Does it matter what we wear to work?

For women, navigating corporate dress codes can be tricky. How fashionable do you want to be? If you wear a dress, will you be taken less seriously?

For women, navigating corporate dress codes can be tricky. How fashionable do you want to be? If you wear a dress, will you be taken less seriously? And maneuvering through a busy day in high heels is a whole other story!

While dress codes are slowly on the decline, in some industries more than others, how we present ourselves still identifies our values and beliefs to others.

Does presentation equal productivity?

While the way you dress won’t affect the quality of your work, there are still business standards that our society is governed by. Especially if you’re client-facing, what you wear can impact your customers’ opinion of you.

Imagine you had meetings with two different people. One was in a slogan t-shirt, ripped jeans and sneakers, while the other was in a button down, chinos and loafers. Who are you more likely to take seriously?

The way we dress affects the way we think, the way we feel, the way we act, and the way others react to us. – Judith Rasband

At work, you always want to send an image of professionalism. I believe the way our teams present themselves matters to the overall feel of our companies.

What’s in a dress code?

According to the Equal Opportunity Commission, dress codes should:

  • be applied equally to men and women
  • relate to the job and be a reasonable requirement
  • allow workers to follow their cultural or religious beliefs
  • be fair to people with disabilities.

The same as for everything in life, presentation matters. While your company may have a relaxed dress code or no dress code at all, think about the image you’re presenting to clients not only about yourself but about your organisation.

They don’t say “dress for success” for nothing!

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