In today’s workplace, many employers have abandoned strict dress code policies, providing employees with more flexibility to dress casually.
In fact, 59 percent of American workers described their current employer’s policy as “business casual” or “casual,” according to a recent study from Randstad US. Although a more relaxed dress code gives you the creative freedom to express yourself, not everything may be appropriate for a work setting.
Here is the fashion 411 on workplace attire today.
• Understand your company’s dress policy. If you’re unclear of your employer’s dress code policy, just ask your manager or HR. Thirty-eight percent of 25 to 35-year-olds say they’ve been asked to dress more professionally by their manager or HR, and 45 percent say they know someone who has been sent home from work for breaking dress code policies. Unclear policies may be the culprit, and no outfit is worth the risk — or embarrassment — of being sent home. Another tip is to simply take note of what people around you are wearing, especially those in senior-level positions. As the saying goes, dress for the job you want, not the job you have!
• Dress for comfort and performance. Don’t be afraid to embrace your personal style, as long as it stays within your company’s guidelines. Sixty-three percent of younger workers (aged 18 to 35) say they actually prefer dressing up for work, as it boosts their confidence and performance. The definition of “dressing up” can vary from person to person, ranging from casual to conservative, depending on one’s taste.
• Don’t break the bank. Fifty-five percent of managers agree they care more about performance than what their employees wear, so don’t feel pressured to break the bank in order to keep up with the workplace Joneses. Your expertise is more valuable than any sparkly set of cufflinks or a pair of heels will ever be. However, you can look great for less with a few smart strategies. Visit the Randstad US career resources portal for workplace fashion tips to “casually” rip the (office) runway at randstadusa.com/jobs/career-resources/personal-brand.
• Leave the weekend wardrobe at home. According to many U.S. employees, some things are still considered a bit too casual for the office. In fact, the survey found that the majority of Americans think ripped jeans and leggings are not appropriate, even in a casual office environment. Therefore, if you show up to work in ripped jeans, there’s a good chance (statistically speaking) that you won’t be making a great impression. The same goes for leggings — sorry athleisure lovers!
For more tips on how you can make a good impression at work, visit www.randstadusa.com.
“It’s great to show your personality and wear what you feel most confident in, though it’s always a best practice to be mindful of today’s cultural norms and what most people — according to our survey — feel is appropriate for the workplace,” says Traci Fiatte, CEO of non-technical staffing, Randstad US. “You want to be evaluated on your performance and what value you bring to your company, not just on your clothes.”