Should You Modify Your Dress Code?

July 15, 2016 Abby

Jeans or dress slacks, button-ups or polos, pantyhose or barelegs: an organization’s dress-code says a lot about their company culture.  In another life, I worked for an organization whose dress code puzzles many.  As a fresh college graduate in my first “big girl” job, I was wearing pantsuits and pantyhose every single day.  My wardrobe reflected the overall mojo of the company: very professional. Man_in_a_Suit.jpg

Even though I didn’t love that my closet was suddenly overtaken by blazers and pencil skirts, I understood and respected the policies of the business.  Dress codes help companies maintain a neat and clean appearance to their clients and customers which is obviously a great thing.  But, does your policy need to be amended to help attract more young talent and retain your top people

What’s Your Company’s Vibe?

If your management team encourages flexible policies like work-from-home opportunities and flex scheduling, then you may want your dress code to match the easy going mojo you’ve got going.  If you work in a law firm or insurance company, your policies may be a little less easy breezy so it may not be appropriate for employees to be wearing jeans and a polo.  But casual paydays may be a good compromise for more buttoned-up companies.  Always consider the company culture and history of your organization when readdressing your existing policies. Want to begin to subtly change the office mojo? Relaxing the dress code is an excellent place to start!

Are All Your Employees Customer-Facing?

If your business isn’t driven by client meetings and face-to-face sales calls, it may not be entirely necessary for every single employee to be wearing their Sunday best.  An alternative to a strictly business professional dress code is to encourage business casual attire unless an employee expects to meet with clients that day. 

Do Your Employees Look Approachable?

When updating your policies, consider how you want members of your business to appear to other professionals in the area.  Do they seem approachable at trade shows and networking events? Someone looking for a reputable financial consultant may appreciate seeing a suit and tie, while someone looking to purchase a lawn mower may not need to see their sales consultant dressed to the nines. 

Has your company adopted a more flexible dress code?  Tell us about it in the comments below!

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