June 19th, 2018

Casual attire preferred, but clothing uncertainty exists

By Medicine Hat News on August 30, 2017.


Casual dress codes may cause clothing confusion for many professionals, new research from staffing firm OfficeTeam shows. Although 63 per cent of Canadian workers surveyed said they prefer to wear more relaxed work attire, more than a quarter (28 per cent) admitted they’re at least sometimes unsure about whether clothing is office-appropriate. Nearly four in 10 (39 per cent) would choose to eliminate uncertainty altogether by donning a uniform.

Workers were asked, “Which office dress code do you prefer?” Their responses:

Very formal (suit and tie) 7%

Somewhat formal (dress slacks or skirtwith button-down shirt) 30%

Somewhat casual (khakis and polo shirt or sweater) 36%

Very casual (jeans and T-shirt) 27%

Additional findings:

— Those ages 18 to 34 (45 per cent) have the greatest preference for formal dress codes. They’re also most commonly unsure if their clothing is appropriate (36 per cent) and the age group with the largest number of respondents interested in wearing a uniform (33 per cent).

— More men (49 per cent) prefer formal attire than women (25 per cent).

— Most employees (77 per cent) reported they like casual dress codes because they can wear more comfortable clothing.

— About two in five respondents (39 per cent) said their company policy isn’t always clear about what attire is acceptable.

Employees were also asked to reveal something they’ve considered wearing to work but were unsure whether it was appropriate. Here are some of their responses:

— An off-the-shoulder (“cold shoulder”) top; cowboy boots; band T-shirt

— Funky sock; jogging pants; leggings

— Flip-flops; a baseball hat; jeans; running shoes

— Camo pants; a hoodie; a low-cut top

— Capri pants; mini skirt; dressy sandals

— A sports jersey; shorts; a polo shirt

— Yoga pants; A tank top; A sheer top

— Ripped jeans

“Non-traditional workplaces are becoming more common, creating demand for greater flexibility with hours, remote work options and attire. When it comes to dress codes, it’s important that employees have clarity,” said Koula Vasilopoulos, a district president for OfficeTeam. “Managers should clearly articulate standards for what is appropriate; formally through corporate policies, and informally, leading by example through their own attire. With their guidance, employees will be able to make clothing choices that showcase their confidence and professionalism.”

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