How to Buy Business Attire

Whether you're a fresh college undergraduate entering the world of business or someone who has just made a business career change, you'll have a lot of things to learn about the environment and etiquette of the business world. Throughout the day, you'll be interfacing with numerous people. That means that your business wardrobe is one of the most important things to keep fresh and up-to-date because your appearance defines your first impression. If you're unsure how to buy business attire for yourself, here are a few tips and guidelines.


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    Purchase at least 1 of every piece of a formal business outfit. For men, 1 formal outfit entails a collared shirt, a pair of tailored slacks, a jacket, dress shoes, and a tie. For women, 1 formal outfit entails either a skirt or pant suit, a collared blouse, dress shoes and a jacket or blazer. As long as you have at least 1 of every piece, you'll always have an outfit to wear for business occasions.
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    Choose dark, conservative colors. For shirts and blouses, the traditional color to wear in a business setting is white. For dress shoes, black is the standard color. For jackets, skirts, and pants, select a color that isn't loud; black, navy blue, and charcoal grey all work well. Make sure the color of your jacket matches the color of your pants or skirt.
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    Choose business appropriate fashion styles. For formal occasions, shoes should be leather. Other than traditional heels and dress shoes, men can wear loafers or slip-ons while women can wear heeled pumps as long as their toes are covered. Women should avoid wearing clothing that is too revealing, especially dresses with high slits up the front, back, or sides.
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    Purchase multiple business casual outfits. For men, 1 business casual outfit entails cotton slacks or khaki pants, a button-down or polo shirt, and a blazer. For women, a business casual outfit entails cotton slacks or pencil skirts and a blouse. Men should wear loafers or shoes made of leather or suede, while women can wear leather flats, heels, or closed-toed pumps. Business casual is the attire you will wear most around the office outside of formal events, so you will want to have more than 1 outfit to wear at all times.
    • Business casual clothing should be based on neutral, foundational colors. Pick darker, more conservative colors, like black, white, navy blue, grey, brown, and tan. However, for men, it is generally acceptable to wear polo shirts that are a little more colorful than neutral.
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  • While correct business attire is important for the business environment, you should purchase business clothing that you feel comfortable wearing. If you feel awkward in your own clothes, your colleagues will pick up on it.

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Categories: Fashion