Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, popularly known as Lady Gaga, is one of the most popular singers across the globe. Despite her outrageous outfits, she has made a fashion statement at every event. Tabloids and media houses have often quoted her style as ‘daring’ and ‘revolutionary’.

It’s no secret that clothes help define personalities. But did you know that it can also promote self-confidence and change people’s perception of you? Read on to explore how appropriate attire and proper dressing etiquette can make a big difference.

What Is Dressing Etiquette?

Before we explore the meaning of dressing etiquette in corporate settings, let’s understand what basic etiquette entails. Etiquette is always evolving with the demands of society. In a nutshell, it’s a complex network of unwritten rules that govern social interactions and behavior. When we learn to properly navigate social situations, we’re more likely to act in socially responsible ways.

Businesses are always on the lookout for individuals who can present themselves in a dignified manner, therefore highlighting the importance of dress code. Whether it’s interacting with clients or convincing customers, your professional dressing etiquette helps you create a powerful impression. A corporate dress code is a part of the professional etiquette that helps you look and feel professional.

Types Of Business Attire

At its simplest, business attire or corporate dress is the clothing you wear in professional settings. You can decide how to dress depending on the situation—job interview, client meeting or just a regular day at the office. Let’s take a closer look at different types of business attire and the situations they’re appropriate for: 

  1. Smart Casual

Many modern organizations don’t emphasize the need for a corporate dress code. However, you must remember to keep it work-appropriate. Smart casual attire is suitable for situations like business retreats and other informal gatherings. Blouses, skirts, jackets and sneakers are some of the common types of smart casual wear.

  1. Business Casual

Appropriate for interviews, client meetings and office settings, business casuals are one of the most versatile forms of business attire. It’s neither too casual nor too formal, making it an ideal option for times when you’re unsure about the setting. Button-down shirts, blazers, polos, loafers and khakis are some of the most common types of business casual attire.

  1. Business Formal

People from senior management are often expected to wear business formal wear. It’s also known as ‘boardroom attire’ and is the most professional type of corporate dress. Business formal is also suitable for highly formal settings such as conferences, events, dinners and ceremonies. You can pick from pantsuits, tuxedos, evening dresses and suits.

  1. Business Professional

Business professional attire is neat, conservative and traditional. You may wear business professional attire in industries that practice strict corporate dress codes—banking, law, finance and government. The clothes should be well-fitted, tidy and simple. You can pick from button-down shirts, suits, ties and dresses. Don’t over-accessorize and avoid bright or chaotic patterns.

Dress To Impress!

Dressing appropriately conveys your level of professionalism and dedication. The right kind of clothes and accessories have the power to make you feel confident. Here are a few effective tips to consider before you choose what to wear:

  • Pay close attention to how your managers, supervisors and colleagues dress to work; take inspiration from others and decide what to wear

  • Always check the ‘About Us’ page of organizations before appearing for an interview; you’ll get an idea of how employees typically dress and you can choose your attire accordingly

  • If you’re going to a business meeting, ask a coworker or manager about the appropriate attire and how you can appear respectful and professional

  • Accessorizing is an essential component of business attire. Pay attention to your footwear, belts, bags and jewelry and keep it minimal

  • Grooming is a vital step in looking professional. Make sure that you smell good and look presentable


Appropriate business attire may seem like a minuscule aspect of professional etiquette but even the smallest change counts! It helps define your personality, establish trust with others and makes you feel confident in your own skin.

Work on personality development with Harappa Education’s Building Presence course. The TEA (Trust, Emotional Intelligence and Authenticity) Skills Framework will teach you how to foster empathy, connect better with others and be the best version of yourself. You’ll not only dress better but also build a personal brand that commands attention. Mesmerize your audience and leave a lasting impression!

Explore topics such as Personality DevelopmentProfessional EthicsSelf-DevelopmentImpression Management First Impression is the Last Impression on the Harappa blog for effective tips, instrumental to workplace success.

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