G.I. Jobs Virtual Job Fair   |   May 23

Virtual Job Fair   |   May 23

Reporting For Employment: Post-Military and Dressing The Part

a man dressed in business casual with sunglasses on

Depending on how long you have served in the military, quite a few things may have changed in the civilian world. One of the biggest challenges for active duty personnel is adjusting to employment outside of a military environment. Going from wearing the same issued uniform every day to the sales racks can be nerve-wracking. There are also different sets of standards depending upon the type of employment.

woman with sunglasses and a collared shirt on

Different Types of Attire for the Workplace

For example, working in retail most likely requires completely different attire than administrative work inside an office building. However, both positions can easily call for what’s commonly referred to as business casual. Business casual doesn’t have to be stressful. There are several ways to gauge the current trends without sustaining headaches or taking a shot in the dark.

One of the easiest ways to check out the latest in business casual by region is to take a stroll through a business district. Rural areas will differ from urban areas in fashion and style, but most concepts can be found universally.

Another way to scout out ideas for a business casual dress is to look online. Several outlets and social media platforms offer a plethora of ideas on how to piece together business casual looks for any job. Nice jeans can even be paired with a button up and blazer to create a more trendy business casual look. For women, slacks and button-ups aren’t the standards for civilian employment. There are several fashion trends that feature colorful dresses and skirts for business casual attire.

a man with an arm tattoo and a watch on

Tattoos in the Workplace

While tattoos are almost a staple among the military community, it’s a good idea to look into a policy set forth by prospective employers. This will also contribute to the type of business casual wear that will be acceptable. Tattoos could very well limit veterans on the type of acceptable clothing if the policy states that tattoos aren’t allowed to be visible on the job.

There are several factors to take into consideration while shopping for business casual looks. However, for as many possible combinations of outfits that exist, there are also careful considerations that should be taken. For example, personal hygiene and grooming are absolutely necessary. It’s safest to keep it neutral and clean-cut until expectations are clear.

a man and woman walking in business formal attire

What to Avoid

With that in mind, there are also a few things to avoid:

  • Clothing with stains
  • Dirty shoes
  • Flip Flops
  • Graphic Tees
  • Ripped Jeans
  • Short skirts/Dresses
  • Clothing that is too revealing in general
  • Ill-fitting clothes

Veterans receive a crash course in job searching upon their exit from the military, but not dressing for the job. The daunting task of presenting oneself for job interviews can be kept as painless as possible. Focus more on self-confidence and presenting a professional demeanor. Coupled with the knowledge on where to find ideas for business casual dress, the job market will be too easy for you to navigate.


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