What to wear depending on your workplace environment


business people on an isolated white background

So you managed to secure your first placement! Yay! And you have also managed to find a flat that is only fifteen minutes away from your new office job! Double yay! You have noted your start date in your diary, your placement agreement is signed and you have already met your flatmates and they are amazing. Everything is going as planned, or even better than planned and then you realise that you have nothing to wear on your first day. And that is when your world collapses. It doesn’t really, but let’s just be dramatic for a short moment. As per usual, you don’t need to worry, we are here! Keep on reading and we will solve your outfit dilemmas. You can also check out the links to find each clothing item in affordable student prices.

Before you start ragging your mum’s/dad’s/friend’s wardrobe, shopping online or panicking these are the steps you must take. If the following fails – which I doubt – feel free to panic.

The most important thing is understanding the workplace you will be in. This is a very difficult thing to know beforehand, especially if you have not visited the offices for a face to face interview. However, your point of contact in the company will be happy to help you with your questions. You can drop them an email two weeks before starting and ask them for some extra details on the company’s dress code. As soon as they reply, you are all set to go. We have found that the vast majority of dress codes in companies can be separated in the following three categories.


You may think that companies with formal dress codes are the most boring ones but they are your safest bet. Because your options are limited, you will never have to think of what you have to wear in the morning. Formal dress code means you need to buy yourself an iron. White collar shirts will be your new statement piece and anyone who sees you on your lunch break will know you have landed a posh office job. You can always show off your amazing personality with accessories and a great smile!

Men Women
A blazer: https://goo.gl/mTv91p A blazer: https://goo.gl/GLqn4r
A pair of suit trousers: https://goo.gl/qtFoMi A pair of formal trousers: https://goo.gl/HUD2At or a dress: https://goo.gl/0cXrIx
A white dress shirt: https://goo.gl/yYzRpQ White Collar Shirt: https://goo.gl/96GBYN
A tie: https://goo.gl/12MpjW Basic pair of tights: https://goo.gl/hA1qOu
A belt: https://goo.gl/R9ZnXZ Shoes: https://goo.gl/ECh1O3
Black oxfords or derbys: https://goo.gl/34Qv9P Lipstick choice: https://goo.gl/jNLwg0

Business Casual

From our experience this is the most common dress code in the companies that offer placements to students. Business casual means that you are allowed to wear a variety of outfits and you can personalize them, as long as you don’t forget that you are in an office environment. That means that the pair of ripped jeans with you wore to that festival last year, will miss you during the week; but you can still rock them during the weekend.

Men Women
Casual Blazer (optional): https://goo.gl/KqC6pV A trench coat: https://goo.gl/gQxvkl
A checked shirt: https://goo.gl/pilbjt A Lace Shirt: https://goo.gl/dIBZBI
A pair of casual trousers: https://goo.gl/1LPTlK A skirt: https://goo.gl/GGsH5O
A brown belt: https://goo.gl/ADmGV2 Earrings: https://goo.gl/ZvzdjI
Shoes:  https://goo.gl/iXfRde Black Oxfords: https://goo.gl/SFEjZH


If you work in a company with a casual dress code then you are probably the luckiest amongst all of us because you probably won’t have to change much in your wardrobe. However, you must always keep in mind that you are in a business environment so do not be provocative or over the top. Your Metallica tops or darkest lipstick colour should be kept for special occasions.

Men Women
Bomber Jacket: https://goo.gl/bV9POH Long Cardigan: https://goo.gl/738d5k
T-shirt: https://goo.gl/2SQIVR Basic T-shirt: https://goo.gl/hboimw
Black Jeans: https://goo.gl/ghc7zy Jeans: https://goo.gl/qQMfPe
Black Beanie: https://goo.gl/WbdEaV Scarf: https://goo.gl/CAXCSH
Black trainers: https://goo.gl/Is0dCg Trainers: https://goo.gl/3U9aFz

The bottom line is that no matter where you work there are a few rules you must always follow. You do not need to spend a fortune to look professional. Always make sure your clothes are clean, neat and not over the top. It is your attitude that will define what your colleagues think of you and not your outfit. And as Karl Lagerfeld said: ‘Never use the word “cheap”. Today everybody can look chic in inexpensive clothes (the rich buy them too). There is good clothing design on every level today. You can be the chicest thing in the world in a T-shirt and jeans — it’s up to you.’