Why you might want to dress more casual for work
We live in a modern world where our workplaces are gradually evolving to a more casual attire. Our new generation of employees, the generation Z, expect to work in a company that isn’t too stiff. But is that what the company wants? The modern professional dress code might look a lot different now compared to how it used to be.
Let's go back in the days. Every employee was buttoned-up and wearing a grey flannel suit. That was the normal way to get dressed for work. People wanted to show others they worked in a high-standard company. Some might say it was because of the tougher economics. If we look at today’s dress code, we seem to dress more casually, have a better economic situation, and live in an employee-driven market.
Office dress codes are getting more and more relaxed. You even might think: dressing up for work is getting out of style. But why would your (future) employer be okay with that? That’s because companies have to become more creative when it comes to attracting new people. Allowing employees to dress less formally will be seen as an asset. Also, they will allow you to dress casually as it can help you to be more creative in your job. But is that what you want, to dress casually? If your employer allows you to come to work in casual attire and you feel more comfortable wearing such clothes, you can wear those. On the other hand, some might say they prefer dressing up for work as it boosts their confidence and performance. If you find yourself under this category, that’s also perfectly fine.
What about sales meetings?
Another reason why suits are getting old-fashioned is that it can create, for some people, a barrier between them and the client. That is why employees should exercise good judgment. They have to know that being dressed casually can be appropriate, but not in every situation. If you have a client-facing role, you might not want to dress too informal. However, if you are meeting a client whom you know to be wearing a jeans and T-shirt, you’ve got to modify your business attire so it suits the client. Therefore, productivity will increase because you will be able to close deals and be a lot more in tune with your client. If you do go in with a suit and they wear something casual, there will be an imbalance. It’s not equal and in this case, it will be harder to win that client.
You might want to loosen your tie during job applications.
First of all, you must do your research. You have to seek for information which indicates what type of company culture the company has and what type of employees. In small or medium businesses, it can occur that the dress code reflects on the owner of the company. However today, many companies allow casual attire. Why? It encourages employees to be more unique and individualistic and that’s what our new generation wants. But of course, first impressions matter. You won’t be judged by your skills, expertise, and personality solely, your clothes will also play a huge role. Going to an interview all dressed up in a suit is definitely not necessary in every company. But you have to keep in mind that there is a thin line between casual but professional and too casual. In that case, you can better dress up to avoid a perfect storm.
Try to find out which dress code prevails at the company.
Why dress codes after all?
Your clothing can also create equality between co-workers. If everyone’s wearing similar clothing, it makes it easier for employers to focus on people’s skills and ideas, rather than what everyone is wearing.
Companies still sometimes set these codes to make it clear to everyone that “this” is what they expect of their employees. It could make employees feel more confident when they know there is a dress code.
When you work with people from different backgrounds, you’re going to have varying opinions on what is and isn’t appropriate. Companies outline these rules so employees can spend less time worrying about what other people are wearing and more time actually working.
The conclusion is that the dress code depends on the nature of the job. You can dress casually as required by the situation but if you are representing your company somewhere or to someone else, then it is still important to be presentable. Today it is important to try to figure out the dress code at a company when applying for a job or having a meeting with that company. If your employer allows you to choose, wear something comfortable but professional and wear clothes that reflect who you are. You must dress smartly!