The ultimate guide to workplace dress code
At their workplace, managers and employees are required to adhere to a specific way of dressing and presenting themselves physically. The dress code at work refers to the set of rules governing the choice and wearing of attire for team members at various levels. However, this code can vary depending on workdays or professional occasions. As leading specialists in men's fashion in Canada, we offer you a guide to dress codes in professional settings.
Recommended Dress Code in Companies
Some companies do not impose strict rules for the choice and wearing of clothing (sweaters, socks, suits, or t-shirts). The initiative for choosing workplace attire is left to the employee. For a chic, casual, or formal outfit, the company usually sets some boundaries that should not be crossed. Employees must maintain a proper appearance to preserve the professional and serious image of the company. The recommended dress code may thus prohibit the wearing of sneakers, a street tank top, sandals, or a hat at work. For example, if you work in a professional firm and are in contact with the public, it may be discouraged or even forbidden to wear jeans with your shirts. However, you have the option to wear all kinds of dress pants in neutral colors. Some companies will rather prohibit the wearing of 3/4 pants at work.
Except in certain sectors such as catering, security, and healthcare, the choice of attire is up to the employee. To dress in a chic and proper manner to make a positive difference in your work environment, the men's dress code guide we have created can help you. You will find all the necessary information to understand each style and each term related to the dress code at work. Make a good impression on everyone with a chic and casual outfit that is skillfully accessorized (shoes, belt, tie, etc.).
Dress Culture According to the Professional Environment
The dress culture of a company changes how clients and prospects perceive it. Depending on the values promoted by the company, it may be more relevant to choose a uniform for employees. An employer may also allow you to express your own style. Workplace safety and employee hygiene are also determining factors for choosing appropriate attire. In some industrial companies, for example, employees are required to wear a lab coat made of durable textile material, reinforced glasses, and safety boots for their own protection.
The dress codes thus vary from one sector to another, not only because of operational constraints and your work comfort but also because of customer acquisition strategy. A dress code allows a company to stand out from competitors by making a positive impression on visitors. Proper attire that respects established codes allows an employee to be taken seriously by colleagues and to integrate well into the professional team.
Moreover, the adoption of a professional dress code that is appealing and clean can also help instill confidence in the client or visitor regarding their contact. Having a good, elegant, and proper physical appearance allows you to make a good first impression on any interlocutor. For example, a real estate agent dressed in a hoodie, sweatpants, and sneakers will not make an excellent first impression if you do not know them at all beforehand.
The dress code in an advertising agency
New communication agencies are increasingly advocating for a casual chic dress code. The goal is to appear as a modern, young company close to its clients. The agency wants to show visitors that it primarily recruits its employees based on their excellent creative potential and work intelligence. Ties and classic suits are gradually giving way to round-neck sweaters and oversized blazers. It's not uncommon to meet communication consultants who can wear a t-shirt or polo, jeans, and sneakers every day of the week.
The combination of black pants, bomber jacket, and sneakers is also one of the signature looks of the casual chic style in a digital agency. Team leaders will generally choose shirts with sleeveless jackets, dress pants, and loafers to display a relaxed business look. This is much more comfortable than a custom-tailored suit accessorized with loafers.
Of course, overly extravagant, vulgar, or ridiculous styles are not tolerated to maintain a professional image. You're not going to wear a tank top at your workplace, even if it appears to be casual attire.
The dress code in a bank
Some sectors have maintained traditional dress codes for office employees. For example, these include:
- real estate agencies,
- law firms,
- public administrations, etc.
A strict business look helps to lend credibility to the employee when interacting with visitors or colleagues. You must project a polished, distinguished, and clean image through your choice of clothing and fashion accessories. The suit and tie thus remain a timeless standard in bank dress codes.
Whether it's a suit in gray, navy blue, black, or striped, the tones here are solid and without artistic flair. Thanks to his well-groomed physical appearance, the banker must give the impression of being rigorous, pragmatic, confident, and thoughtful. Between a casually dressed bank executive (t-shirt, jeans, and sneakers) and another dressed formally (neutral and solid-colored suit, tie, white shirt, belt, dress pants, cotton socks, and loafers), the customer will be more inclined to entrust their money to the one who adopts an effective business look.
According to the banking dress code, the shirt in a sober and solid color must always be tucked into the pants. The suit must have a flawless collar. By wearing a tailored suit, the finance executive can boost his self-confidence. This can help him deliver a convincing speech during a negotiation, for example.
Essential Items for a Professional Dress Code
It all depends on the look you must or can display while adhering to the mandatory or recommended dress code of your company. The pieces in your men's wardrobe will be chosen accordingly. Don't hesitate to consult the men's fashion experts at Ernest to help you find a unique and casual chic look complemented by high-quality accessories.
The suit is the cornerstone of the business dress code. It involves wearing formal work attire that respects the classics of an organizational framework or office employee. Wearing a suit or costume is perfect for a job interview or an important professional event. To know how to dress for a professional appointment, visit Ernest's website for the best men's fashion tips.
The formal suit is either striped, neutral-colored, or dark-colored. You have the option to choose discreet prints on the solid-colored fabric of your tailored suit or tuxedo. The preferred colors here are white, black, navy blue, or gray. To be elegant on every occasion, our store offers the best creations from authentic and recognized brands like Anthony of London, Orvieto, or Jack Victor.
The Sports Jacket
Like the blazer, the sports jacket is a must-have for a semi-formal business look. If you don't want to wear a tie, shop for a superb sports jacket in royal blue knit or a beige plaid wool jacket to go with your shirt. It's a timeless, fitted piece that will perfectly hug your silhouette. If solid tones don't appeal to you, you can find nice sports jackets with plaid patterns featuring clean and discreet lines.
The sports jacket offers more possibilities than a suit for colors and manufacturing materials. The colors heather blue, black, beige, dark pink, burgundy, or purple are available. Your fitted jacket can also be made of wool, polyester, velvet, or cotton.
The vest (or sleeveless jacket) allows for a chic and semi-formal business style. It is worn over a properly dressed shirt. On occasion, this garment allows you to create an elegant three-piece suit that adds refinement and sophistication to your appearance. Our store offers, for example, beautiful taupe buttoned vests to highlight your long-sleeved shirt. The best vests for a semi-formal business look are made of breathable cotton, wool, or durable polyester.
To elevate your semi-formal or casual chic business style, you should shop for a fitted dress shirt. It can be worn alone, with a suit, with a buttoned blazer, or with a sports jacket. A top-quality dress shirt has a stiff collar and sleeves that start at the shoulder seam.
Ernest offers beautiful collections of dress shirts and sport shirts from brands like Anthony of London, Fellows United, Campione, Orvieto, Au Noir, Bugatchi, or Marco Ferrera. For every occasion, you will surely find the athletic or slim fit shirt with a unique aesthetic (solid colors, floral, plaid...) for a casual chic style for men.
The Sweater or Cardigan
It's hard today to talk about a chic and casual outfit for men without mentioning cardigans and sweaters that allow you to face workdays with refinement and elegance. These comfortable and ergonomic pieces come in several models with various cuts, collar styles, colors, and materials. Your solid or patterned sweater can be worn alone, over a t-shirt or shirt, or under a jacket or coat.
Our store offers superb cardigans and sweaters in wool or cotton with turtleneck, polo collar, button collar, or stand-up collar. Why not choose a beautiful color-block beige sweater or a lovely black textured knit cardigan to create your chic casual look at work? You will certainly attract positive attention.
The T-shirt or Polo
The t-shirt is the quintessential top for displaying a chic, casual, and elegant look for men. This short-sleeved garment is generally made of cotton or durable polyester. It appeals to everyone because it is practical, comfortable, and quite ergonomic. Fitted t-shirts and straight-cut t-shirts are the two styles of tops often found in a professional setting for a casual chic men's look.
The fitted model highlights the silhouette of a slim man. The straight-cut model is the one that can easily adapt to most body shapes. You can wear it under a shirt or alone.
Whether it's a formal business look, semi-formal business, or chic casual, the dress pants are a very important fashion accessory for men. A wisely chosen pair of dress pants will go perfectly with a shirt, a t-shirt, or a polo. We offer dress pants in classic or fitted cuts in the color of your choice: navy, beige, black, blue, etc. The best models to stand out in a chic, casual, and elegant look are pants in stretch knit or wool.
Jeans or Chinos
Jeans or chinos are a must-have for employees who prefer a casual chic look when they're in the office. These are comfortable garments that allow for breathability, provided you choose a fabric like cotton or super stretch material. There are also beautiful chinos and jeans made of denim or corduroy. Styles and cuts vary depending on the brand (34 Heritage, Mavi, Meyer...).
You can opt for an athletic or slim fit to highlight your legs. Just like dress pants, a blue, burnt bronze, shaded grey, indigo, or light grey jean will go perfectly with any neutral-toned tops of your choice. You can shop at Ernest for durable, elegant jeans or chinos to achieve your simple and chic look.
Your shoes or boots set the tone for your overall style. Even if you excel in clothing choices, one wrong move in footwear can ruin your entire look. For a suit, classic and timeless closed-toe shoes made of genuine leather are a must-have. Brands like Stacy Adams and Florsheim offer excellent options in this regard.
For a casual chic look, you'll need sneakers with luxurious and clean details. With high-end lace-up sneakers in black suede or brown leather, you're sure to effectively complete your daily chic and simple style.
You'll definitely need cotton socks that match your pants, jeans, or shoes. Ernest offers quality socks at a great price, with printed patterns, stripes, or solid colors. You'll need a few ties to balance the character of your top if you're dressing for a business meeting.
To highlight your waist, you can also invest in quality leather dress belts. Finally, opt for discreet and elegant watches and bracelets to refine the sophisticated look of your style. You can count on Ernest to help you shop for accessories that best enhance your look.
Clothing as an Element of Personal Branding
Personal branding is crucial for rapid career advancement. It's not just about marketing your skills and personal qualities anymore. You need to project a polished and distinguished image to everyone you interact with. For this, the quality of your outfit is a fundamental aspect. The refinement of your style, the exceptional quality of the clothes and accessories you wear, and the care you give to your body can set you apart wherever you go.
Whether it's a formal outfit or a casual chic one, you must make a good impression at all times. A well-dressed person sometimes gives the impression of belonging to a higher social rank. It's easier for them to attract the interest of business partners, superiors, and colleagues on various projects.
How Many Outfits to Have?
You should have as many outfits as possible to vary your style without losing effectiveness and elegance. To avoid wearing the same suit all week, start shopping in our store now. Take advantage of the unbeatable value-for-money items we offer to improve your work attire. For example, with 5 suits and 3 solid, neutral-colored shirts, you can easily create 75 different combinations for a formal chic style.