Midwest Law Firms

27 04 2008

Law firms in the Midwest tend to be on the more formal end of the spectrum. Most offices have business casual dress codes but there are still a few that are business formal. Check before you go.

Business Formal

If the firm has a business formal dress code, you should have four or five suits on hand that you can rotate during the work week. Having eight to ten shirts and ties should give your wardrobe plenty of variation. Be sure to dry clean often. Once you have been at the firm for a longer period of time, you can start expanding your closet.

Business Casual

Firms that have business casual dress codes tend to err on the formal side.

For the Gentlemen. Men generally wear slacks and button down collared shirts (without a jacket and tie). Khakis and polo shirts are less common and are usually only worn when the firm has some version of “casual Fridays.”

I recommend sticking with dark colored slacks (black, brown, navy and gray) and button down shirts or conservative sweaters, especially for younger associates in firms with older, more traditional attorneys. Stick with oxford shoes or other nice leather work shoes.

For the Ladies. Women have a broader range of clothing options but should still stick to a more formal wardrobe. The safest thing to wear is a sweater or button-down shirt paired with nice slacks or a conservative skirt. As far as shoes go, stick with closed toed heels or modest peep-toes. Keep accessories minimal and conservative.

Some offices are slightly more casual, in which case you can get away with short-sleeve blouses, open-toed heels and flats. In these offices, you can also get a little more creative with accessories.

Clothes almost always considered too casual in a Midwest law firm include khakis, Capri pants (even nice ones), and sandals.

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