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Regardless of the work setting, dressing properly is important. Dress codes may be different for different working environments, appropriate attire helps project the image of competence and professionalism.


Traditional men`s formal office wear should be a conservative grey, navy or black two-piece suit, accompanied by a long sleeved formal shirt (preferably white), appropriately collared tie, and well-polished formal shoes. For most offices a sports jacket and trousers is equally acceptable.

For women, traditional formal wear for the office should consist of a black, grey or navy skirted suit (beige or brown are also acceptable). A similar coloured trouser suit is also acceptable in most offices. A blazer with blouse and skirt is another possible alternative. Skirts should be knee-length, or marginally longer. Blouses should be white, or another light colour. Keep make-up to a minimum, in conservative tones. Ensure tights are free from "ladders."

Etiquette books tend to take a conservative approach to the office. Workplace style in the 2000s has been liberated from the structured 80s and 90s, while improvements in synthetic fabrics have given designers new materials from which to create casual clothing that still looks professional. However, as previously, appearance reflects personal style in an office context and the nature of the job. Consider your position, company, teammates, clients, and management, when reaching into your wardrobe and you should come out a winner.

Casual wear for work is a tricky area, since there is no clear definition of "business casual". For men, it is generally taken to mean chinos, polo or golf-type shirts with casual shoes (a jacket being optional). For women "business casual" means a smart skirt or trousers, blouse or knitted top, or a smart casual dress. Many employers have run into difficulties, since some employees (particularly the younger generation) have taken casual to the extreme, creating an unprofessional image.

Most chefs wear a double-layered cotton jacket that provides insulation from the excessive heat produced in a kitchen. It also provides protection from spills of hot food. Chef`s jackets are generally double-breasted, allowing them to be turned inside-out if very stained. The trousers of a chef`s uniform have a purpose other than being completely unattractive. The black and white squared pattern hides stains of any kind. Neckerchiefs are worn for aesthetic purposes, as a nice finishing touch to the uniform. It is very important that a chef`s uniform is clean. Apart from the hygiene aspect, customers catching sight of the chef, who is preparing their meals, wearing two-day old gravy is hardly a good advertisement.

It is a legal requirement that employers provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), namely "all equipment (including clothing affording protection against the weather) which is intended to be worn or held by a person at work and which protects him against one or more risks to his health or safety".

1. Eyes: PPE includes goggles, visors, and face masks, protecting against hazards such as chemical splashes, dust, gas and vapour and radiation.
2. Head: PPE includes a range of helmets, protecting against impact from falling objects.
3. Breathing: PPE includes breathing apparatus and face masks, protecting against dust, vapour and gas.
4. Body Protection: PPE includes disposable or conventional overalls, bodysuits, chain mail and high-visibility clothing, providing protection from extreme temperatures, adverse weather, chemicals and contaminated dust.
5. Hands / Arms: PPE includes gloves, wrist cuffs or armlets, protecting against abrasion and electric shock.
6. Face / Legs: PPE includes safety boots or shoes and leggings, protecting against falling objects, slipping and abrasion.

Surveys conducted by men`s clothes & accessories guides indicate that, even on "dress down" days, some items of clothing are considered unacceptable by some companies / managers. These include shorts, jeans, t-shirts, along with trainers and flip-flops. For women, low-cut tops and short skirts are also considered inappropriate. As a rule of thumb, dress too formally, rather than too casually.

Some items are a definite "no-no", and may be found offensive, in any work environment. These include:
  • Excessive jewellery, particularly earrings (men).
  • Piercings in places other than the ears
  • Exposed undergarments
  • Visible tattoos
  • Jogging bottoms / Tracksuits
  • Anything from "French Connection" as their "FCUK" logo is bound to cause offence.

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