When to Dress Up

Knowing what to wear is half the battle in today’s nitpicking world. A good suit can help you out in almost any situation, but you wouldn’t wear it to the pool now would you? Here are my top spots and how to dress for the occasion.

Formal – Two or Three Piece Suit, Black Tie, or Summer Suit

  • Dress up for an interview, you want to look your absolute best to impress your would-be employer.
  • Weddings are almost universally formal occasions, even beach weddings.
  • Only kids get away with a polo shirt and chinos at a funeral. Stick to navy blue or dark grey to suit the dour mood.
  • If you’re meeting clients its proper to dress the part, wear a suit.
  • If you work on Wall Street, in high finance, or law, a suit is almost mandatory.

Business Casual – Polo shirts and chinos, Button-down and slacks or jeans

  • Most Offices today are business casual, a polo shirt and khakis is the working staple, though don’t be afraid to dress it up with a button-down and slacks.
  • Grabbing a drink with your coworkers at happy hour is a business casual occasion, undo your top shirt button and loosen your tie. It will give you a down to earth look that your coworkers will like.
  • Invited to a BBQ? Nice shorts and a dress shirt are always a good go to. Stick to linen or a thick weave cotton for a less formal look.

Informal – T-shirt, shorts, flip flops

  • A beach party is your cue to dress down. A nice graphic tee and a bold colored bathing suit will do wonders.
  • Family birthdays and other events are usually informal, though it depends where you go and what the event is. Easter? Formal. Family Reunion at the park? Informal. BBQ at your boss’s house? Business Casual.
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