The Fight Over Office Dress Code
Dress code for the office has been brought into the headlines recently with the discussion on Capital Hill's changes to the Senate's dress code. With many employees heading back to the office this season we are asking: What should the dress code be?
ARE OFFICE DRESS CODES A THING OF THE PAST?
"A blazer or hoodie? Slacks or jeans? Heels or tennis shoes? The conversation surrounding what constitutes appropriate attire in the workplace went up a notch recently when U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) led an attempt to relax the dress code on the chamber floor.
The unprecedented move meant the previous requirement of men having to wear suits and ties and women having to wear pantsuits or dresses was no longer in force. It opened the door for someone such as Sen. John Fetterman (D-Pa.) to fashion his preferred style of a hooded sweatshirt and gym shorts. But after a wave of publicity, the Senate on Wednesday passed a bipartisan resolution that reinstated the business attire dress code on the floor.
Regardless, traditional dress in the workplace has seemingly gone by the wayside in recent years. In April, the job search engine Adzuna published research that found “casual attire at work is on the rise while business wear is declining.” Learn more
CASUAL WORK ATTIRE IS THE NORM FOR U.S. WORKERS
"The vast majority of U.S. workers wear casual clothes on the job most days, with more than seven in 10 saying their typical workplace attire is business casual (41%) or more dressed-down, casual street clothes (31%). Another 23% of workers say they wear a uniform at work most days, while just 3% say wearing business professional clothes is their norm.
A slim majority of women, 51%, say they wear business casual clothing such as blouses, dress pants, dressy jeans or skirts most days, while 30% don casual street clothing such as casual jeans, T-shirts or leggings. Fewer women typically go to work in a uniform (14%) or business professional clothing such as suits or suit separates (3%). Men are more divided than women in their work wardrobe, with roughly one-third each saying they wear business casual attire like a shirt and slacks, casual street clothes, or a uniform. Just 3% of men report they regularly wear a suit to work." Learn more
DO CLOTHES MATTER TO OUR SUCCESS AT WORK?
"Do Clothes Matter To Our Success At Work? On a recent visit to EHL Hospitality Business School in Lausanne, one thing that stood out was how remarkably well dressed the students were. The school is one of few universities that has an actual dress code, with students required to dress as they would in a professional context.
"When entering any professional context, your appearance, attitude and behavior can play a key role in the way people perceive you," the code says. "Depending on the situation, how you interact with the world and how you present yourself can even give you a competitive advantage." It's easy to dismiss this as something rather superficial and only applicable to a hospitality sector that is often defined by images of luxury. Research from Temple University suggests the adage of dressing for success might apply rather more widely, however." Learn more