27th April, 2012 - Posted by admin - Comments Off
The days where members of staff were expected to dress up to the nines are quickly fading.
So says a new study commissioned by well-known clothes retailer TK Maxx and Cancer Research UK, which has found that a smart dress code has been thrown out by many workplaces.
Amber Jane Butchart, a fashion commentator and trend forecaster, pointed out that the research shows that four per cent of office workers in the UK do not own a smart shirt.
Another finding was that a quarter of women have now opted to never step outside of their home while wearing a formal dress.
Ms Butchart commented: “My work in this area shows that despite women making significant headway in the workplace, masculine-styled clothing such as a tailored blazer is often worn to work as a visual way of exerting authority.”
With the workplace dress code going through this significant shift then, just how are men and women expected to dress today?
Here are just a few tips to answer this tricky question:
Always avoid dirty clothing
I hear the argument right now – your commute to work coincided with one of the heaviest rain showers in recent times so there was no option but to turn up to the office with mud-splattered shoes and scruffy trouser legs.
At times, these instances cannot be avoided but there is no excuse coming to work the next day with the same marks and dirt.
Just take five minutes once you arrive back home to give that pair of shoes a quick polish and put those scruffy trousers in the wash.
That way, you can arrive into an office the next day looking smart and appealing once more, instead of with a tatty and unkempt style.
Have a wardrobe of choices
It is all well and good having a work outfit which will catch the eye of every employee and customer.
However, if you go about wearing these same items of clothing each and every day, the appeal will soon fade and be replaced with a negative vibe.
The clothing does not always need to be at the top of the fashion scale – just make sure each piece of the outfit matches up and is workplace appropriate.
Do not go overboard with accessories
There is nothing wrong with a man wearing a shiny watch to work or a woman turning up to her desk wearing a beautiful necklace.
Accessories can help to add those final touches to an inspiring outfit, but there is a line which people will not want to cross.
If you bling yourself up too much, the appealing look will disappear and a tacky appearance will unfortunately take its place.
Just keep it simple. Wear only a watch or a bracelet on one arm and keep the other bare, while one accessory around the neck usually looks a lot better than a collection of colourful items.
Tips for employers
Of course, an appropriate outfit for a workplace can only be achieved if the dress rules are made clear – this is where employers come in.
Set out the dress plan clearly
Every workplace will have a different dress code in place – some offices will allow members of staff to dress as they please while a more formal approach will be the standard of other companies.
To avoid employees becoming confused about the clothing yardstick that they should be aspiring to, employers should make this clear and simple to understand.
Perhaps send an email that details what clothing is required and which items are frowned upon, or have an illustration of the perfect dress code on display for every employee to see.
Promote creative dress days
It can prove uncomfortable sitting in a bar at the end of a busy working week while still wearing a shirt, trousers and smart shoes.
Therefore, employers will likely see the motivation and atmosphere inside an office space go through the roof if they relax a dress code on one Friday each month or on a weekly basis.
Turn this into even more of an advantage and ask employees to pay a pound or two to charity for dressing down – that way good causes are benefitting as much as the members of staff looking for a relaxing start to their weekend.