Does dress style mean attire, or is it specifically a style of dress worn by women?

For example: "What is the proper dress style for the interview?"

  • That would depend on the context. Can you provide more details? Jan 5, 2012 at 16:16
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    @Mitch: "dress style" not "style of dress"
    – TheOne
    Jan 5, 2012 at 16:24
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    Either way 'dress style' means the general style of what you wear; e.g. informal = jeans and t-shirt; 'business casual' means for guys nicer pants than jeans, collared shirt, no tie, for women the same or a reasonably nice outfit; business formal - coat and tie or business suit, etc. I'm not up on the particulars.
    – Mitch
    Jan 5, 2012 at 16:36
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    I believe the phrase you're looking for is "dress code", which is the category of clothing to be worn (by either men or women). For example, an interview dress code might be "formal", while the general employer dress code might be "business casual" or "casual". Jan 5, 2012 at 16:46
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    I imagine the recommended dress style / code for people going fox-hunting, for example, might well specifically exclude the wearing of actual dresses. I don't go in for such things (and I only wear dresses in the privacy of my own home with the curtains drawn! :) but I'd have thought women would be expected to wear jeans or similar when tramping/riding around the countryside. Jan 5, 2012 at 17:20

3 Answers 3


The confusion here arises from two meanings of the noun "dress".

1 : apparel, clothing 2 : an outer garment (as for a woman or girl) usually consisting of a one-piece bodice and skirt

In this particular use of the phrase "dress style", they are using the first definition -- a general purpose word for your choice of clothing.

"A dress" always refers to the women's item of clothing.

You are not being asked to wear a dress to the interview!

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    If used in phrases such as traditional African dress, dress is not referring to woman's clothing.
    – apaderno
    Jan 5, 2012 at 18:24


Dress codes are written and, more often, unwritten rules with regards to clothing. Clothing like other aspects of human physical appearance has a social significance, with different rules and expectations being valid depending on circumstance and occasion. Even within a single day an individual may need to navigate between two or more dress codes, at a minimum these are those that apply at their place of work and those at home, usually this ability is a result of cultural acclimatization.


It is rarely appropriate to dress down for an interview, regardless of company dress code policy. You should wear a suit to interviews. “Suit” means the works: a matching jacket and pants, dress shirt, tie, coordinating socks and dress shoes. A dark-colored suit with light colored shirt is your best option.

  • Your answer does not provide any connection to the OP's question related to dress style/attire. Please edit your answer to make it more relevant
    – user1993
    Mar 20, 2017 at 10:54

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