Understanding the Dress Code for Today, Tomorrow and Your Future

Understanding the Dress Code for Today, Tomorrow and Your Future

Dress for Success

Knowing what to wear can be difficult to decide, especially when it might be for a job or an interview. You may hear the words business casual and business professional thrown around, but what do they really mean? Keep reading to learn the difference between business casual and business professional, and the best ways to dress for success.

Business Casual

Business casual dress has become more common in workplaces in recent years, and it is likely that you may work for an organization with a business casual dress code. So what do you wear for business casual? For business casual, you want to remain professional, even when you are not wearing a suit and tie. If you are not sure how casual the dress code is, start off by dressing nice, take clues from how your coworkers dress and ask questions. Below is a list of some items that can constitute a business casual outfit.

Khakis, slacks, corduroy, twill, or cotton pants Button-down shirt
Cardigans Belt
Polo/knit shirts/sweaters Tie or bowtie
Closed-toe shoes – flats, heels, dress shoes, loafers Dress shirt or blouse
Professional knee-length or longer dresses Tailored blazer (optional)



Business Professional

Despite the growing popularity of business casual, business professional dress code is still used in many workplaces. Business professional is the typical dress code for interviews. Business professional dress offers less variety than business casual, as it is considered more formal. Business professional clothes should be in neutral colors, and patterns should be minimal. Below are some clothing items that create a business professional outfit.

Blazer Knee-length or longer skirts/dresses
Fitted blouse/button-down shirt Polished closed-toe dress shoes
Tie Jewelry should be kept to a minimum
Tailored suit or fitted jacket and pants Belt



What NOT to Wear

Deciding what to wear can be challenging but below are some tips and tricks of what to stay away from.

Revealing clothing Excessive/distracting jewelry
Jeans Rips in clothing
Athletic apparel or footwear Oversized / too form-fitting clothing
Offensive T-shirts Difficult to walk in footwear

The Bison Boutique

Now you know the difference between business casual and business professional dress.

If you are in need of business casual or business professional clothing for a presentation, job fair, or interview, stop by the Career and Professional Development Center in Fels 201 and visit the Bison Boutique. The Bison Boutique offers a wide variety of options for business casual and professional clothes that any student can borrow for free. The Career and Professional Development Center Team is here for you and we are always here to help you dress to impress! cpdc@nichols.edu, 508.213.2489

By Rebecca John
Rebecca John