What To Wear To a Job Orientation - NewBalancejobs
Career Advice

What To Wear To a Job Orientation

Getting a new job is an exciting milestone, but it also comes with the responsibility of making a great first impression from day one. Your job orientation is likely the first time you’ll meet your new colleagues and supervisors in person, so it is crucial to dress appropriately for the occasion.

What you wear speaks volumes about your professionalism and attitude toward the role before you’ve even started.

Why Your Orientation Outfit Is Important

While an orientation isn’t as formal as a job interview, how you present yourself physically still matters greatly. Showing up in ill-fitting sweats or wrinkled clothing can make you appear disinterested or unprepared for the workplace. Dressing professionally demonstrates respect for the company and your new role.

It also allows you to put your best foot forward with potential coworkers and managers who may form early opinions based on your appearance. Additionally, choosing an outfit that makes you feel confident can help settle any new job jitters and ensure you can focus fully on absorbing all the information.

Understanding the Company Culture

The first step in selecting an appropriate orientation outfit is to gain insight into the workplace culture and environment. Some offices have a strict formal dress code, while others permit much more casual attire. Luckily, there are usually clues that can tip you off. The vibe during your interview process and the formality level of the interviewer’s clothing offer hints about expectations. You can also review the company website and social media to get a sense of the atmosphere. As a general rule, it’s better to be on the side of being overdressed initially until you can better gauge the norm.

Dress Codes Explained

Here is a breakdown of the dress codes you should consider when choosing what to wear to an interview:

Business Professional

The most common office dress code is business professional. This requires a suit and tie for men and a suit, skirt/dress, or pantsuit for women. The suit colors should be understated—think navy, black, dark gray, or brown. Shirts and blouses ought to be simple and well-tailored. Accessories like belts, socks, and hosiery should be likewise low-key. This code is common in corporate environments such as law, finance, and some medical settings. Wearing professional business attire to an orientation in this type of workplace shows you understand and respect the expectations.

Business Casual

As its name implies, business casual aims to blend a professional appearance with relaxed elements. It is a popular code for many modern offices. You can wear slacks or khakis with a buttoned shirt, polo, or sweater. Women also have the option of knee-length dresses or skirts. Avoid shorts, t-shirts, or athletic wear. The footwear can be dressier flats or loafers rather than heels or boots. This allows for a practical yet polished outfit. Many startups and tech firms opt for business casual.


Some workplaces with an ultra laid-back culture may have a casual dress code where jeans, shorts, t-shirts, and athletic wear are permitted. However, it is still a good idea to lean towards the dressier end of casual for an orientation if possible. You can always dress down more with time once you understand the norms. For example, nice dark jeans with a button-down or polo shirt can split the difference.

Industry-Specific Attire

Certain work environments require specialty attire, such as scrubs for medical settings or steel-toed boots and protective gear for industrial job sites. If that is the case for your new role, it also makes sense to adhere to those standards for your orientation day.

Do’s and Don’ts of Job Orientation Attire

Here are the do’s and don’ts to prepare to your job orientation you should take note of:


No matter which type of office dress code you’re adhering to, there are some universal do’s to follow:

  • Wear freshly laundered and pressed clothes with no wrinkles, stains, or odors
  • Stick to conservative colors like white, black, gray, navy, khaki and brown
  • Choose garments that fit you properly – not too loose or tight
  • Make sure you have comfortable shoes on that are presentable and appropriate for walking
  • Opt for minimal, professional accessories and grooming


These common attire pitfalls can negatively impact the impression you make:

  • Overdressing in overly formal or cocktail attire
  • Wearing anything too revealing or skimpy, like crop tops or ultra-short skirts/shorts
  • Going overpowering with cologne, perfume, or other fragrances
  • Choosing footwear like flip-flops, athletic sneakers, or distressed shoes
  • Dressing too casually in graphic tees, ripped jeans, workout clothes, etc.


Making an effort with your outfit for a job orientation sets the right tone. It visually communicates your enthusiasm for the role and ability to meet professional standards. While you don’t need to go over the top, aim to look neat, polished, and appropriate for the context as the first impression at job interview is the most important.

Read the cues about the workplace environment and choose accordingly. With some planning, you can feel confident that your outfit supports making those all-important positive first impressions.