How to Dress Appropriately for the Office

When you have an office job, it can be a struggle to remain proactive about staying fit and dressing well. The latter can be a major challenge for millennials and for those who are just entering an office work environment for the first time.

Regardless of whether your workplace makes you dress in formal wear or casual attire, there are ways you can dress more appropriately for the office to exude a more professional appearance and gain the respect of your colleagues. Here are a few tips to help you out.

Look Like You’re Ready for Business

There’s no doubt about it—the best way to dress in the office is in business casual or business attire. Even if you work in a so-called “casual office,” you should still consider wearing business attire. It will make you look far more professional and will help you earn more respect from your co-workers. There’s just something about good ol’ fashioned business wear that’s professional, refined, and respectable.

But an “office-appropriate” appearance doesn’t only have to do with the clothes you wear. It also has to do with how you make yourself up. Always come to work with your hair nicely combed, and be sure to wash your face in the morning to wipe away that morning grogginess. When you enter the office, you should look energetic and ready to tackle all of the day’s tasks. It can be a chore to look lively in the morning if in fact you’re frequently tired. Consider getting a new mattress to help you get a better night’s sleep.

Don’t Forget About Your Shoes

Shoes are a big part of your professional look. If you’re a guy, you should wear brown or black leather shoes (you might be able to get away with sneakers, so long as they have a faux-leather appearance). If you’re a lady, you might consider getting a pair of formal flats. Heels work, too, but they might get a little uncomfortable after a few hours of wear.

Keep your shoes in good shape! People will notice dirty shoes. Make a monthly visit to a shoe shiner, or get your own shoe shining supplies for your home.

Be Modest

Always dress modestly when you’re in the office. Men and women have their own ways of overdoing it. Men, for instance, come to the office looking like a band leader, with an oversized leather jacket and wild hair. They go for an overly-masculine look. Women, on the other hand, come into work wearing revealing dresses and very low cut tops—fine for going out on the town, but less so in a work environment.

There are definitely some sexist attitudes about these types of appearances, particularly when it comes to women’s attire. But whether you like it or not, these attitudes are still highly prevalent in workplaces across the world.

Keep this in mind: you don’t want showy fashion to suggest that you’re trying to compensate for subpar intellect. That’s not what you want to exude when you’re in business meetings or when you’re meeting with clients or partners. Dressing modestly can help you be taken seriously, and it’ll enable the people you’re communicating with to focus more exclusively on your words and not your look.

You Can Be Casual and Stylish

Casual attire doesn’t mean you should come into the office dressed in a tee and basketball shorts. There are ways to dress casually and still look very stylish and work-appropriate.

If you’re a guy, always, always, always wear jeans to work. Never wear shorts of any kind because shorts just aren’t made for an office environment. Women should also avoid wearing shorts in the workplace. Other attire you should avoid (for both men and women) include athletic wear (yes, that means yoga pants) and sweats.

If you’re going to dress casually, try adding a layer of outerwear to your shirt so it doesn’t look like you’re so dressed down. A nice jacket is the perfect piece of outerwear. Or, you can wear an inner layer of clothing underneath your shirt, like a thermal. Add fashion accessories to give your appearance a little more pop, like jewelry, a watch, a matching tote bag, or a wristband. Dress watches are one type of accessory that look great and is appropriate for the workplace. You can check out them out on

Now you’re ready for work! If you keep these fashion tips in mind, you’ll always look ultra-professional at work whether you’re in business attire or not.

RJ Frometa
Author: RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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