic business fashion. You can pick from a large range of colors, material, and style, allowing you to find pairs of shoes that express a bit of your personality. When looking for business casual shoes, think about some of these tips:
- Try to avoid sneakers unless you are sure these are acceptable at your workplace.
- You will generally want to find leather shoes to wear. However, the soles of the shoes you select can be rubber.
- Think about how your shoes will look with a variety of outfits that you own and try to match them as best you can.
- Your shoes will still need to be in good condition. It's a good idea to always have them cleaned and shined.
- Make sure your socks match the color of your pants and shoes.
Adding Accessories and Extras
Pick up some ties.Wearing a tie might be required as part of your business's dress code. If this is the case, you will want to select ties that will match most of your outfits and project a professional image. Try to remember some of these tips when picking out some new ties:
- The Windsor knot is a classic style knot and is perfectly acceptable to use.
- Your tie should reach down to the top of your belt buckle.
- Try to buy high quality, silk ties.
- Colors should match with most anything in your wardrobe.
- Try to vary which tie you are wearing and avoid wearing one too often. Wearing one tie once a week should be a good average.
- Try to avoid wearing a tie without also wearing a jacket.
Select a good watch.Men are traditionally meant to keep their accessories to a minimum. However, wearing a watch is perfectly acceptable and in some cases can even help create a more professional look. Think about some of these qualities a business appropriate watch should have:
- Avoid wearing any watches that are overly expensive or flashy.
- Try to avoid wearing a sport or athletic watch with your outfit.
- It's a good idea to keep the colors of the metal or watch band neutral.
Find the right briefcase.Chances are you will need something to help you carry around your essentials throughout the day. While you could opt for a men's messenger bag, briefcases are generally the standard for men's business fashion. Ask yourself if your briefcase has some of the following qualities:
- Your briefcase should likely be leather or something similar. Try to avoid plastic or low quality materials.
- Try to invest in a high-quality briefcase. This can help you be taken more seriously and prevent you from having to replace it often.
QuestionWhat is the style of dress called when men wear a t-shirt with a nice shirt, like Bill Gates?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt's called "smart" or "smart casual." Usually "smart" requires a top with a button down or polo shirt. Trousers could include chinos or suit trousers. For shoes, stick to brogues, oxford, derby, monk, and loafers. For example, you could wear a blue suit with tan brogues, a white shirt and a blue tie. Typically the shirt would be tucked in. Smart casual could include t-shirts combined with smart trousers or casual trousers combined with smart tops. For example: Tan suede derby shoes, black jeans, and a white oxford cotton shirt. Typically smart casual does not require the shirt to be tucked in.Thanks!
- Accessories should be kept a minimum and should match your outfit.
- Always wear a tie with your suit.
- Always know and dress for the dress codes of your work environment.
- Business casual outfits will generally require you to look professional, while allowing you more choice in regards to style and color.
- Business professional outfits will almost always require you to wear a suit.
- Make sure your outfits match and don't have any obnoxious or busy patterns.
- Wearing a good pair of shoes is always a good idea.
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