Usually it’s so simple deciding what to wear for interview and indeed on the job that it’s hardly worth discussing. But the younger generation has a different sensibility from boring old Margaret, so that it’s worth a blog article about it. Not that I, Margaret, am the one who decides what’s correct! It’s your potential employers who rule the roost. Here are the guidelines from a major insurance company (thanks for giving me permission to print, chaps)….
Insurance companies are a good standard for deciding what’s appropriate for a lot of New York companies. They are formal without being stuffy. They understand that fashions change – my father would be doing 25 to life if I’d gone home with a tattoo, but times change – and they have adapted. But it’s still a corporate New York business, with old fashioned clients, and senior managers who don’t want to look at anything too out there.
These guidelines are good for all interviews, but they are also a good indication of what’s fine for office wear when you get the job. If you work in a smaller, creative company, the rules relax. And if you work in a high-end fashion environment, “chic and stylish” are additionally what they want to see. However, remember, at the boring end of the spectrum, there are still companies where guidelines are stricter than my nice clients…..suits for women, no wandering around with the jacket off…put it over the back of your chair so that you can slip it on again when you stand up. Yup, alas, these companies still exist. They are great to work for, have good salaries and benefits, so don’t bite the hand that feeds you. Keep the boob tubes and face jewelry for the evenings and weekends.
The following lists are not all-inclusive, but are intended to provide guidance in choosing appropriate attire.
Acceptable Business Dress
· Jackets and ties
· Dress slacks
· Sweaters and Sweater Sets
· Shoes polished and in good repair
Appropriate Business Casual Dress
· Trousers (including Khaki, Dockers, Chinos or Corduroys)
· Collared Shirts (including golf shirts or Turtlenecks)
· Dress sandals
· Blazers/Sports Coats
· Appropriate hosiery (including trouser socks with pants)
· Jeans or any other denim items
· Shorts or skorts
· Capri, Cargo or leather pants
· Faded, worn, torn or dirty clothing
· Spandex (including stirrup, stretch pants, leggings or similar form-fitting clothing)
· T-shirts, tank tops or midriff tops
· Low-cut blouses (including halter or strapless tops)
· Sun or spaghetti-strapped dresses
· Sneakers or any type of athletic wear
· Hiking, military or construction boots
· Sweatshirts or sweatpants
· Clothing with slogans, logos or pictures
· Beach or hiking sandals (including flip flops)
Management reserves the right to make decisions regarding appropriate appearance to include clothing, jewelry, body piercing, tattoos, and hygiene. If an Associate is not dressed in an acceptable manner for the office, managers may take appropriate action, such as sending the Associate home to change on his or her own time. If additional actions need to be taken or if there are questions about this policy, the manager may seek guidance from Human Resources.