What Does Your Dress Code Say About Your Brand

corporate dress

A business dress code is not a law, but a number of rules and recommendations that set a specific framework regarding the appearance of employees. It promotes professionalism, shows a severe and businesslike approach to work.

The main task of the dress code is discipline: office clothing sets a person into the working mood and doesn’t give you the opportunity to relax. Also, the business look, which is the same for everyone, helps to rally the team and eliminate inappropriate discussion of the colleagues’ clothes.

What Tasks Corporate Dress Code Solves

Many workers believe that this limits freedom interferes with self-expression and the demonstration of leadership qualities. Managers who respect themselves and their business are confident that the business outlook of employees forms the image of the company.

According to HR managers, a corporate dress code makes representatives of different social groups a stable and friendly team. Therefore, regardless of the weather, the head will require wearing a strict suit and classic shoes, as well as flesh-colored nylon tights.

The dress code reflects the corporate spirit and value system of the company. That is why each organization seeks to introduce a formal or unofficial set of rules regarding the appearance of employees.

The more serious the company, the more it demands from its employees, including strict adherence to the business dress code. The central part of the middle-level managers more democratically refers to the appearance of the employees, who by duty are not permanently in the office, only a specific style of clothing is attributed to the rest. According to statistics, only 8% of employers adhere to strict rules of corporate dress code.

corporate dress

Organizations that strive for discipline, regulation, and order, consider business appearance to be a completely natural and integral part. These are banks, law firms, notary offices, and financial institutions. The target audience of these organizations requires a certain appearance from the employees. Business clothes help legal advisers conduct an equal dialogue with directors and owners of large companies.

Employees of banks with their corporate uniform should make an impression of reliability and stability on the client. If the requirements for the clothes of the employee were specified in detail in the employment contract, the violation of the rules of the dress code leads to the application of certain sanctions by bosses.

The business and tidy appearance of the staff is a sign of the company’s reliability and well-being. That is why all modern bosses, with the help of a dress code, strive to identify employees with the organization. Also, it helps to improve the interaction between colleagues, in the external environment, the image of the company forms.

It should be noted that small and medium-sized firms neglect the rules of the dress code. And serious large corporations are required to comply with strict rules of appearance.

The Main Types of Business Dress Code for Men and Women

Various events, social or business meetings, semi-formal dinners, charity evenings or receptions suggest their dress code. Usually, invitations to any event are accompanied by the requirement of a particular style of clothes. If you do not comply with the specified dress code, you can simply not pass face-control at the entrance. Knowing specific rules assures you that you will not get into an awkward situation due to an inappropriate appearance.

Today, it is increasingly possible to meet people who disagree with the rules prescribing the dress code. For example, some come to the theater in jeans and sneakers, choose wedding dresses to the prom, or come to events in which White Tie is prescribed in the top-siders. Let’s consider the types of dress code that do not tolerate deviations from the rules.

White tie dress code

Many mistakenly find this dress code less solemn than the Black Tie, but it is not true. White Tie is the most strict and official among all existing dress codes. Its canons have not changed since the 50s of XX century. The invitation, which specifies this dress code, involves such activities as the reception at the ambassador, a charity ball, the royal reception or the award corresponding to the Nobel status.

To dress a man is much easier. The strict regulations of this dress code exclude the possibility of error. So, a few specific rules of White Tie: white bow tie, and gloves; only black tailcoat, under which is a fully buttoned white vest. Pocket watches and a thin cane can be added to the costume as accessories.

white tie dress code

For women, as always, things are a little more complicated. The basis of the dress code White Tie is a floor-length dress, covering the ankle. Almost any style is allowed but without an open back and a deep cleavage. Under the dress, exactly stockings should be, but not tights.

Details are vital: the hair should be done in an elegant hairstyle, evening makeup is necessary, discreet, but quite noticeable, and white gloves of maximum length, corresponding to the sleeves of the dress. You can only take off the gloves at the table, and then put them on again.

Jewelry is one of the key points. The use of artificial stones is completely excluded. If necessary, diamonds can be rented. Wearing diadem with precious stones will be appropriate. A fur cape and a tiny clutch of satin, velvet or brocade will be a good choice.

Black tie dress code

The most common formal-solemn dress code inherent in weddings, festive receptions, theater premieres, and the Oscar.

Men should wear a tuxedo – jacket with a satin collar and lapels, pants and a black bow tie with right angles. As for shoes, this dress code permits derby or oxfords of smooth leather, but in no case a patent leather.

Women can be dressed in a long evening dress or cocktail, not above the knee. Various types of prints and bright colors are allowed. Cleavage is possible, but not very defiant. Expensive jewelry will be appropriate. An essential element of an elegant and noble look, prescribed by the dress code, are precisely shoes with heels. Sandals are forbidden even in summer. A small clutch on the chain is allowed.


The event in the framework of this dress code is not so strict; it takes place mainly in the daytime. Therefore it has its own essential features.

Men wear the classic dark suit with a bright bow tie or tie, the length reaching the pants zipper. Details: the bottom button of the jacket should be unbuttoned, white cuffs are allowed to look out of the sleeve a bit. Socks should be long and a couple of tones darker than pants.

Women in this dress code are freer. Cocktail dress, depending on the occasion, maybe even above the knee in length, which should be compensated by a more strict top. High-heeled shoes are required. Cocktail dress code is often used in business meetings, so pantsuits or skirt suits are allowed. If you are invited to the horse races, then you must have a hat in harmony with the dress or suit.

Smart and business casual dress code

If the invitation is marked “Dress code: Smart Casual or Business Casual,” then most likely you will have a corporate event or business meeting.

A business dress code allows you to come to a business meeting in a jacket with a natural line of shoulders and loose, even tucked-up pants, but shoes must be classic. A turtleneck and a cardigan, the so-called twinset, will be appropriate with skinny pants.

Such a dress code at corporate events excludes a tuxedo or jacket with jeans. Even if you have a great taste, you should not experiment better.

The classic version is a strict dark-colored business suit in combination with a tie that emphasizes the official character of the event. But you’d better left the bow tie at home. For the morning and afternoon meetings, a twinset of light tones would be appropriate.

For women, classic, elegant clothes are preferable, which can be varied with the unusual color of a suit or shoes. Mini or maxi skirts will be completely out of place with this dress code. You should avoid and deep cleavage on blouses, and high slits on the skirts. But it’s not so boring. Properly placed accents in your look will help clients remember you and reverse the risk of appearing boring.

Business Traditional or BTR

Most often this dress code is used in negotiations with foreign partners or very important business meetings. This dress code is quite strict but leaves the choice of the color of clothing to its owner. For a man, a classic monophonic suit would be appropriate. For women, it is best to use a sheath dress with a jacket or pants and a jacket made of the same fabric.

Combining clothes from different sets is not allowed with this business dress code. The blouse should be monophonic, and the shoes should be discreet. A few words about jewelry: you need to wear a small amount of jewelry made from precious metals: earrings, wedding ring; hours are also allowed. Hair should not be flowing, hair-dressing is required.

Fortunately, not all professions require wearing dress code; especially it concerns freelance jobs. In my opinion, the most important thing in the requirements for clothing is practicality. It is necessary to take into account the nature of the employee’s activities and peculiarities of its performance. The requirement of dress code should be approached wisely.