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How to Dress at Work

The pandemic may have confused some people.

The American workforce is rapidly transitioning to millennials being a major portion of the workforce and moving up in the ranks to become supervisors. Which is fine and a natural transition in generations in the workplace.

What has changed is what is appropriate to wear at work. If you have not noticed, I'm told that many public high schools no longer have any dress code. Anything but naked goes! Take those students, send them to college and then have them enter the workplace and it can be confusing as to what to wear.

This article got me thinking about the topic: All About Office Dress Codes. I live and work in the greater Seattle area with plenty of twenty-somethings working in IT. So, what is the dress code at Amazon or in a government office, or how about in emergency management for that matter?

One of the best pieces of advice in the linked article is to "look at what your boss wears." Model that and you will likely be fine. I did some consulting work for Amazon and in that setting I could not tell first line workers from managers. It was only the age of the people in attendance that helped me identify the supervisors.

If you are confused about what to wear, my first piece of advice to you is to buy an iron. Whatever you wear — it should not be wrinkled! If you can, spend a little bit more for a piece of clothing, something that (mostly, but not always) will maintain it's look overtime as you wear it. Clean clothing is a must!

As for shoes, tennis shoes have a place, but why not invest in some nice "casual" leather shoes. They also last longer if you rotate them and don't wear the same pair day after day.

Eventually ties will come back, but even bankers don't seem to be wearing them much. I recently "downsized" my tie collection by half, from over 100 to fewer than 50. If you don't own a sport coat, buy a blue blazer. You can dress it up or down. It is a classic that will never go out of style. You can pair it with light gray, dark gray, bone, taupe, green, light brown or even white (wedding) slacks.

As for young women, we all know you have a belly button, but we should not be seeing it in a professional office. Save that for the beach!
Disaster Zone by Eric Holdeman is dedicated to sharing information about the world of emergency management and homeland security.