What to wear at work: cracking office dress codes

what to wear at work business formal look

*this is not a sponsored post
I am not a big fan of posts starting with "how to dress for..." or "what to wear to...". For me they seem rather disrespectful as if my readers are not smart enough to figure out themselves what to wear for a walk in the park or how to dress for a cocktail party. However, there is one area where one can indeed feel uncertain or confused about "what to" and "how to". I am talking about dressing at work. No one wants to provoke perplexity of one's colleagues or displease one's boss with inappropriate look. Everybody wants to look smart, fashionable and in accordance with environment - not underdressed or overdressed. And the line between "under", "over" and "appropriate" can be a very thin line indeed. Sometimes you are confused for yourself and sometimes it is your other half that is at a loss and asks you for help (happened with me many times). Browsing the net in search of the suitable "how to" and "what to" can be really time consuming...Besides, there are many incompetent advice-givers outthere nowadays, whose advice can I trust? So, no wonder when T.M.Lewin  sent me their guidelines to work dressing I agreed to write a post featuring their graphic.

T.M. Lewin is the UK brand that is known for inventing the "coat-shirts" - shirts that have buttons down the front - and specializing in business wear since 1898. So,when it comes to work dressing one can easily trust advice from such a company I believe.

What to wear at work guidelines

As you can see the graphic features different types of office environment and offers dressing guidelines for all of them, starting from business formal and ending with creative. It will be very helpful in situations when you are uncertain or confused about the right way of dressing, be it a job interview or a new working place. Personally I have to dress "business formal" very rarely, and in such rare cases I may feel a bit doubtful about my choice of an outfit. So, such handy guidelines will be most welcome at such moments. But lucky me, have always worked at places that allowed more casual or creative style dressing.

what to wear at work business formal look
what to wear at work small business casual look

what to wear at work creative look
Follow guidelines but don't let clothes to hide your personality, there should always be something in your look that reflects the real you.

Linking up with Visible Monday
Have a nice day!


  1. Such an interesting and different post!!! Love your 3 different looks!!! Smart and yet different, fun and creative. I sometimes feel at a loss on how to dress for interviews as different places expect different things. A few times I assumed black little dress was appropriate for any interview but one place said it was too dark and dull and a bit more casual and fun would have been nicer. So those guidelines you mentioned are perfect!!! Thanks for sharing!!!

  2. We have a black/white corporate dress code for my office.

    Black jacket, white shirt/blouse and black skirts (trousers in the winter)

    The top look would be ideal!

  3. I love both of your skirts! Fabulous. The last outfit is stunning, I love the print mixing and the shoes!

  4. Years ago when i worked in an office we had a corporate uniform and at the time I loved it as it enabled me to dress in the morning without worrying about what to wear.
    Now working from home I dress in bright colours everyday and enjoy the process of putting my outfit together.
    One of the funniest things I saw was meeting a friend for lunch and watching everyone streaming out the doors wearing black and then my friend appeared in a cream trouser suit.
    Lynn xx

  5. You look absolutely stunning!

  6. Great post (I don't go to work anymore but I am still interested in what's happening : > ) And you look gorgeous as ever. xo


  7. Lovely looks Olga! Great advice for the office.

    My "work" is teaching dance; I'm fortunate in many ways because not only do I LOVE my job, get paid for what I love to do and keep fit and healthy--in addition, I get to wear stylish outfits from casual (in class) to party dresses when we have special dances or I take my ballroom students to a formal dance.



  8. Great tips! I especially love your second look with the pencil skirt! It really looks fabulous on you! :)

  9. You look very smart, Olga! The polka dots outfit is my favorite. :)
    When I had an office job, our dress code was rather free - a museum, a newspaper/publishing house, or my own two businesses. I used to love formal wear though and still find it elegant, even though I don't wear it often nowadays.

  10. fab!
    love both skirt outfits!! and your pink bag!
    and i love what you said about this "how to wear...." titles :-)
    thankfully i´d never had a job with a dress code - happy artists life ;-)