Business Traditional Attire

A business traditional dress code enhances your professional image and personal brand in the workplace. This page provides style guidelines for on-campus activities where this dress code is required. The gallery and descriptions on this page help define “business traditional.”

The Look

Clothing should be crisp, neat, pressed and never wrinkled, to project a professional, business-like image. Torn, dirty or frayed clothing is unacceptable.


The standard dress code in a business environment is a cross between business casual and business formal. While business traditional attire is appropriate in many corporate environments, it is not acceptable in formal business settings where employers may be present, or for interviews.

For Men

Business traditional attire for men may include a non-matching suit (dress pant with sport jacket), a matching suit (dress pant and jacket) with no-tie option, or simply a dress pant, collared dress shirt and tie combination. There is more leniency in business traditional attire and brighter colours and/or patterned dress shirts are acceptable.

For Women

A dress pant, skirt, or dress with a non-matching jacket is recommended business traditional attire for women. Depending on the season, jackets may be ¾ length or short sleeve. A crop pant suit (matching or not) is also suitable; however the pant hem should hit mid-calf.

Skirts and dresses should always sit at or just above the knee. A collared blouse or dress-material top is recommended, and should either be tucked in or fall just below your waistline. Tops should never hang below the hem of your suit jacket, or be too short that they show your stomach. Always be cautious that dress shirts are not too revealing in any business setting. Pantyhose are not required, however during the fall and winter seasons darker pantyhose or tights are recommended when wearing skirts.


Depending on the colour or tone of your outfit, a black or brown belt should be worn. Coloured or white belts are not recommended. Never wear white socks with business attire. Dress socks should always be worn, preferably in a tone matching your pants and shoes. When in doubt, wear black dress socks. If desired, simple and tasteful jewellery is appropriate; chunky and or bright accessories are not recommended. See the gallery below for examples. Click on the images for a larger version.


Shoes, boots, flats, open-toed and closed-toed shoes in a leather or dress material are appropriate and should be clean and polished.

Jewellery, Makeup, Perfume, and Cologne

These should be in good taste, with limited visible body piercing. Makeup should be used minimally to represent a natural look. Remember, some colleagues are allergic to the chemicals in perfumes and makeup, so wear these substances with restraint.

Religion and Health Accommodations

Should a bona fide religious practice, belief or legitimate health need conflict with the dress code, reasonable accommodations will be made.

Source: Human Resources: A Formal, Professional Dress Code