2019 is shaping up to be the year of the individual, and the way people choose to dress is one way they can choose to express their identity. Gone are the days when everyone wears the same suit, tie, and slacks. From exercise attire to comfy, cozy loungewear and sporty beach wear, our clothing and accessories have become a means to express ourselves as individuals.

However, it can be easy to forget what constitutes appropriate attire for work or a job interview. While we all appreciate individualism, the workplace is still a professional environment. Sure, many dress codes have relaxed over time, but with so many options and so few ‘norms’ we thought it would be important with this year’s edition of Work Attire Do’s and Don’ts.

Do… Familiarize yourself with the company’s dress code—follow it precisely, and don’t be the one to push the boundaries – it’s just not worth it. Stay as professional as possible within whatever guidelines have been established (e.g., if shorts are okay, wear them when the temperatures rise, but avoid wearing them for professional jobs, particularly those with stains, rips, tears, and the like).

Don’t-You-Dare… Interview in casual wear. Even if the company’s dress code accepts T-shirts and shorts, you should make the best first impression possible by wearing a professional outfit to your interview. Also, if the recruiter says to dress casually – put on your best, don’t overdress, but showing up in a clean, pressed shirt or blouse will go a long way.

Don’t-You-Dare… Dress like every day is a pool party. Choosing to wear items like tank tops and flip-flops might make you feel comfortable; it is likely they are too casual for work and definitely too casual for a job interview. Respect is still earned – and as they say – dress for success.

Do… Find a balance. “Athleisure” wear, which combines the best of what you’d wear to work or workout, is a popular trend in the marketplace with lots of job-friendly options. Just make sure they align with the dress code and look clean, neat and appropriate. If you look hard enough, you’ll even find athleticwear explicitly designed for the work environment.

Don’t-You-Dare… Wear your outdoor summer accessories indoors to work. We’re talking about things like sunglasses and baseball caps, beer can koozies and bottle openers, which signify feet-up relaxation, not head-down work.

Don’t-You-Dare… Wear clothing with controversial messaging – even if it reflects your true self. While you may relate to a certain political party, ideology, or recreational drug of choice (this includes craft beer!), work is not the place to advertise your love of such ideals. Save that for when you are home, with friends, or out on the town. Avoid wearing anything with words if possible – acting as a walking billboard is generally not appropriate for the workplace.

Whether it’s spring, summer, or winter, the recruiting team at Masiello Employment Services is here to help you find your perfect job—just give us a call!