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Dress up or dress down, get it right!

We might hate to admit it, but first impressions mean everything. If you dress to impress it increases chances of being viewed as reliable, which contributes to success at work and help us form new relationships with people. 

Researchers have found that we unconsciously form perceptions about people within a fraction of a second. Our sense of style, the way we talk, the way we hold ourselves, it all speaks volumes about who we are.  But judging the appropriate attire for certain occasions is a tricky business. Black tie optional, semi-formal, business casual – decoding the labels alone can be a minefield. It’s not always easy to get it right. So to help you on your way, we’ve compiled a list of the most important occasions to brush up.

Job interviews – business dress or business casual

Interviews are difficult to navigate, but a sloppy appearance will not help when meeting a prospective employer for the first time. Like it or not, even in a casual office environment, bosses will unconsciously size up a candidate’s potential based on their outfit choice. From an employer’s point of view, an interviewee who rocks up in a scruffy t-shirt and jeans combination can indicate slovenliness, which could be reflected in their work ethic. Whatever your area of work, it always pays to be professional upon the first impression.

Business dress – which is code for a dark-coloured matched suit with a tie – is ideal for an interview within a formal office environment. These can be law firms, finance, and accounting. Meanwhile, business casual is more flexible, but can be a source of confusion.

Finding the right balance between formal and informal can be a challenge. In this scenario, chinos are appropriate, along with a nicely fitted blazer. Ties are optional, but we suggest that you always err on the side of formalwear. It’s way better to take off one item of clothing than to feel as though you’re underdressed. For both of these dress codes, leather shoes are recommended. For more tips on how to perfect a business casual look, check out our 7 best style tips for men. And don’t forget to polish those shoes!

Meeting the parents – casual, but be careful!

Being freshly in love can be exhilarating– until it’s time to meet Mum and Dad. If you really care about your partner, you’ll want to win their parents over with ease. Parental disapproval can cause extreme tension in a relationship, and nobody wants that dark cloud hanging over them. Obviously, you should never change who you are in order to seek approval. But you should always aim to present the best possible version of yourself! Generally, meeting your partner’s parents is an informal affair, but that doesn’t mean you should just show up in your tracksuit. Any parent wants to see their child make smart choices, and just by wearing some high-quality items, like the selection on offer here, you can prove yourself to be a smart choice. If you look sharp on a first meeting, you’ll drastically increase your chance of being welcomed into the family.

Weddings – black tie

Black tie may be referred to as “semi-formal”, but don’t let that throw you off! For men, black tie is an incredibly strict affair. Whether you’re the groom or a guest, when attending a wedding, the way you wear your suits speaks volumes about you. The traditional black tie suit consists of a black bow tie, dress shirt, waistcoat, dinner jacket, and dress shoes. Bear in mind that a black tie dress code differs depending on the time of day. For instance, a classic tuxedo is more appropriate for an evening affair.

When adhering to a black tie dress code, bridesmaids should opt for elegant, floor-length bridesmaid dresses in complementary colors to the wedding theme, presenting sophistication and grace alongside the groom and guests.



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