A professional appearance can make a winning first impression and convey an image of confidence, experience, motivation and credibility. It will also garner respect. Business dress codes generally fall into three categories: formal, semiformal and business casual, according to Empowerment Enterprises. Particularly when entering a new place of employment, men should research the dress code expected of them and conform to it appropriately. Dress codes apply not only to clothing, but also to personal appearance, such as hairstyle, jewellery and tattoos.
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Often required for management and executive level employees, formal business attire will consist of a suit and necktie. A suit may also consist of a waistcoat or vest, although these have been a less common component of the business suit since the 1980s. Suits should be black, navy or charcoal grey and may have a pattern such as a pinstripe. Body type dictates whether a single-breasted or double-breasted jacket is most appropriate. Tall, slim men often benefit from the structure of a double-breasted jacket, while men with larger chests and waistlines benefit from the single breasted jacket. When buying formal business wear, men will benefit from having their suits tailor-made to their custom measurements. Dress shirts should be a solid white or blue or have a subtle stripe. Dress shirts should accommodate cuff links. Ties should, ideally be silk, and of a classic pattern and subdued colour. Some executives like to have a silk handkerchief to match their tie. Fold handkerchiefs in a rectangle and slide it into the suit jacket's outer breat pocket. Leave about half an inch showing at the top of the pocket. Shoes should be dark leather. Belts should match the shoe colour.
Semiformal wear doesn't differ too much from formal wear. A suit and tie is still standard, but men will often remove the jackets and ties during the course of the day. An alternative to a suit would be a blazer with a pair of coordinating trousers. Leather shoes and belts should still coordinate.
Many businesses subscribe to a business casual dress code. This consists of dark or khaki trousers, accompanied by a coordinating open-collared shirt or polo shirt. Clothes, although far less formal, should be neat, laundered and pressed. Shoes can be more casual in styling, but should still be a basic business type. T-shirts with graphics, Hawaiian shirts, athletic shoes sneakers and jeans are not appropriate for business casual, unless the company's dress code specifies these are acceptable. Some businesses have “Hawaiian shirt Fridays” and other days when clothing can be significantly less formal than usual.
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