As a newborn baby, most of your needs are met by others and that includes the choice of what you wear each day and for each occasion. As you get older, this responsibility gradually becomes a shared one as you might be given the chance a few times to pick what to wear. By the time one is an adult, he or she is fully responsible for the choices of clothes to put on. Sounds like a walk in the park, right? Or so I thought. However after my classes at Lagos Business School on ETIQUETTE, I have been further enlightened on the need to be intentional and thorough in choosing how to appear, as this has a vital role to play in a corporate or business environment.
Etiquette is proper behaviour in a variety of situations. It helps human beings to behave in a socially responsible way. Etiquette helps you gain respect, trust, and appreciation from others. This can be applied in various facets of life like the way you eat, the way you talk, the way you dress, the way you socialize and many more. However, in this discussion, I am narrowing it down specifically on the proper way to dress in a workplace, this includes business casual and corporate attires.
One needs to follow a proper dress code at the workplace for the desired impact. Professional colours were listed to be black, blue, brown, and grey for official attire. Bright colours look out of place in corporate dressing. Light and subtle colours exude elegance and professionalism and look best in offices.
- Male employees ideally should combine a simple shirt with trousers. Make sure the colours are well coordinated. Prefer a light colour shirt with dark trousers and vice versa. Prefer plain cotton or linen wrinkle-free shirts in neutral colours.
- The shirt should be properly tucked into the trousers for a professional look. Never roll up your sleeves.
- Silk ties look best on professionals. The tie should neither be too short nor too long. The tip of the tie ideally should touch the bottom of the belt buckle. Slim ties are not meant for offices.
- Wear leather belts to work preferably in black or brown shades. Do not wear belts with flashy and broad buckles.
- Socks must be well-coordinated with the outfit.
- Body odour is a big turn off. Use a mild perfume or deodorant.
- Females should not wear revealing clothes to work. Avoid wearing outfits that expose much of your body parts. Wear clothes which fit you best. Don’t wear too tight or loose clothes.
- Understand the basic difference between party wear and office attire. Never wear low neck blouses to work. Blouses with deep back or noodle straps are a strict no-no at the workplace.
- Females who prefer westerns can opt for light-coloured shirts with dark well-fitted trousers. A scarf makes you look elegant.
- Nude make-up does wonder. Nails should be trimmed and prefer natural shades for nail paint.
In conclusion, after the class, I was fascinated, and I got great insight into the need to dress appropriately at work and in business places. As your dress could either make or mar the impression people will have about you.
We know the line that says DRESS THE WAY YOU WANT TO BE ADDRESSED, this is very vital in work or the business environment because your dressing could either send wrong or right message which can ultimately affect your career or business deals.
Written by Chika Laju-okorodudu