Work clothes – Startup dress code

Work clothes for a smart casual lookThis will be a second article intending to help you secure that dream startup job you have. Or maybe to simply keep it. We really think there is a need to discuss about the work clothes you use when working in a startup.

Many of us know that in tech companies there are very few rules regarding a mandatory dress code. There is usually no obligation to wear a suit as your work clothes like it is required in a bank for example. Nevertheless, there is a dress code to follow even if it’s not that strict.

A first general rule, when going for an interview at a startup try to dress smart casual. Grab a pair of chinos and a shirt. Not necessarily a white shirt, but definitely not the one you wear when going to a Guns’n’Roses concert. Regarding the shoes, you really have a lot of options here. You can wear sneakers, shoes, boots or whatever else you have/like. You want to show that you have some taste, you do take care of yourself and you are not a hobo. Some nice work clothes will bring a lot of benefits to you. They say that the clothes don’t make the man. Yeah, that’s true. But again, you want to receive some trust from the people interviewing you. And the first thing they will observe is your exterior image, the clothes you wear.

What you should never (and I can’t stress this enough, never!!) are flipflops (or sandals for a man). If you want to ask why, refrain yourself. Just take my word on it and never wear them when going to an interview (not just for a startup job, but for any job). Along with these, try to not wear shorts also. These clothes you can wear for a job interview on the beach or something like that. If it’s not a beach job, do your best and wear some nice clothes.

T-shirts are also an option, instead of the shirt. But you must be careful what kind of t-shirt you wear. Remember, you want to have a smart casual look. Go with some uni-color t-shirts. Regarding the pants, you can wear jeans too. Just try to wear some normal jeans, not the ones you usually wear when going to a rock concert.

Another very important aspect regarding the first impression you make are your looks. Try not only to have some smart casual work clothes, but try to also groom yourself. And I am talking to the men here. It’s not mandatory to shave, but try not to look like you come right from the middle of nowhere and your beard and hair have not been washed for months. A well groomed beard, a nice haircut along with the appropriate clothing will do miracles.

After getting the desired startup job, try to maintain a somewhat decent dress code at the office. Try to have a few options for your work clothes: different shirts, different pants, different shoes. Buying at least 2-3 of each will mean that you can switch them up and create a few appropriate outfits.

These general tips can be applied to the ones of you working from home too. I know there is in increasing number of people working from home. But that doesn’t mean that you should always stay only in your sleepwear. Try to also wear work clothes even when working from home. Not only because you have meetings online, but also because it will make you feel better. Wearing nice clothes, always makes you feel better.