How to wear your office to the office

Business owners can opt for formal attire that is comfortable to wear in the office, including formal suits and suits tailored to fit the needs of the job, but the rules can vary from city to city, said Rebecca A. Jones, a senior managing director at the firm J. Crew.

In some places, it may be more appropriate to wear casual or business casual clothing, she said.

The style of dress and the amount of time you spend in the workplace can affect how comfortable you feel in the job environment, she added. 

The dress code at the office could also affect the type of work you do, said Jones.

“Some people don’t want to be the butt of jokes in the cafeteria or the bathroom.

That can make them uncomfortable in their office,” she said, referring to employees who are the butt or target of teasing.

The dress code also can affect the work environment.

For example, people with lower body fat levels tend to prefer formal suits that have pockets or shoulder straps, while people with higher body fat tend to favor more casual workwear, she noted. 

To avoid any negative impact, Jones said, you should not wear the same outfit every day.

“You have to be able to be flexible,” she added, adding that your workplace should not create a “sick work environment” or cause a “toxic work environment.”

Jones said the dress code could be enforced in the event of a workplace incident, but it could also be enforced during a non-work period such as during an out-of-town trip.

“If you are in a business meeting, you have to wear the dress, but if you are at home you can wear your tie, or if you’re in a restaurant you can have your own tie,” she explained. 

It’s important to note that some companies have different dress codes for different jobs.

For instance, some companies do not require employees to wear suits or ties, according to J.


And others require that employees wear a tie and a tie-up jacket in lieu of a formal outfit. 

If you’re a business owner, consider what your company needs to keep your employees happy, said Jessica L. Miller, a professor of management at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

You can make a formal or informal dress code by using a number of different rules, including dress codes to guide employees through the work day, to promote the work of the organization, and to maintain a sense of professionalism, she explained on the company’s website. 

A formal dress code for a male employee will likely include: black tie or jacket, white shirt, blue tie, black tie with red tie at the collar, white pants, and black shoes, according the company.

For a female employee, a formal dress rule will likely involve: black shirt, white dress pants, black shoes and a black tie, according J. Cole. 

When choosing a formal suit, Miller said it’s important that it has a good fit and looks flattering on the employee.

She also added that if the dress has pockets, it should not be too tight, or it may look uncomfortable for the employee and the environment.

If a dress code is too restrictive, you can always choose a formal skirt or shirt, she advised. 

What about men and women? 

Some women wear formal outfits for the workplace, but they may choose to wear them casually.

For some women, formal attire may be the best option, according Miller.

Miller said there is a certain amount of freedom to choose what suits you want, as long as it’s not too tight.

“I think a lot of women choose formal attire because it’s a part of their job and their role, so they want to wear it,” she observed. 

Do men wear formal clothing more than women?

Miller said some men do not wear formal attire at all, and others do wear formal apparel but have a casual job.

The difference between men and men, however, is how they choose to dress, Miller explained.

“It’s usually the job that they do that dictates how they dress,” she noted, adding, “It could be formal dress, or a casual dress.” 

Should you wear a formal shirt or tie at work?

Miller advises employees to not wear a shirt and tie at all times. 

“It’s really important to think about your work environment and what you are doing, especially when you are dealing with other people,” she advised, noting that it’s critical to wear appropriate attire when doing work.

“People will react to it,” Miller said.

“So don’t be afraid to be vulnerable or to be in the moment.”