Appropriate Work Dress Codes and Business Attire

See the Appropriate Business Apparel for Various Dress Code in Workplaces

A work dress code is a set of standards that companies develop to help provide their employees with guidance about what is appropriate to wear to work. Work dress codes range from formal to business casual to casual.

The formality of the workplace dress code is normally determined by the number of interaction employees have with customers at their work location. In modern workplaces that develop products, code software, provide insurance via email and phone, and so forth, the dress code tends to be casual or business casual.  

These sample work dress codes include business casual, business casual for manufacturing, casual, and formal work dress codes.

Dressing for Success With a Business Casual Dress Code

Businesspeople having conversation, while on the way to a meeting
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A company's objective in establishing a dress code is to enable employees to project a professional, business-like image while experiencing the advantage of more casual and relaxed clothing. Business casual dress is the standard for this dress code. Learn more about business casual dress in this dress code.

Business Casual Attire Photo Gallery

Businesspeople having meetings in booths
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View the business casual work attire photo gallery to see examples of clothing suitable to an environment with a business casual work dress code.

Business Casual Dress Code for Work in a Manufacturing Setting

steel workers
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In this work environment, the company's objective in establishing a dress code is to enable employees to project a professional, business-like image while experiencing the comfort and advantages of more casual and relaxed clothing.

Business casual dress is the standard for this dress code that differentiates between clothing worn in manufacturing and clothing worn in the office.

A Relaxed, Casual Dress Code

Businesswoman at whiteboard leading meeting in conference room
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In this setting, your company's objective in establishing a relaxed, casual, and informal work dress code is to enable employees to work comfortably in the workplace. Yet, certain standards are established so employees are not confused about the meaning of the terms: relaxed, casual, and informal dress.

Because no customers or clients are served in person at the company location, the chief concern is the comfort of the employees. 

Photos of Attire in a Workplace With a Casual Dress Code

Smiling colleagues working together at desk in office discussing papers
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A casual work dress code allows employees to wear anything they find comfortable, as long as the attire is appropriate, to work. In a casual work dress code environment, the goal is casual comfort for employees and informality.

But, all of the normal guidelines about clean, pressed, and professionally appearing outfits apply in the casual work environment. A casual work dress code is often found in high tech companies and in organizations that rarely host customers or vendors.

Clothing Options for a Smart Casual Dress Code Workplace

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A smart casual dress code includes a variety of options for men and women. Smart casual dress is a step up from business casual, but not as dressy as formal work attire. Smart casual implies that employees have kicked their dressing up a notch from business casual in a smart and well-pulled-together look.

A Formal, Professional Dress Code

Businesspeople having meeting in conference room
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Your Company's objective in establishing a formal dress code is to enable our employees to project the professional image that is in keeping with the needs of our clients and customers. Because our industry requires the appearance of trusted business professionals and we serve clients at our site on a daily basis, a more formal dress code is necessary for our employees. See a formal dress code.

Formal, Professional Attire Photo Gallery

Business executives in discussion after meeting
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View the professional, formal work attire photo gallery to see examples of clothing suitable to wear in an environment that requires a professional, formal work dress code.

Industrial, Manufacturing, Warehousing, or Construction Clothing Option Photos

Workers with clipboard talking in distribution warehouse
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These photographs display appropriate dress for an industrial, manufacturing, warehousing, construction, or skilled trades work setting. They show that the appropriate dress code for industrial, manufacturing, warehousing, construction, and skilled trades work includes casual, comfortable clothing or uniforms, appropriate in a hands-on workplace. Several images show required safety equipment: safety glasses, hard hats, and steel-toed shoes.

Dress Code for Customer Interaction and Trade Shows

Smart young engineers
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Even if you work in a casual dress code environment or a business casual work environment, the rules may change when you hit the road for your company with a business mission. Whether you are exhibiting at a trade show, attending a conference or training session, or visiting a customer, the dress code in effect at your office may change for travel and meeting customers. Take a look at this sample dress code for travel and customer interaction.

How Sexual Behavior Can Submarine Your Career

Nice-looking good-dressed lady in her spectacles short skirt red
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Women who wear short skirts that display a lot of leg may be overlooked for promotion and pay increases. So says a recent study conducted by Tulane University. Overt sexual behavior at work, whether men and women are consciously aware of it, or not, can submarine your career.

Dress Code: Letter of Introduction

Use this letter or a customized version that suits your organization, to provide the introduction to a new dress code. Employers find that helping employees understand the rationale for a new dress code is helpful in building employee acceptance and compliance with the dress code guidelines.

Policy Receipt Acknowledgement Sample

This is a policy acknowledgment sample that you can use when employees need to acknowledge their receipt and understanding of policy. When you distribute a new dress code policy, the employee signature on the receipt does not signal acceptance, just understanding and that it was received.