Fortunately, the time is over when you worked exclusively from home in the home office. But what does a man wear to the office now? Which dress code applies?
Even before Corona, there were different views from industry to industry and company to company on how formally one should dress for the office. After Corona, this is even more true. But insecurity is a bad advisor, so we want to give all men a recommendation on how they can make a good impression in the office even nowadays dressed grandly.
After all, dressing well for the office shows that you care about work and want to get ahead
First of all, observe your colleagues and the dress code in other companies in your industry. But don’t be a lemming, find your own style and you will fashionably stand out from the crowd.
In this article you will find the following instructions:
What will always set you apart from the crowd, regardless of employer or industry
Investing in quality pays off
Believe it or not, you can very clearly see differences in the quality of clothing. The quality of a fabric quickly catches the eye, high-quality fabrics last longer, and careful workmanship ensures that garments keep their shape for a long time. It’s better to buy a little less clothing and invest in the best possible quality you can currently afford. Especially suits, shirts, shoes, but also sweaters and polo shirts are garments that can accompany you for years – investing in quality here pays off, and it shows in your appearance.
Clean and neat should be the clothes
This point is actually self-evident. Clothes that are dirty (the famous coffee or tomato sauce stain, but also the dirty collar) belong in the washing machine, not in the office. And while in your youth you could still put on your clothes if you got a “pass” on the Rich test, this is obviously not the case in the office. But also make sure that the clothes look neat – the shirt ironed, and also the pants without creases. And – do not underestimate how many people look at the shoes – they should also look clean and neat.
As the clothes – so is its wearer
Once you deal with other people in your work – looking clean and well-groomed only brings benefits. From hairdressing to brushing your teeth to skin and beard care and neat fingernails – not only will you feel better yourself, but others will notice (and admire your discipline). Add to that a touch of perfume, and the day is yours.
Every morning, think about the impression you want to make
Even if you’re sleepy in the morning – just a few thoughts in the shower about who you’ll probably meet in the office today and what kind of impression you’d like to make, and choose your clothes accordingly – so there are no surprises dress code-wise. And – you have already successfully made a small decision in the morning and go confidently into the day.
Dressing tips for the office still rather formal
In certain industries, the dress code remains rather traditional even after Corona. Nevertheless, you can easily deviate from the classic suit-shirt-lace-up-shoes combination now and then – but only with high-quality garments. Why not observe a little what “innovations” you notice in your environment and decide what suits you and what you dare to wear?
Suit, shirt and good shoes
With this combination you will never go wrong in the office, when a more traditional style of dress is required. Plain suits (navy blue, dark gray, light gray) can be combined in many ways, so you can set a little accent with the shirt. Bright white and light blue shirts are, of course, the classics, but there is nothing to stop you from using other colors in your shirt once in a while, or using light stripes or check patterns.
When it comes to shoes, leather lace-up shoes are the first choice, preferably in a classic design like the Oxford cut. Make sure that shoes and belt are color-coordinated.
More and more you can see sneakers with a suit, often in white. Even if style purists raise their eyebrows here – this can be ok – but only with really clean sneakers. Judge for yourself whether you feel comfortable in them and whether this is accepted in their professional environment.
Sweater and cardigan complement
A fine pair of cloth trousers, a nice shirt, and over it a sweater made of a high-quality fabric, rather monochrome and classically cut – you can also go to the office in this combination nowadays, even if it is mainly a suit that is worn. Or you can replace the sweater with an elegant cardigan. To be on the safe side, it’s a good idea to have a classic jacket in your office wardrobe, just in case – that way you won’t get sweaty when a customer suddenly appears at the door or a “boss wants to see you”…
How about jeans?
On Casual Friday, there’s nothing to stop you from wearing jeans to the office. Of course, the jeans should not be washed out and frayed – a dark blue jeans looks most elegant. There are even people who never wash their dark “unwashed jeans”, but only clean them with cloths and then put them in the freezer (kills bacteria and bad smells)…
Dress code in the more casual office
In many industries, it has long been established that it is no longer necessary to wear formal clothing to work. The range of what you can and may wear is thus much wider – this unsettles many men. In the following, a few tips with which you should always be right – but also look closely at your particular environment, what is worn there after Corona.
Shirt, (long-sleeved) polo shirt or T-shirt?
You can never go wrong with a shirt even in a casual dress environment – it doesn’t have to be the formal white one with an envelope cuff. You can be a little bolder with colors and patterns and even fabrics. But also a classic plain polo shirt made of a nice cotton can be ok, although here you should consider wearing a long-sleeved version. T-shirts are more on the borderline from our point of view, but as mentioned, you should analyze your specific environment to see if this is still acceptable in the office as well. What is the dress code in your office in this regard, how many colleagues (and supervisors) wear t-shirts? If you think that a t-shirt is acceptable and you definitely want to wear one, make sure that it is made of a quality cotton fabric, looks like new and is rather calm from the design.
Sweater, cardigan, maybe even hoodie?
A fine knitted sweater, plain or subtly patterned, is without question fully accepted in the casual office. And the turtleneck has almost been a mandatory uniform in tech companies since Steve Jobs. And even without a visible shirt or T-shirt underneath, a sweater can be worn – and even looks very cool under a suit or jacket.
Modern cardigans can also be worn well in the casual office and are clearly part of the dress code. Hoodies, however, are a divisive issue – we wouldn’t recommend them unless the hoodie is made of a fine fabric (hoodies are also available in cashmere), or everyone in your office wears T-shirts and hoodies (in which case you’re probably at a start-up in Berlin-Mitte).
And as already described above – a dark blue jacket in the office closet quickly provides a “dressed” impression, if this becomes necessary
Jeans, chinos or cloth pants – see what combines best with your top
All three options are acceptable if the pants look neat (see above). See what goes well in color with the top you choose. An interestingly patterned pair of cloth pants can look great with a plain sweater, and add sneakers, and you have an interesting but still “well-dressed” look. And just to be on the safe side, let’s say this once: Shorts are not ok in the office. If it’s really hot, resort to a pair of linen pants.
Dress tips for the video call
Even after Corona, it will be impossible to imagine the office world without the video call – we have learned too much to communicate via Zoom or teams. But the question arises – what to wear for the video call? Are there any tips for the dress code?
First of all – you should look neat and tidy, just like in the office. Keep in mind that you are only “cropped” in the picture, similar to a job application photo – you basically see the head and parts of the upper body.
Totally dark colors are difficult in video conferencing – their contours are mostly lost, and all you see is a dark mass. Dressing purely in white is also not appropriate, especially if you are in front of a white background (too tone-on-tone); with a colored background, on the other hand, the white may shimmer too much.
You also have to be careful with fine stripes or checks or herringbone patterns – the not-so-high resolution of a video camera often makes you look “blurry”. Plain shirts (combined with a jacket if it’s very formal) are well recommended – and if you want to stand out with a lot of attendees, the color can be a bit stronger.
Please also make sure you have enough light – because the most beautiful clothes will not be visible if the light is too dim and comes frontally from behind (and you will also look awkward). And remember – a smile generally helps to make a good impression – and in the video call even more, since all other body language is not visible.
We hope these tips are helpful for you. And as a big man, you’ll find great shirts at RIESENHEMD for both formal office environments and in more casual settings that will always make you look in good light.
Shirts for tall men
Exquisite fabrics & with extra long sleeves (72 cm)