According to a June, 2008 CareerBuilder.com survey of nearly 2800 U.S. companies, 35% of employers have sent home an "inappropriately dressed" worker. My guess is that the percentage is much higher of inappropriately dressed workers in general (that weren't sent home). In my small survey of 10 Atlanta companies, almost all are struggling with employees that have taken business casual to business catastrophe. In addition, many professional men and women don't understand the "rules" of business casual dress.
Here are my Top Three Tips for business casual dress:
RESPECT THE PAYCHECK! Remember where your paycheck comes from and respect the company and the employees by dressing "business" first, "casual" second.
KICK IT UP A NOTCH! As highlighted in a July 2010 article in Forbes.com, "in a world where jobs are few and far between, never has office attire been as important as it is now." Think about your choices when going to the office ~ retire the cotton t's, denim and flip flops, and opt for gabardine wool, rayon and dress blouses. Dress up one level from where you are now and become more productive and get noticed!
COMFORTABLE DOESN'T MEAN LAZY. As Nina Gleyzer, Russian fashion designer, with a boutique in Buckhead says, "People are less productive because of their laziness of clothes." You are more productive when you dress for work. That means do not wear to work any clothing that is meant for: gardening, athletics, the beach, the bars, vacation or golf.
Not every business or office is the same, and dress code policies vary across the board. When in doubt, look to exceed the standards of the company policy. Even if you are dressing in a business casual look, you want to convey credibility and authority. I am conducting several corporate seminars about Making the Connection Between Professional Presence, Corporate Identity and Personal Achievement. Contact me today for more information.