How to dress for the office.....

The way you look plays a role in your success in the modern workplace and in today's workplace, where casual wear is becoming increasingly popular, it can be tricky to understand the rules of appearance. We have therefore put together a guide to break down the types of business attire and what is expected in the workplace.

Business Formal

Business Formal is the most conservative type of business wear. Business formal means you are dressing to impress and is an upgrade from your normal day to day professional outfits. Formal business attire would be worn when attending events such as business, sales or board meetings.


1. A tailored suit in solid black, grey or dark navy

2. A clean, crisply pressed white shirt with collar

3. A conservative tie—no bold patterns or bright colours

4. Elegant, conservative accessories like tie clips and cufflinks

5. Shoes should be closed toe oxfords in black or dark brown—no loafers

6. Black socks—no colours, no patterns and definitely no white


1. A tailored skirt or trouser in a dark colour with a conservative cut.

2. A clean, crisply pressed white shirt with collar

3. Nude hosiery

4. Closed toe heels in a neutral or dark colour

5. Conservative jewellery and make up

Business Professional

Business professional means conservative clothing to portray yourself in a professional manner. It is similar to business formal but slightly more relaxed. Industries that would require business professional dress on a daily basis would include law, finance, recruitment or any other customer / client facing roles.


1. A suit in conservative colours (black, navy or grey) but can be patterned

2. A collared shirt that is white, blue or coloured

3. Ties in solids, colours or patterns

4. Shoes should be polished black or brown oxfords or loafers

5. Black socks, or socks with a splash of colour or a cool pattern


1. A skirt or trouser is still the general rule, with the introduction of more vibrant colours and patterns. A dress with jacket would also be acceptable

2. Collared shirts or sleeveless tops in white or solid colours

3. Sheer or opaque hosiery in nude or black

4. Closed toe heels in neutral colours

5. Larger “statement pieces” of jewellery can be worn as long as the overall look is balanced, however make up should still be conservative

Business Casual

Business Casual means you do not need to wear a suit however it is not casual dressing. You still need to dress like you are going to an office and be business appropriate. Generally speaking it involves clothing that project a professional image but is more comfortable and relaxed.


1. Smart trousers

2. Dress shirt with open collar, or polo shirt

3. Tie and sports jacket optional

4. Pullovers and sweaters

5. Casual accessories

6. Shoes can be oxfords, loafers or other, but avoid tennis shoes


1. Smart skirts (conservative length) or trousers with a top or cardigan

2. A professional dress

3. Hosiery

4. Closed toe heels, flats or loafers.

5. Conservative make up

6. As with all other types of office attire underwear should not show

Campus Casual / Casual

Campus casual or casual is what you should not wear to work. This is a term given to for what you wear every day such as jeans, t-shirts, combat trousers, trainers etc.

In general, you probably want to stay away from this in the workplace and gear towards more conservative wear as described above.