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Cracking the (Dress) Code. The Importance of Professional Dress. Your clothing is one of the first things that people see, so it’s important that you are dressed to impress in the workplace!

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Cracking the (Dress) Code

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Cracking the dress code

Cracking the (Dress) Code

The importance of professional dress

The Importance of Professional Dress

  • Your clothing is one of the first things that people see, so it’s important that you are dressed to impress in the workplace!

  • Different organizations have different dress requirements, so be sure you know about what is expected—this is part of “cracking the code” of what’s accepted in that environment!

  • In general, there are three types of dress codes:

    • Business (very professional)

    • Business Casual (relaxed professional)

    • Casual (save this for the weekend)

  • hey

What does business attire look like

What Does Business Attire Look Like?


  • Dress shirt

  • Tie

  • Belt

  • Slacks

  • Sport Coat

  • Business Suit

  • Women

  • Collared button down blouse

  • Slacks

  • Dress skirt

  • Belt

  • Suit Jacket

  • Business suit (pants or skirt)

What does business casual look like

What Does Business-Casual Look Like?


  • No tie required

  • Khakis or Chinos

  • Knit polo (not the designer) shirts

  • Knit sweaters

  • Women

  • No suit jacket required

  • Khakis or Chinos

  • Sweater sets

  • Dresses

  • Blouses

What does casual look like

What Does Casual Look Like?

Men and Women

  • T-shirts / Tank Tops

  • Jeans / Cargo pants

  • Shorts / Short Skirts

  • Flip flops

  • Sneakers

Show what you know

Show What You Know

  • Each of the following slides shows an outfit, or a portion of an outfit.

  • Look at each one and decide whether you think it’s business, business-casual, or casual.

Business casual

Business Casual

No Tie

Business casual1

Business Casual

Khaki pants are always considered business casual



It is difficult to keep cargo pants neat in appearance

Business casual2

Business Casual

If this were business attire she would have a suit jacket also.

Business casual3

Business Casual

This shirt does not have a typical collar. It would be considered a “no collar” shirt.



This is strictly for hanging out!





Business casual4

Business Casual

You may think this is business attire, but her suit jacket sleeves are ¾ length. This is more of a fashion statement than a professional one.



Business casual5

Business Casual

No suit jacket makes this dress business casual





Business casual6

Business Casual

No Tie


Sport coat (not a suit jacket)

Business casual7

Business Casual

The jacket has a casual style with ¾ length sleeves and a casual color, khaki.

Put it into practice

Put It Into Practice!

  • Now that you know how to crack the professional dress code, make sure that you put your knowledge to good use!

  • Whenever you go on an interview (for college or a job) you should dress in at least business-casual attire.

  • Your first chance to show off your business-casual wardrobe will be at the Career Expo that you’ll attend on Monday, August 1st. You’ll be meeting many business professionals, so you want to be sure that your outfit looks professional as well.

  • You can earn 10 Promise Dollars if you bring in an example of a Career Expo-appropriate outfit—something that is either business or business-casual, so raid your closet, prepare for Monday’s event, and earn some extra Promise Dollars!

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