Sport Jacket Styling
Semi-formal workplaces have more tolerance for inserting personal styling but be careful to keep the outcome professional.
This version of the semi-formal code shirts from full suit to ‘sport jacket’ look of contrasting jackets. His black jacket is powerful yet we also notice the contrasting tan slacks and black shoes. Leaving her jacket open helps move the eye to the face yet the red jacket catches our eye first.
A quality fit and a full-cut suit avoids calling attention to the body.
Shoes that relate to a pant or skirt color reduce competition with the face.
Wearing the professional shirt and tie minus a jacket or vest is acceptable in some semi-formal workplaces. Be careful that shirt and pant fit neither too tight or too loose. The belt should match shoes. For more personal style, the shirt can be other colors. Since this is the lowest level of formality within semi-formal contexts, we recommend you ask supervisors before removing the jacket and/or vest layers.
Shirt and Tie Styling
This vested style is one step down in formality from wearing a full suit style. This look can credibility in a semi-formal workplace. The left image shows a good fit in a slim-cut style that was managed by selecting one size up. The colored shirt and contrasting tie contribute to a polished version of styling with vests. The right image shows how visual distractions lower credibility. Notice the obvious wrinkles on the sleeves, a tie that does not contrast with the tan shirt, and very snug pant legs ending awkwardly above the shoe.
Varying Arm Exposure
As you become more familiar in the workplace, express more personal taste with styles that convey a similar level of credibility. Dark colors with high contrast near the face communicate the most powerful version. Styles that cover the arms, or at least the shoulders, and keep neckline modest support credibility and show respect for the workplace.
Menswear does not allow short sleeves so this is one gender difference. Perhaps less arm exposure is more credible for women as well?
Quality fit avoids calling attention to the body. Shoes that relate to overall garment color help keep focus on the face. Open toed shoes are usually inappropriate so clarify in advance of wearing them.