September 5th, 2018 Revature

For Some Entry-Level New Hires, Dress Can be the Hardest to Master

In professional office settings, the dress code is typically opposite of the free-for-all that takes place on a college campus, where you can slip into a low-lit lecture hall in torn jeans and frayed t-shirt, dotted with stains, and nobody blinks an eye.

That’s not the case when you launch your career at an entry-level job. How you dress contributes to the impression you make on coworkers, teammates and customers. To ensure that impression is positive, here are some basic yes-yes’ and no-no’s when it comes to dress codes.

Wrinkles Ruin Everything

Outfits with wrinkles are not a good look. It doesn’t matter if your clothes are new or old, expensive or affordable, flashy or reserved – all anyone sees are the wrinkles. As you start your career, invest in an iron and/or steamer, and learn how to use them.

Strive for Enough Outfits to Last the Week

No one expects you to spend your entire salary on a new wardrobe. But you should be willing to invest in enough articles of clothing to get through at least the week without a repeat. In college, you could get away with wearing the same T-shirt or blouse four days in a row, but it’s looked upon unfavorably in a office setting.

In Fit, Go for Goldilocks

Not too big, not too small. Just right. That’s how your clothes should fit. Avoid oversized and undersized articles of clothing, including jackets, slacks, skirts, shirts, and so on.

Know the Dress Code Definitions

To start, there’s Casual, Business Casual, Business Formal and Black Tie. You should get familiar with the definitions of those dress code terms and eventually some others. Most offices expect you to dress Business Professional. Others allow Business Casual. Beware that if your office has “Casual Friday,” it means “Business Casual Friday.” If you’re not sure about the dress code or what these definitions mean at your workplace, ask a supervisor. It’s always better to ask than to show up in Business Casual when everyone is Business Professional. And if you can’t ask for some reason, always err on the side of more formal.

Look Around for the Mean

You can get a good sense of what the dress code entails just by looking around. How do your coworkers dress? More importantly, how do your supervisors and leadership teams dress? There are outliers in every office, but it shouldn’t be hard to identify the average acceptable expectations. And again, if you’re not sure what’s acceptable, it’s better to ask than guess.

Consider Revature a Runway

What if, instead of having to ask, you received coaching and feedback that prepared you to meet the expectations of dress codes in professional office settings? At Revature, we recognize that making good impressions is part of having successful careers. That’s why we prepare our recruits with a paid, 12-week training program, where they learn the technology and soft skills necessary to thrive in enterprise-level environments. They learn to code, and they learn about dress codes. At the end of the training, we place them with one of our many clients. If you’re a career-oriented worker with an interest in the technology sector, the Revature Consulting Life might be right for you.