Business Etiquette: Does it still exist?
Generation startup, flat hierarchies and flexible project management: some people wonder whether it is still appropriate to orientate at the business dress code. In fact, however, clothing is a decisive factor on how others perceive you. It should underline the personal brand, the individual style - and naturally radiate competence and sovereignty. This depends not only on the shoes but also on the right accessories.
The style should radiate personality. It may gladly remain individual, but only for as long as it does not interfer with the role in which one appears publicly. A manager who listens to punk rock in his spare time but plays a leading role in his profession should therefore consider exchanging the festival ribbons of recent years with an elegant watch with a leather strap (for example Sencillo by Bullazo).
Times are changing
... and that's a positive thing. The classic business dress code is hardly demanded of employees anymore, except in sectors such as insurance or banks and quite traditional groups or consultancies - here the employees still have to appear with their suit in the office. Elsewhere, there's a breath of fresh air: When the men wear sneakers with their suit trousers and the ladies only wear a casual shirt underneath the blazer, noone blames them. Business fashion has become more modern, relaxed and younger.
For men, this means that the new business pants are sometimes made out of wool, mottled and cut wide. Dark jeans (without washing) always work with a shirt. And sneakers are also included - but they should be clean and tidy and should not look like they were used for competing in Tough Mudder. After all, you want to leave a confident and relaxed impression and not look as if you forgot to change your shoes after the morning run. The same applies for the men: If you want to take off your tie, but have nothing in the wardrobe except your shirt and jacket, you can be inspired by Pinterest - for example here.
And the women? They too should be careful not to distract from their professional skills with a thumping look. The ridge to the conventional business style does not need to be crossed under any circumstances. One simple rule: don't show too much naked skin, apart from that you can let your own style influence it. Loose chinos, wide blouses and even dresses (which should not be much shorter than knee length) are allowed nowadays. Many bloggers demonstrate how versatile and surprisingly modern office wear can look - we have put together examples for the ladies on Pinterest.
Speaking of dress code....
Business Formal, Smart Casual or Black Tie: Sorry what? There are specific classic dress codes hiding behind these expressions. They are mainly conventions, i. e. implicit agreements as to which clothes are appropriate for which occasion. However, anyone who violates it makes a name for himself as a rebel - more often than not, one is considered an unsuspecting drip. Therefore, you should know the most important dress codes to make sure you are dressed well for any occasion.
How much you need to know about dress codes for the day:
#Casual: casual clothing, only with a bit more style. For example, ironed trousers, a polo shirt and a jacket. Or a shirt with a sweater over the shoulders.
#Business Casual: Fits informal occasions such as a business brunch, reception or business trips. Men appear in colourful shirts, knitted sweaters and linen trousers, but like to wear tie and relaxed shoes. Women have numerous options: starting with blouses and sweaters, skirts and wide trousers to open shoes, everything is allowed.
#Business Formal: The classic office attire. For men, this means a two- or three-piece suit with shirt, tie and leather shoes, especially in a leading position or when it comes to working with the customer. The ladies wear a costume or a trouser suit with pumps (but no heels higher than six centimeters).
#Semi-formal: Meeting with the management or important customers? Now the good suit needs to be unpacked. Shoes, ties and accessories: the outfit must radiate elegance.
And dress codes for the after-work party:
#Smart Casual: Invitations that start right after work are often accompanied by the "come as you are" dress code. Conservative business outfits are allowed, but it shouldn't be bourgeois - so it's better not to wear a large dark oak brown colour reminiscent of men's clubs in the 60s (except for an elegant leather handbag). Cognac, on the other hand, is what's called for, which has a modern and relaxed effect. Men are allowed to take off their jackets, in summer a dress is allowed for women.
#Informal: The inventor of this dress code was probably a special joker - you should not get confused by the name. Nothing is really informal here, the dress code is often announced for evening events. A dark grey or black suit is the standard for men, the ladies wear elegant, half-length dresses.
#Black Tie: For the official dinner the men appear in a tuxedo with a black bow tie and black shoes. The ladies wear long black dress and an elegant evening bag (means: leave heavy giant handbag in the office). Only when it comes to accessories is it all about colour.
Which trend are you especially looking forward to, and what are your tips for business outfits? We'll let you surprise us!