Formal Business Attire – Why Employers Insist for Job Interviews?


Dressing shows human attitude and behavior. It shows whether the person is capable of right conduct or not. Dressing should match the situation/occasion. For example we can’t wear jeans or skirts on our wedding; sandals in a temple. Similarly, we can’t wear the dress that doesn’t suit the business environment. Professional organizations expect their employees or prospective employees to wear business formals.

Dressing formally to an interview or to your job shows your boss, colleagues, clients or the interviewee that you have the minimum requirements and interest in working. If you don’t wear formal attire, you may be regarded as having no interest in working or someone who will become a problem employee. Your dressing should convey that you are out there to work, not to do modeling or be a movie star. It is important to look nice, but at the same time should not be trendy. The thing to remember is to be respectable, not cool. Remember, white collar jobs need gentlemen and ladies, not farm workers.

Though people know that they should present themselves in formal attire during interviews or at jobs, many of them today are not following it thinking that it is OK since many people are not doing that or because it is difficult to get the formal attire ready for the interview. Some people don’t even know what perfect formal business attire is.

Due to both expense and humid conditions, the Indian office formal wear has been already reduced from a suit to only light shirt and suit pants. The dress code covers the full attire including accessories like shoes, belt etc. Formal business dress should be paired with appropriate accessories – lesser the better.


Modesty is key
Dress appropriately for the workplace – revealing too much is unacceptable. Clothing that reveals too much cleavage, your back, chest, feet, stomach or your underwear is not appropriate. Avoid distracting dresses when you are at interview to let people evaluate you on professional attributes.

Business casual clothing:
Casual clothing is acceptable on certain days such as Fridays and Saturdays. However, if you are called for an interview on a Saturday, Sunday or any holiday, you still need to wear formal attire.

Business formal wear is totally different from

  • Casual wear – This is worn to show relaxed casual mindset. Worn for comfort and for getting dressed quickly. It could also be old office wear that is no longer fit for office. Jeans & T-shirts or Shirt (not tucked-in), non-suit pants, Baggy pants, cotton or synthetic salwar kameez (not expensive variety), cotton or chiffon sarees (regular inexpensive type)
  • Loafer / punk wear – Things worn by social outcasts. Rebellious anti-system mindset along with funny face and body accessories, long and different hair styles. Odd dyes that stand out and irritate normal people. The intention is to create revulsion in people who wear normal clothes.
  • Ethnic wear – Represents things worn in a specific way by people from certain regions – example: Patiala salwar kameez, Gujrati style sari, Malyalam type saree, Half saree, manipuri dress, Lehanga Choli, Gagra choli

  • Traditional wear – Represents dress worn at traditional events – for the authentic, sober look and feel to symbolize seriousness and conformity to rituals. Zari sarees, embroidered silk sarees(Benaras), expensive Punjabi dress with handcrafted work (salwar kameez) for women; Silk Kurta pyzama (embroidered) for men, Dhoti Kurta for men
  • Religious wear – Ayappa dress, saffron clothes (Hindu monks), white robes (Church Pastors), white dress at Hajj pilgrimage (Muslims)
  • Sleep wear – nightgowns, sleep tops for women. lungis for men. pajama pants and sleep sets (both men and women)
  • Party wear – Typically what is worn for wedding receptions. It is not regular wear but it is definitely not traditional wear either. Idea is to look smart but not traditional. Sports Jackets instead of Suit. Designer sarees instead of traditional silk sarees with modern jewelry.
  • Night club wear – Flashy clothes typically have printed designs many times with radium type print that shines in light. Mens shoes will typically not be ones worn with suit. Many night clubs don’t allow sneakers (sports shoes). Women have revealing dark colored clothes with high heel shoes.
  • Outdoor wear – Going for a picnic, hike, beach or long journey. The clothes and shoes are designed for comfort and practicality for long exposure to sun, cold or rain. Designed for best possible comfort in enduring situations. Practical mindset drives this dressing decisions. People choose Sneakers (sports shoes), sandals or chappals based on background and situation encountered.

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2 Responses to “Formal Business Attire – Why Employers Insist for Job Interviews?”

  1. Mohan

    Nice data.

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