There is nothing more awkward or embarrassing then to turn up inappropriately dressed for a particular event, meeting or a big celebration. We have all been there…Turning up for a wedding on the beach in a tux because it’s supposed to be a formal event. Wearing jeans to a job interview in an IT company because you have heard that that’s how people in tech dress nowadays. There’s is nothing more discomfiting then to feel out of place, and completely out of whack, in such situations.
Then there’s the weather. Obviously, you’ll dress a certain way in summer and quite differently in winter. Consider a winter wedding in the North and North East of the U.S., which has bone chilling winters and snowdrifts that tower over you: Linen suits and summery dresses are out. Whereas, in balmy Florida or in sunny California, woolen suits and cashmere coats are also out. Suffice it to say, you should keep a weather (pun intended!) eye out for climatic conditions and choose the material for your apparel…carefully.
So, it begs the question, is there a right way and a wrong way to dress for an occasion? Yes, there is. So, how do you find out how to dress for a specific event? Use some common sense, for a start. Ask around if it’s an interview or an official do. Then, look for tips and general guidelines on how to get it right. There are friends, experts and online sources, like this one for instance. We can help you get it right, each time, every time…
Weddings: on the beach, off the beach, in church or in the park.
A “white tie” invite is the code for most formal weddings
The gentleman should buy (or rent) a tuxedo: a long black jacket with tails, white pique vest, a bow tie and formal black shoes. A white button hole would be nice, as would a silk square carefully tucked into the front breast pocket.
The lady should invest in a formal, full-length gown, glamorous makeup, dramatic jewellery and an appropriate hair do.
A “black tie” invite usually means the wedding is an evening affair
For the gent: A tuxedo, black bow tie, cummerbund and patent leather shoes are good ideas. For the lady: A trendy cocktail dress or long evening gown. With appropriate make-up, jewellery and hair style.
A “beach formal” invite! There are quite a few of these happening nowadays…
It could also be a in a park or at a nature reserve. Whatever the exact location, it’s an out-door event. You would still want to dress to impress. So, dress for the elements – sun, sand and sea. Or, a riot of flowers and lots of shady trees. Most important, a surface into which high heels are bound to sink! Anything you are likely to wear for an evening out to a classy restaurant would be appropriate.
For him: A light summer suit with a linen shirt (no ties required), linen pants (or khakis) and sandals. Maybe in Hawaii or Florida, he could run the risk of wearing well-tailored, knee-length shorts.
The BIG interview
According to Heather Tranen, (https://www.careerbuilder.com/advice/what-to-wear-for-different-job-interviews-based-on-the-company) founder of Schtick, a company that offers career coaching and personal branding, “Showing up to an interview polished and dressed appropriately for the role you are interviewing for shows that you put effort into yourself and into understanding the organization’s culture,” She goes on to say that a well-chosen, carefully styled outfit can help to build confidence and maintain poise. “If you feel great on the outside it will calm the inner crazy person shrieking insecurities inside your head”, she adds.
Dress for the company you want to join.
According to Tranen, “Lately it seems like hoodie culture of the Silicon Valley start-up world has replaced the boxy pantsuits of the Wall Street glory days…However, many industries still remain fairly traditional. While many companies are relaxing their dress codes, a lot of industries, such as finance and law, expect you to be on your suit A-game when you come in for an interview.” Since hard and fast rules are things of the past, the wisest thing to do is to figure out what the standard dress code is for the role and company for which you’re interviewing.
Dressing for a job interview
Every company is different. So, do your homework and find out what the company you are hoping to join considers the right attire.
- Check out the company’s website: see if there are photos and videos of employees. Ask a friend at the company, or find answers in forums.
- Being slightly over-dressed rather than under is a good idea. If the company you are considering joining generally dresses in business casual then take out the suit lying at the back of your closet.
- Always look polished. Comb your hair, wear fresh, clean and ironed clothes. And polished shoes.
- Don’t wear clothes that distract. That means going easy on the jewellery, makeup, hair and clothing. No “outrageous” colours and patterns, no skimpy clothes, no over-powering perfume. Check each item you are going to wear for missing buttons, zips that don’t work and other wardrobe malfunctions.
- Business professional means suits are the norm for men, a blazer or suit jacket, button down shirt, suit pants, tie and dress shoes. Women often opt for a skirt or pant suit with low heels.
- Business casual means that a suit is not necessary. Dress slacks or chinos, a button down or polo shirt, a belt and dress shoes are recommended. For women, a conservative, business-like dress, a blouse (or sweater) with a skirt or dress pants paired with dress shoes or boots.
- Casual means that formal is out, it’s still important to look polished and professional. Jeans, flip-flops and sandals are big no-nos. A long-sleeved dress shirt, khaki pants, a belt, and dress shoes would be appropriate for men. A collared shirt with pants or a pencil skirt, or a work dress would be perfect for women.