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PROJECT REPORT

ON
DRESSING CODES AND PERFORMANCE
OF
EMPLOYEES

Submitted to:
Mr. Abhay Anand Tiwari
IILM Institute for Higher Education, Gurgaon

Submitted by:
“THE PARALLELS” (Group ‘K’)
Section ‘I’
Deepshikha Dev
Janak Deora
Jnana Ranjan Pati
Neha Goyal
Sudeep Khokhar
Sumesh Yadav
Vijay Dahiya

CHAPTER PLAN

1.Introduction

2.Dress code and conduct

3.Formal Dress Codes

4. Casual Dress Codes and Dressing down

5.Formal versus Casual Dress Codes

6. Dress Codes and Organization’s


Environment

7.Problems with Casual Dress Code


Policies

8.Analysis of Data and Questionnaire


9.Limitations of the Project

10.Recommendations and Conclusions

Introduction
Most organizations have formals to be worn at work. But some of them have
Fridays and Saturdays as dress Down syndrome.

 Dressing is of two types:

✔ Business Formals

✔ Business Casuals

 Where a formal wear gives an employee a confidence in himself, in


other hand a casual wear or dressing down seems to lighten
everyone’s mood.

 The happier the employee the more productive that employee will be.

Big companies like DELL, GENPACT, IBM-DAKSH, HSBC, VASANT SQUARE


MALL (SUNCITY PROJECTS) are all moving towards accepting casual dress
codes.
HSBC, the leading bank has Friday’s as casuals day, where the employee is
free to wear according to his/her own will. Employees (except higher and
lower management) of DELL, GENPACT and IBM are also seemed to be in
casuals most of the time.

So, the dilemma arises, why is it that the management of such organizations
is introducing casual dress codes for its working force? Do dress codes have
any linkage with the performance of employees?

Of course, the main motive behind each organization’s management


decision is to maximize the profits and achieve its desired goals or targets.
So it can be assumed that the dress codes play a significant role in
employee’s performance and also had an effect on the working environment
of the whole organization.

The Company's objective, in establishing a dress code, is to enable


employees to project a professional, business-like image while experiencing
the comfort and advantages of more casual and relaxed clothing and also to
enhance an image keeping in mind the needs of our clients and customers.

DRESS CODE AND CONDUCT

Appropriate attire is an important part of this professionalism. In order to


maintain this standard of professionalism, it enforces a "Business Casual"
code of dress. Failure to dress in accordance with "Business Casual"
guidelines will result in the employee being requested to immediately make
the necessary corrections. The following are acceptable standards of
personal attire that define "Business Casual":

FOR MEN:
• Business Suits.
• Sport coats with dress-casual slacks.
• Shirt options:
o Long / short sleeved collared dress shirts with tie.
o During cooler times of the year (e.g. Winter) a sweater may also
be worn as long as a collared dress shirt and tie are worn
underneath.
• Hairstyles should be businesslike and neat. Facial hair must be neatly
trimmed, of reasonable length and clean.
FOR WOMEN:
• Business dress / coordinating pant suit.
• Coordinating jackets, with dress-casual skirts (preferred) / slacks.
• Dress blouse, with dress-casual skirts (preferred) / slacks.
• Shirt and blouse options:
o Long / short sleeved dress shirts / blouses.
o During cooler times of the year (e.g. Winter) a sweater may also
be worn in addition to the above.
• Hemlines should be conservative (not greater than four inches above
the knee); make-up, jewelry, hosiery, and accessories should be
appropriate and worn in moderation.
• Hairstyles should be businesslike and neat.

UNACCEPTABLE ATTIRE: The following are considered


• Casual clothing of the following type: short pants, sweat suits, culottes,
pedal pushers, divided skirts, leather, suede or T-shirt clothing of any
description.
• Denim jeans of any description (with the exception of maintenance
personnel): jeans, slacks, jackets, suits, dresses, skirts, and jumpers.
• Dresses or skirts with high splits; dresses or blouses with plunging
necklines; formal dresses, sweater dresses, spaghetti-strapped dresses
or sleeveless tops without jackets, and see-through fashions of any
description unless worn with appropriate undergarments such as
camisoles and jackets.
• Excessively tight or "conforming to body" clothing.
• Extremes in make-up, hairstyles, jewelry and other accessories.
• Hats/headgear (unless a job requirement or of religious significance to
the wearer).
• Casual sandals, sneakers, beach shoes, soft plastic footwear, bedroom
shoes or slippers, etc.
Developing Dress Code Policies
In today's business world there are many changes going on. Whether it be
using the Internet or talking to someone online, we all have to change with it
or be left behind. One thing that has not gone over a whole new
transformation is the dress of the employees. Most businesses want to
portrait a professional standard with the public and themselves. In order
to do this; they must use dress codes for their employees. To do this you
must start with a reason to start a dress code, then you must develop
policies in the dress code, and then you must implement procedures to
accommodate violations.
There are several reasons to start a dress code. First you want to convey to
the public your professionalism. For example, if a person has a legal
issue that they need to be settled and they need to choose a legal firm to
represent them, they want one that has a good record and a professional
image. Another reason to have a dress code is to make your employees
comfortable in what they must wear. In today's business world, the
allowance of casual wear was on the rise but is now declining because of
habitual violations. Still, you must allow for some casual wear so that your
employees are comfortable in what they wear. You do not want to make it
too casual because you will lose the professional image of your business.
According to Hari Bedi, "If the only thing the corporate world is going to lose
is the tie, managers really haven't anything to fear".
When dealing with the public, the employer wants his or her employees to
give a professional image. According to the Business Owner’s Toolkit, "If your
employees deal extensively with the public, it may be appropriate to require
certain standards of appearance… If your employees have no contact with
the public, perhaps it’s okay if they wear casual clothes. But how casual is
appropriate in the office?" This is a question that many employers deal with
in deciding the policies in the dress code. It has a lot to do with how
conservative your company is. For instance, if your company is a highly
ranked legal firm in the United States, you might not allow any casual wear,
as opposed to a newly developed consulting firm that is very contemporary
in the ideas. The Business Research Lab makes a valid point when it says,
"Casual dress codes only should apply to employees who cannot be seen, or
who rarely are seen, by clients. Professionalism is paramount when it comes
to client contact. The employees at Microsoft are allowed casual wear, but
the public does not see them on a frequent basis. It is a proven fact that
casual wear does not harm employee productivity. In some cases it helps
productivity because the employees are more comfortable and work harder.
Another reason it may help is that the employee does not feel that their
employer is trying to "control" them.
Another reason to apply a dress code is safety standards for the employee.
If the employee does work that requires heavy machinery, you do not want
to allow that employee to wear loose clothing that may get caught in the
machine and harm the employee. Different types of work demand different
types of clothing options. You do want to give employees options in choosing
what they wear. Always put safety first in applying a dress code because you
do not want any type of legal action against you when an employee gets
hurt on the job.
Employee privacy must be acknowledged when applying a dress code. Any
type of handicap that might interfere with the dress code must be dealt with
on a one-to-one basis. You must not disregard the privacy of any employee
who has an issue with the dress code. Always listen to what an employee has
to say and try to compromise to a solution that will make both happy.
Before starting your policy you must consider these things:
• Find areas of conflict that might occur in your business about
the dress code.
• Make sure employees know about the positive image it gives
to customers.
• Try to be somewhat current on what is allowed to keep the
business’s image up to date.
• Keep in mind any expectations. You might have to prohibit
casual wear when an employee is dealing with clients.
• Do not assume broad terms like "proper", "pressed",
"reserved", or "appropriate" has the same meaning to you as
your employee.
• If you allow casual wear, set up a review date down the road to
determine if the policy is working well.
• If your policies are constantly being broken because of it
allows employees some freedom, review your policies and
make them stricter.
After reviewing all possibilities, you want to narrow down your policy so that
it is not too broad. A typical dress code policy might be:

DRESS CODE POLICY

I. Males: Must wear full business suit with dress jacket, dress
slacks, collared dress shirt, tie, and dress shoes. Hair must
be neatly combed and not spotted colored

II. Females: Must wear business suit or pantsuit, dress or skirt,


blouse/sweater/blazer, and dress shoes. Hair must be neatly
done and not distastefully died (e.g. Green or purple).

III. Not allowed: Slogans or pictures on any dress attire


including ties. Torn or baggy pants and shirts. Revealing
attire. Casual footwear. Hats or gang attire.

IV. The allowance of casual wear on specified days:


a. Males: No jacket is required. Khakis or corduroys may be worn.
Casual dress shoes may be worn. These are the only changes. All
other attire must be worn according to policy.
b. Females: No dress jacket is required. Slacks may be worn.
Casual dress shoes may be worn. Casual dress shirt may be
worn. All other attire must be worn according to policy.

You want to make sure that your allowance of casual wear is not too broad
because it may cause confusion to the employee. This dress code policy
example is not one that can be used by all different companies. A more
conservative company might not allow casual wear, and may be stricter on
what can and cannot be worn. A more liberal company might not be so strict
as to what is worn on casual days or might allow a more casual everyday
dress policy.
As a supervisor or a CEO of a company, situations in dealing with then dress
code may arise. A situation like an employee who does not agree with the
dress code may continually violate it and cause problems in the workplace.
In dealing with this employee, the manager should not fire him or her, but
rather talk to the employee to see what he or she does not like. It would be
silly to lose an employee because he or she has a problem with the dress
code. A compromise in this situation should be able to clear all concerns
about the dress code. Another situation that may arise when a company
installs a new dress code policy is the violating employees and what should
be done to punish them. As an employer, one should not question the tastes
of their employee, and always talk to the employee in private because it
should not concern other people. A good way to deal with an employee who
is in violation of the dress code policy is to send them home, without pay, to
change. If an employee comes to work improperly dressed several times
over a relatively short time frame, consider documenting the behavior and
using an internal disciplinary system to deal with the policy violations.
When dealing with a dress code, the employer must keep in mind any legal
liability that they have. This pertains to discrimination of religion,
disability, and gender. If you have an employee whose religious beliefs
require they wear some kind of garment or apparel, you should do one of the
following:
1. Show business justification for your requirements.
2. Reasonably accommodate their religious beliefs.
3. Ask the employee to seek an exemption from wearing religious
garb while on duty.
When dealing with some type of disability, an employer must try to
reasonably accommodate an employee with a disability that makes it
impossible for them to conform to the dress code policy. If an employer has
a situation with gender discrimination, they need to look over their dress
code policy to make sure that none of the following are in it:

1. Inhibit equal access to employment opportunities between


men and women.
2. Attempt to deny employment to a particular sex.
3. Give a significant advantage to one particular sex.
4. Discriminate the apparel of choice to a certain sex.
When dealing with your dress code and violations, you can obtain
information from a consulting service. Their knowledge of the policies and
experience in the field may help the employer to make wise judgments
about certain situations that may arise in the future. A consulting service
might:

1. Meet with a selected core group of company employees to


discuss defining acceptable business casual attire.
2. Create the new dress program name.
3. Position a start date.
4. Recommend a trial period.
5. Develop a violation policy.
6. Reinforcement of policy and designated individual(s)
responsible for monitoring.
With these services from them, an employer could make the dress code
policy work well with the employees.

Dress codes are a rising part of business and will continue to grow as the
years go on. When implementing a dress code, you want to:
• Maintain good standing with employees
• Establish a good reputation with the public
• Allow for some casual wear (depending on the company’s view:
liberal vs. conservative)
• Establish a fair and upstanding policy on violations.

Formal Dress Codes


First impressions count. A professional consultant who doesn’t take the time
to maintain a professional appearance presents the image of not being able
to perform adequately on the job. This professional dress code is codified
because many professionals have never been taught appropriate
professional appearance and demeanor.
Professional dress code standards are alive and well in major financial and
executive management. Anyone who aspires to top management knows
that personal appearance counts.

If you look and behave like a highly trained and well-


groomed professional, you will win the respect and
honor of our valued clients.
A fresh haircut, spit-shined shoes and a crisp suit go a
long way in establishing a professional demeanor.
It's also about quality; most professionals can spot a
cheap suit at twenty paces and high quality dress
shoes are de-rigueur.
If you have never worked in a professional
environment and you are not sure how professionals
look, watch the lawyers on an episode of Law &
Order on television.
Dress Codes are protected by law
Remember, employers in the USA have a legal right to ask you to adhere to
dress codes: "A person can be fired because the company doesn’t like your
shoes.
"In 1998, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Harper v. Blockbuster
Entertainment upheld Blockbuster’s dress code that mandated male
employees to cut their long hair, but not female employees."
Inappropriate dress and grooming
Have you ever gone to church on Sunday and instantly noted the people who
normally do not wear a suit? You know, the men with striped shirts, plaid ties
and lime green sport coats? Sadly, professional dress and grooming
standards have fallen from popular culture, and we don't have to look far to
find examples of unprofessional dress. Here are some examples of
inappropriate male grooming:

No Neanderthal-style single eyebrows are allowed, and you should shave any
loose hair on your forehead or the palms of your hands. All ear hair must be
shaved, and remove any "Admiral Zumwalt" style giant eyebrows. If you
must wear a toupee, have it custom fit and glued on securely and no Trump-
style comb-overs.
Here are some examples of inappropriate female grooming:
Prejudice still exists within
corporate about tattoos, and
there is a clear correlation
between income, education,
and the population who have
tattoos. It's no surprise that
tattoos are more popular
among the poor and
undereducated.

Let's take a closer look at specific dress codes for male and female
professionals.

Dress Requirements for Male Consultants:


• Body Art - Of course, tattoos are considered unprofessional, low-class
and ignorant, and at no time may a consultant have a visible tattoo.

• Suit – A suit means a SUIT; sport coats and slacks are not allowed. The
suit must be dark blue, gray or charcoal, (except for tropical
engagements) be “well tailored”, and have no loose threads, "pills" or
"nurdles".

• Shirt - A crisp white shirt is always required. French cuffs are


optional. There are live examples of consultants who are turned away
at the door of banks because of their hot pink dress shirt.
• Tie - Must be conservative, something a bank VP might wear.

• Shoes - High quality black lace-up shoes are required, polished to a


mirror quality spit-shine. You would be surprised at how many people
judge you by your shoes.

• Accessories - No phony Rolexes, body piercing or earrings.

• Grooming - All hair, moustaches and beards must be neatly groomed


and cologne must be used sparingly. Protruding nasal hair is
prohibited, and all tattoos must be fully hidden. If you have been
working all night and have an early morning meeting, you can use an
anti-inflammatory hemorrhoid cream (e.g. Preparation H) to quickly
shrink those unsightly puffy bags under your eyes. Just carefully dab
the roid cream on your lower eyelids (being careful not to get any in
your eyes) and you will look fresh and well-rested.

• Cologne - Cologne and after-shave are optional, but if used, it must


not be so strong as to call attention to you in a closed elevator.
If the client wants you to wear tattered cut offs, that's fine, just make sure
that you check with the client first to ensure that you are not dressed
inappropriately for their environment.
Dress Requirements for Female Consultants:
Many of the client organizations have standards for professional appearance,
and it's better to be safe than to be embarrassed. So these are the tips:
• Suit – Pants and skirts, both are allowed. The suit must be dark blue,
gray or charcoal.

• Blouse - A crisp white blouse is great, and you may have ruffles and
other decorations.

• Tie - Optional, but it must be conservative.

• Shoes - High quality black or brown shoes are required, polished to a


high shine.
• Jewelry - Ostentatious jewelry, multiple ear rings on each ear, and
multiple chain necklaces are prohibited. Leave the Zircons at home;
most people can recognize them instantly.

• Cosmetics - Do not use the ski-slope approach to cosmetics (that's 3-


inches of powder on top of a 6-inch base). Use no "cheap" perfumes
and make sure that you do not offend people with allergies with too
much perfume odor. Co-workers can sue the employer if the perfume
is too strong.

• Grooming - All hair must be neatly groomed. Females with facial hair
are required to shave before any on-site engagements. You should
always shave legs and exposed armpits.

• Perfume - Too much perfume is considered especially heinous when


the stench is so strong as to cause allergic reactions or when the odor
can be detected from more than 3 feet away. Remember, the quality
of perfume is inversely proportional to the price, and many female
executives can quickly tell if you are wearing a cheap, "stink pretty"
perfume
Casual Dress Code Requirements
When the client specifically requests that you dress down, the following
dress code applies. The only exception to this casual dress code is when you
are specifically requested to dress down below our casual standards (shorts,
t-shirts).
• Crisp, pressed button-down shirt

• Slacks with leather belt

• Leather shoes (no sneakers, ever, even on a casual dress day)


The only exception to this casual dress code is when the client specifically
requests you dress down below our casual standards (shorts, t-shirts).
Tropical Dress Code
When consulting in tropical areas, white, tan
and light gray linen suits are acceptable for
men and women, provided that the suits are
permanent press and wrinkle-free.
You may supplement your white “ice cream”
suit with a straw hat or felt fedora, but no
hat styles that may have cultural
intonations.
Your tie must be worn at all times, but you
may remove your jackets and roll up your
sleeves, if this is the custom of your client.
Short sleeve white dress shirts are not permitted. You may wear casual
dress shoes, including white dress shoes, but sandals are never appropriate.

For female tropical dress requirements, trousers are permitted, and pastel
and white colors are considered acceptable.
Male Professional Footwear Guidelines
You would be surprised how many people will judge you by the quality of
your shoes and how you maintain them. The shores are important, really
important. Did you know that you can legally be fired if your boss thinks that
you wear shabby shoes?

It has to be realized that once you walk into a private employer’s workplace,
your rights are limited.”
To prevent foot odor and increase the life of your shoes, many consultants
travel with two pairs and rotate them every day. Wing-tip shoes are allowed,
but not encouraged.
A pair of top-quality shoes is a good investment
because they can be resoled as needed and last for
decades. All professional shoes must be low cut lace-
up shoes with a fine leather grain capable of being
polished to a mirror finish.
However, it is not necessary to spend hundreds of
rupees on dress shoes. Standard military-style Oxford
shoes are both inexpensive and appropriate for a suit,
especially when polished to a fine shine. Corfam shoes
are not acceptable (plus they make your feet sweat).

Just look at these, check them out, hardly even a need


to polish them, and you can see your face on the toes!

They also come in wide widths, highly recommended.

Always carry a shoe care kit when traveling and make sure to touch-up your
shoes before going on-site with a client. The toes of the shoes should be
polished to a mirror finish, and you should be able to see your face in the
shine of an acceptable shoe shine.
To establish a great base shine, you can easily locate a shoe service at any
fine shoe store or military base. U.S. military bases (especially Marine bases)
have open-to-the public services where you can get your shoe mirrors
started. Once your base shine is complete, basic care will keep them looking
spectacular. Many consultants place their shoes in sealed bags to prevent
the hairline cracks that can occur in dry climates.
The recent fashion trend toward goofy square-
tipped shoes, pointy-toed roach killers, shoes
with thick soles and other non-traditional shoe
styles are never acceptable for a professional.
Also, despite the latest fashion trends in
Europe, medieval style shoes are really, really
stupid looking.
Optional Headwear
While hats have not been considered appropriate attire with a suit, in some
foreign societies the wearing of hats is both practical and fashionable.
Tips on Buying Fine Panama Hats
Panama hats also go
great in topical areas,
and a super-fine
Panama hat is a great
status symbol.
High quality Panama
straw hats are
appropriate with tropical
dress suits. They are
also utilitarian, adding
shade and retarding
sweat.
When choosing a hat, it is important to choose a hat style that is culturally
and/or religiously neutral; here are some examples of hat styles that are not
acceptable:

Oriental-style hats are Sombreros often imply Rastafarianism is a


a no-no. cultural stereotypes. legitimate religion.

The news is full of Not everyone wants to Bowlers and derby hats
reports of anti-French
be cowboy. are distinctly British.
sentiments.
Cultural Dress Code
It is also not acceptable to wear any cultural or religious garments that may
offend a client. Organizations respect the religious beliefs of yours and the
clients, but their clients come first. When representing their organization, it
is unacceptable to wear any garments, icons or jewellery that may have
overt (or covert) religious, racial, cultural or national connotations that may
offend a client.

It is important to any professional not


to advertise religious affiliations. For
example, when consulting in areas
with large Muslim populations, you
may not wear customary garments
unless you are a practicing member
of that religion, and then, only when
the attire is consistent with the other
tenets of our dress code.

Dress Code Accessories


Here are some accessories that you might want to consider:
• Clothing shaver - These are very handy for stray pills and removing
fuzz.

• Travel Shoe Kit - It is critical that you touch-up your dress shoes,
everyday. You should not use a brush (it fades the mirror-quality),
carry a t-shirt rag, black wax and a liquid black dauber for the soles.

• Burberry trench coat - Instantly recognizable for men and women


alike.

• Rolex watch - The time honored, instantly recognized symbol of


success.
However, all accessories can be abused, so be careful that your accessories
remain in good taste:
• Burberry accessories - Burberry hats are for
Rap stars.

• Loose Rolex wristbands - This went out in


the 1990's.

• Bling - Too much jewelry is not appropriate.

Inappropriate Professional Attire


Any of the following might be cause for immediate withdrawal from any
client site:
• Non-white shirts - All male consultants MUST wear a pressed white
shirt.

• Loafers, boots, sneakers and sandals - Don't even think about it.
They call them loafers for a reason.

• Sport Coats - These are considered cheesy by many Fortune 500


companies.

Here is an illustration of the


poor dress codes.
Like it or not, you are
immediately judged by your
appearance.

However, all on-site engagements require absolute professional quality dress


and demeanor. Spit-shined, high quality shoes and a professionally tailored
suit are immediately apparent to anyone who must wear a suit every day
Again, these are the MINIMUM standards for acceptable dress and we
reserve the right to refine our dress code as required.

Casual Dress Codes


Business casual (sometimes called smart casuals) is a popular dress code
that emerged in white-collar workplaces in Western countries in the 1970s in
response to the energy crises of that decade. Government mandates to raise
thermostat settings in office buildings led managers to authorize employees
to dispense with ties and jackets that had been part of expected business
attire. Many Information Technology businesses in Silicon Valley were early
adopters of this style of dress. It has partially supplanted business informal
wear (suits and neckties, sometimes called International Standard Business
Attire), which was previously the standard apparel for managers and
professionals. Trousers complete the package; jeans are rarely acceptable in
workplaces as part of business casual attire, but some Silicon Valley
Entrepreneurs such as Steve Jobs are known to wear jeans as part of the
business casual look.

Bill Gates in Business Casual Attire


In contrast with the many blue-collar and service workers, business casual
dress is not uniform. In contrast to business informal, there is no generally
accepted definition of business casual wear; its interpretation differs widely
among organizations and is often a cause of confusion. The Job Search
Engine, monster.com offers this definition:
“In general, Business Casual means dressing professionally, looking relaxed
yet neat and pulled together.”
Establishing a casual dress code is an inexpensive way to improve the
morale of employees. The casual dress code is appreciated by most
employees in its own right, but it also serves as a symbol of management's
attitude toward meeting employee needs.
There is one strong argument against casual clothing at work, and it only
applies to specific employees. Certainly, employees with client contact
should wear business attire, as should those who can be seen by clients in
the course of everyday business. Casual dress codes only should apply to
employees who cannot be seen, or who rarely are seen, by clients.
Professionalism is paramount when it comes to client contact.
It is difficult to find a strong argument in favor of non-client-contact
personnel being forced to wear formal business attire. The success of
companies such as Microsoft, who have casual dress codes, shows that
formal dress is not necessary for success.
If management allows casual attire, it may be viewed as being more caring
about employees. Allowing employees to wear casual attire at work may
send one or more of the following signals to employees:
• Flexibility on the part of management,
• A willingness to do things the "new way,"
• Management does not seek to "control" employees,
• There is a system of promotion in place that does not favor those who
have had the good fortune to be born in the more affluent classes.
This last point may be somewhat less obvious than the first three. By
allowing employees to wear casual attire, management signals that one's
social status is not a factor in promotions. Proper business dress is an
acquired (and expensive) skill; one that is more easily acquired if one has an
upper class background. Casual clothing becomes an equalizer in this regard.
Management may be shooting itself in the foot by not allowing casual attire.
We are beginning to encounter quality people who say they will refuse to
apply for a job at a company that does not allow casual clothing to be worn.
Such employees may gravitate toward a firm's competitors, potentially
placing the firm at a competitive disadvantage.
Note – A casual dress code does not mean that employees should look
sloppy. A casual dress code can be specific with regard to the type of
clothing allowed.

The company's objective in establishing a business


casual dress code is to allow its employees to work comfortably in the
workplace. Yet, they still need their employees to project a professional
image for the customers, potential employees, and community visitors.

Because all casual clothing is not suitable for the office, these guidelines will
help one determine what is appropriate to wear to work. Clothing that works
well for the beach, yard work, dance clubs, exercise sessions, and sports
contests may not be appropriate for a professional appearance at work.

Clothing that reveals too much cleavage, your back, your chest, your feet,
your stomach or your underwear is not appropriate for a place of business,
even in a business casual setting.

Even in a business casual work environment, clothing should be pressed and


never wrinkled. Torn, dirty, or frayed clothing is unacceptable. All seams
must be finished. Any clothing that has words, terms, or pictures that may be
offensive to other employees is unacceptable. Clothing that has the
company logo is encouraged. Sports team, university, and fashion brand
names on clothing are generally acceptable.

Certain days can be declared dress down days, generally Fridays. On these
days, jeans and other more casual clothing, although never clothing
potentially offensive to others, are allowed.

Guide to Business Casual Dressing for Work

This is a general overview of appropriate business casual attire. Items that


are not appropriate for the office are listed, too. The list tells what is
generally acceptable as business casual attire and what is generally not
acceptable as business casual attire.

No dress code can cover all contingencies so employees must exert a certain
amount of judgment in their choice of clothing to wear to work. If you
experience uncertainty about acceptable, professional business casual attire
for work, please ask your supervisor or your Human Resources staff.
Slacks, Pants, and Suit Pants

Slacks that are similar to Dockers and other makers of cotton or synthetic
material pants, wool pants, flannel pants, dressy caprice, and nice looking
dress synthetic pants are acceptable. Inappropriate slacks or pants include
jeans, sweatpants, exercise pants, Bermuda shorts, short shorts, shorts, bib
overalls, leggings, and any spandex or other form-fitting pants such as
people wear for biking.

Skirts, Dresses, and Skirted Suits

Casual dresses and skirts, and skirts that are split at or below the knee are
acceptable. Dress and skirt length should be at a length at which you can sit
comfortably in public. Short, tight skirts that ride halfway up the thigh are
inappropriate for work. Mini-skirts, skirts, sun dresses, beach dresses, and
spaghetti-strap dresses are inappropriate for the office.

Shirts, Tops, Blouses, and Jackets

Casual shirts, dress shirts, sweaters, tops, golf-type shirts, and turtlenecks
are acceptable attire for work. Most suit jackets or sport jackets are also
acceptable attire for the office, if they violate none of the listed guidelines.
Inappropriate attire for work includes tank tops; midriff tops; shirts with
potentially offensive words, terms, logos, pictures, cartoons, or slogans;
halter-tops; tops with bare shoulders; sweatshirts, and t-shirts unless worn
under another blouse, shirt, jacket, or dress.

Shoes and Footwear

Conservative athletic or walking shoes, loafers, clogs, sneakers, boots, flats,


dress heels, and leather deck-type shoes are acceptable for work. Wearing
no stockings is acceptable in warm weather. Flashy athletic shoes, thongs,
flip-flops, slippers, and any shoe with an open toe are not acceptable in the
office. Closed toe and closed heel shoes are required in the manufacturing
operation area.

Jewelry, Makeup, Perfume, and Cologne


Should be in good taste, with limited visible body piercing. Remember, that
some employees are allergic to the chemicals in perfumes and make-up, so
wear these substances with restraint.

Hats and Head Covering

Hats are not appropriate in the office. Head Covers that are required for
religious purposes or to honor cultural tradition are allowed.

Note-If clothing fails to meet these standards, as determined by the


employee’s supervisor and Human Resources staff, the employee will be
asked not to wear the inappropriate item to work again. If the problem
persists, the employee may be sent home to change clothes and will receive
a verbal warning for the first offense. All other policies about personal time
use will apply. Progressive disciplinary action will be applied if dress code
violations continue.

Casual Dress – Dress Codes have relaxed as a Result of the Internet


Age
So, have you worn a suit to work lately? Once the uniform of choice for
business people, the Suit seems to be going the way of the Windsor knot.
According to a survey this year by the Society of Human Resource
Management, 87 percent of HR professionals polled said their companies
offer the casual dress option one day a week or every day. In a similar SHRM
study in 1992, just 63 percent of respondents said their companies offered
casual dress codes.

What caused the 24 percent jump? We could thank (or blame) the Internet
age. According to Ilene Amiel, author of Business Casual Made Easy, it's
generally agreed that casual days started on the U.S. West coast, where
computer companies allowed programmers to dress comfortably to
encourage creativity. Like the Internet, the casual trend spread. Many
companies are using casual dress policies to attract and retain employees,
especially the high-tech workers who expect to dress down. There are many
benefits to a casual dress code. In SHRM's 1996 benefit survey, HR
managers cited increased employee morale and productivity and the
opportunity to use casual dress as a recruitment and retention tool.

According to the Business Research Lab, a research and management-


consulting firm, a casual dress policy can send the message to employees
that the company is flexible and innovative, and doesn't want to control
employees or favor affluent workers. Many employees also sing the praises
of casual dress, listing comfort, lower costs for clothing and dry-cleaning, and
heightened creativity. Many also believe casual dress makes them more
effective. In a 1998 survey by USA Today, 64 percent of respondents said
they work more efficiently when wearing casual dress.

Though it's easy to see the benefit of dressing down, doing so is harder than
it looks. Much confusion exists about appropriate casual attire in the
workplace, and relaxing the dress code often makes employees' morning
routine harder. As one Training & Development staffer replied when she was
chided for wearing a skirt on a Casual Friday, "It takes too much time to find
something casual to wear."

What's more, people seem to interpret the meaning of casual differently.


ABCnews.com reports, "Stodgy employees think casual means taking off
your suit jacket. Others show up for work in weekend wear--hiking boots,
sandals, tank tops, shorts, wet hair."

Some companies are now hiring consultants to teach employees about


appropriate casual dress. The Conselle Institute of Image Management, for
example, conducts seminars on "strategies to dress for appropriate impact in
all situations." Strategies for casual dress?

Employees who aren't able to attend a seminar can get help from a copy of
Conselle's Professional Style Scale, which identifies and defines four levels of
dress in an attempt to ease casual confusion. Amiel's Business Casual Made
Easy and a book by Sherry Maysonave, Casual Power, categorize and define
levels of casual dress. But the best way to lessen employees' confusion is a
written policy that spells Out exactly what is and isn't appropriate. A chapter
in Amiel's book tells how to develop and manage a business casual policy, or
you can hire her to write the policy or coach managers how to write it.

Like it or not, casual dress is probably here to stay. Many employees now list
a casual dress code as a job requirement. Some people would, in this time of
dot.com mania, pick the casual dress option over stock options.

In a survey cited in Business Casual Made Easy, 80 percent of executives


said the following items are "unacceptable":

• Sweatshirts
• Spandex
• Shorts
• t-shirts with slogans
• bared midriffs, halter tops, tank tops
• Flip-flops.

DRESS DOWN DAY

Fridays have been formally designated


by the company as a dress down day. Certain other days may occasionally
be declared as dress down days. On these days, jeans, sneakers and a more
casual approach to dressing, although never potentially offensive to others,
are allowed.

The summer months often allow for more relaxed dress codes in offices and
for some employers defining a specific dress code may be difficult. Giving
employees the option to dress down at work allows for a more comfortable
work environment and saves employees time and money. Also, it has been
proven by successful companies such as Microsoft, that a casual dress code
and work environment can still provide optimum results for a company.
Many argue that a professional dress code will create increased productivity
but that is not always the case.

Business casual can often times be difficult to strictly define, and when
guidelines are not implemented some issues may develop in the workplace.
Generally speaking, business casual refers to dressing professionally, yet
allowing for a relaxed, neat and comfortable appearance. Common sense
should allow employees to assume shorts, low-cut shirts, halter or tube tops,
ratty jeans and T-shirts to be saved for a picnic or day at the beach.
However, it is the employer’s responsibility to provide a dress code to
prevent any inappropriate attire in the workplace.

Even some of the most formal workplaces now institute a "casual Friday"
policy for the hot, summer months. Just how casual one can dress does of
course depend on the company you are working for. Jeans, sneakers and flip
flops are becoming more widely accepted in the tech savvy, internet age of
companies, where face to face interaction with clients is rare. However, this
attire is seen as inappropriate even for casual attire in a more formal
corporate setting.

As acceptable forms of summer business-casual attire may vary from job to


job, it is important to get to know the fashion sense of your particular
workplace. Asking the Human Resources department for specific guidelines
and implementing one if it does not yet exist is very important to prevent
any controversy over what people wear to work. Often times the easiest
thing to do is look around at what everyone in the office is wearing and take
into consideration your role in the company including who you interact with
throughout the day.

Benefit or burden? Dress-Down Days


The Emergence of Dress-Down Days
The birth of dress-down days is attributed to several different factors. It is
credited, in part, to the high-tech companies in the Silicon Valley of California
that, when they started 30 years ago, hired primarily people from blue-collar
backgrounds. Because these employees were more comfortable in the
casual clothing they had worn all their lives, employers adopted relaxed
dress codes.
The idea for casual Fridays spawned from fund-raising initiatives by
charitable organizations that engaged employers to allow employees to buy
the privilege to wear casual attire to work by donating money to the
charitable organization. Further impetus for dress-down Fridays came from
employers' needs to improve the morale of white-collar workers that saw
their colleagues laid off in droves during the late 1980s and early 1990s. In
the past 10 years, the trend toward dress-down Fridays and dress-down
everyday’s has spread through the corporate world and the public
accounting profession. A 1994 survey by the NPD Group revealed that
almost 90% of U.S. workers wear casual clothing to the office at least part of
the time.
The acceptance of dress-down days by corporate America and the public
accounting profession is more than just a passing fad. Casual business attire
is here to stay. But what is casual business attire? Who has defined the
concept for us? According to business clothing guru John T. Molloy, male
executives simply "trade their suits for sports jackets or traditional golf
outfits: a cotton golf shirt and slacks or chinos." Molloy says male executives
have been wearing golf outfits to company outings for years.
But what about the rest of the professional workforce? Who has defined
casual business attire for them? The fashion industry has certainly been
influential in molding the definition. With the male executive's golf outfit as a
starting point, clothing manufacturers and retailers have been aggressively
designing and marketing casual business attire with helpful videos,
literature, and seminars for professional workers. For example, the Bon
Marche has held seminars on casual business attire at the corporate
headquarters of several corporations. In fashion magazine ads, Neiman
Marcus provides an 800 number that readers can call to get an instructional
video on casual dress, and Dayton Hudson Corp. has conducted fashion
seminars for more than 400 companies, including Arthur Andersen. Levi
Strauss & Co. has an elaborate kit titled "How to Put Casual Business wear to
Work," a casual wear counselor at an 800 number, and a casual clothing
newsletter.
Benefits and Burdens
Much has been written about the perceived benefits and burdens of wearing
casual business clothing. Some of the more commonly touted benefits
include improved employee morale, a lack of cost to the employer, increased
worker productivity, more open communication between staff and managers,
cost savings to employees because casual business wear is less expensive,
and improved work quality.
Nevertheless, pitfalls may also exist when employees are allowed to wear
casual clothing. Employees may be confused about what is acceptable attire,
there may be resistance from the old guard about the appropriateness of
dressing down, employees may interpret the word casual too liberally and
wear inappropriate clothing, and the professional image of workers may be
weakened if clients feel employees are too casual to be entrusted with their
business. Traditionally disadvantaged minority groups may feel the need for
business attire to give them standing and confidence. Casual clothing, with
its diverse styles, lacks the uniformity and conformity associated with
traditional business wear and may cause some to feel uncomfortable or less
presentable in professional situations. They may not be taken seriously or
seen as effective when dressed casually.
Now let us see what people have to say when they were asked whether
dress codes make a difference in employee performance and productivity or
not.

• "A more professional look will boost confidence and does create an
atmosphere of respect. No jeans!"
• "My company allows casual dress (jeans) every day unless we have
meetings. Morale and productivity are high, and the casual dress is an
important part of our fun yet professional atmosphere."
• "Look good, feel good, do good work."
• "For those who need to think and write (you should know this), being
comfortable makes a big difference. Dress codes detract from
productivity.
• "Dress for the position you aspire to."
• "My office has a casual dress code policy. I think people, including
myself, get more done when dressed comfortably as opposed to
wearing high heels, nylons and a dress."
• "I worked in an office with an informal dress code five days a week and
the work ethic and atmosphere was terrible."
• "The more relaxed I am the more productive I am."
• "Take a look at the style of dress in a fast-food restaurant. If the people
have their shirts untucked, you can take it to the bank that the floors
are unwept and the tables need to be cleaned off. The same rule
applies to the business world. I had the pleasure/misfortune of working
for a few firms during the tech boom of the late 1990s early 2000s.
The places that had dress codes are still in business and the ones that
did not went by the wayside. Maybe it's just a coincidence."
• "Professional attire promotes a professional demeanor."
• "Some people just don't know how to dress."
• "Even a turkey can look good at the dinner table and still taste bad.
Dress codes do not make the person a bad or good employee. A
person with great qualities can perform well in either casual or formal
wear. A positive work environment goes much further than any dress
code."
• "Please look to hotels for the model. Their sales, catering and
operations staff must strictly adhere to wearing business suits, which is
rarely seen in office environments. They are by far are the most
productive sales- and service-driven work force."
• "Employee performance is solely based upon his or her competence."
• "A dress code implies a sense of discipline. Discipline is a basis of
productivity."
• "Professional organizations are represented by those who dress
professionally. I have no problem with business casual if everyone
maintains high standards. But I find that our firm's 'business casual'
standard is abused. When did flip-flops (for men or women) become
acceptable as office dress shoes? I don't care how much they cost --
they're not suitable."
• "If you hire the right people, they would behave the same way no
matter what they are wearing."
• "Yes. Because some people lack taste."
• "Generally speaking, the more comfortable you are, the more
productive you can be."
• "Dress like a slob, work like slob. Dress like a professional, work like a
professional."
• "If you need to dress up to act professionally, there is something wrong
with you."
• "Depends on the type of work. Employees who are not in a sales or in
the physical presence of customers do better with a more casual attire.
Those who are in sales or sales related jobs do better with a dress
code."
• "Dressing casually often contributes to a casual state of mind and may
cause lowered productivity, a change in speech content and patterns,
and a lack of self-esteem among workers. Corporations have found this
out, and that's why business casual is becoming less accepted."
• "Makes no difference in performance and productivity, but professional
image is quite another story, especially when having contact with
customers. Generally, 'business casual' has been taken advantage of
as employees become progressively sloppy."
• "There's a difference between professional image and performance.
Depending on who is making the perception, dressing down can affect
image, but I think firm culture has a much greater effect on
productivity than clothing."
• "A dress code helps to establish boundaries -- something we've all
been searching for since childhood. Further, it presents the opportunity
to instill pride in the workplace -- especially if the dress code is
followed up with a keeping the office clean and tidy. This in the long-
run contributes to a more efficient and happier place in which to work."
• "Our office has casual dress on Mondays and Fridays, and it seems as
though employees spend more time chatting together about sports,
leisure activities, etc., on these days. Whenever a customer visit
occurs on these days, we always request that folks dress business
attire."
• "I have found that those who are sloppy in dress tend to be sloppy in
their work. I don't necessarily think a suit and tie are required, but a
casual dress code is warranted. Don't get me wrong -- those yuppies
who think every piece of clothing must have a designer's label on it
usually produce work this is less than desirable."
• "How you look reflects the company you represent and it also helps
you demonstrate a certain attitude about how you approach your work.
An excessive degree of casualness does not help you stay in the work
mode. People judge you by your outward appearance -- and perception
is reality."
• "The attire of employees in law, banking, health care, accounting,
investment banking and brokerage as well as other professional
service firms should wear traditional business attire. With business-
casual attire, I think we lose some of the seriousness about what we
do."
• "Some kind of dress code should be implied, if not stated, so that
people pay attention to the fact that they are at work -- not play or
casual events."
• "My company is very casual -- the CEO comes in wearing shorts all
summer. The relaxed environment makes us happier and more
productive as we are comfortable during the work day. Not to mention
it makes things like exercising or walking somewhere for lunch easier
because we are not wearing heels and nylons."

Formal versus Casual Dress Codes


Whether formal dress or casual dress is most appropriate for the workplace
has been a topic for debate for many years. Individual employees, company
owners and representatives, and style analysts have their own opinions of
appropriate attire, depending on their points of view. Still, there are pros and
cons for both formal and casual dress codes.

Formal Business Attire


Formal dress codes have been around as long as businesses have been
operating. Many positive rationales for wearing formal business attire have
been cited in literature (Egodigwe, 2003; Lin, 2003; Sikes, 2002; Lee, 1998).
The most relevant include: creates a “business focused” environment;
increases credibility; increases professional behavior at the office among
coworkers and clients; ability to maintain a professional working
environment; less inappropriate behavior by
workers in an organization; generally creates a positive first impression of
being well “put together” or “capable”; perception of increases in
productivity; perception of intelligence, based on outside appearance;
versatile in almost all situations; easier for human resources personnel to
clarify dress code expectations; and less confusion on what is appropriate or
inappropriate to wear.

The negative effects of requiring formal attire have also been addressed in
dress code policy literature (Egodigwe, 2003; Lin, 2003; Sikes, 2002; Lee,
1998). Such negativity includes: employees may be viewed as being “too
superior” by clients or others; suits may have negative connotations
associated with them by customers; suits are expensive to purchase; may be
inappropriate in some business settings when dealing with customers; ties,
panty hose, and other professional attire may be uncomfortable to wear for
the entire work day; and wearing a suit may not be necessary for company
to be successful.

Casual Business Attire


In the 1990s as “going casual” became the rage in corporate America as well
as smaller and family organizations. Positive rationale on why firms changed
their dress codes to business casual has included the following (Egodigwe,
2003; “Casual Dress Code,” 2003; Sikes, 2002; Franz and Norton, 2001):
easier for customers to relate to; seen as a “perk” by employees; shows
flexibility
with management; ability to inexpensively boost employee morale; breaks
through social barriers and status; creation of a friendly persona; workers
may be more at ease with fellow coworkers; typically less expensive work
wardrobes; allows workers to be comfortable at their jobs; and creates more
wardrobe flexibility.

The negative effects of casual dress have been identified as follows


(Egodigwe, 2003; Sikes, 2002; Franz and Norton, 2001): poor perception by
clients; decrease in productivity and overall quality of work; decrease in
polite and mannerly behavior; decrease in company commitment and
loyalty; increase in provocative actions and sexual harassment claims by
employees; increase in tardiness and absenteeism; increase in relaxed
performance; increase in foul language and inappropriate conversation;
perception that looking sloppy makes one work sloppy; and confusion by
workers on what is appropriate or inappropriate attire.

Ultimately, the lists of pros and cons need to be examined in order to


determine the risk of implementing a formal or casual dress code policy.
Determination of which type of dress code is appropriate for a family
business may be as important as the actual creation of the dress code itself.
Once the suitable type of dress code is determined, the next step
understands the legal issues and laws pertaining to dress codes.

Dress Codes and Organization’s


Environment
The majority of workers view casual office attire as a perk that creates a less
stratified work environment and puts the emphasis on employees'
contributions rather than their wardrobes. But some experts believe that
casual attire creates a variety of problems for companies. These detractors
dismiss the trend toward business casual as a fad that will eventually pass.
"Image is one of the most important characteristics of any business, so it
would make sense that the way a company's employees dress would say
plenty about that company's image," Brian Anderson wrote in an article for
Wearables Business. "While the goals of corporate casual dress code include
improving employee morale, enhancing productivity, lowering status
barriers, and fitting in with the corporate climate of customers, the wrong
code can undermine a company's credibility."
The Formal and a prescribed format of dress code are adopted by most of
the organization to be followed by the employees. These formats of dress
style are often made mandatory for the sales and Marketing Department
employees who meet the clients at meeting and have to give presentation,
as the dress code according to organization incorporate professionalism and
make them presentable to the world.

For back end people the strictness in the dress code does not exist but it is
desirable and often graded higher is a person follows the formal dress codes.
The study conducted in various organization depicts that the relaxed and
casual environment at work place does not yield benefit to the organization
contrary to that the relaxed dress and casuals lead to non-professional work
environment and efficiency went down when formals are replaced by the
casuals outfit in office.
It is also true that in organization where once a week the informal are
allowed the efficiency and professional attitude toward work is low when
majority of staff is in Casual.

From such study one can definitely feel that Attitude is very important
indicator and Formal dress integrate Formal and professionalism into the
behavior of each individual.

Dressing for Success at Work


Company dress codes are a never-ending battle in the working world.
Battle No. 1: Employees misinterpret the dress code or they don't abide by
it.
Battle No. 2: Companies have a code in place but don't enforce it.
Battle No. 3: Companies don't have a dress code but they still reprimand
employees for wearing certain attire. Or,
Battle No. 4: There's constant objection from certain industries along the
lines of, "Why do I have to look nice at work if I don't see anybody?"
If you're a sales employee who meets with clients every day, for example, it
makes sense to dress professionally. But for the writer who sits in his cube
all day and rarely sees the sun, let alone another person, does it really
matter what he's wearing?
If he wants to be promoted, it does. In a new CareerBuilder.com survey, 41
percent of employers said that people who dress better or more
professionally tend to be promoted more often than others in their
organization.
Where do wardrobes really matter?
Dressing professionally is more important in some industries than it is in
others, According to the survey, according to the survey. Financial services is
one industry that places the most emphasis on professional work attire. Fifty-
five percent of workers in this sector say well-dressed employees are more
likely to be promoted than others. An additional 51 percent of sales
representatives say the same thing about the likelihood of promotions in
their industry.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, only 33 percent of manufacturing
employers and 37 percent of IT employers say that professional attire
influences whether or not an employee gets promoted.
Employer restrictions
Especially in the warmer months of the year, employees take advantage of
more relaxed dress codes. But, professionalism shouldn't decrease as
temperatures rise. How you dress plays a critical role in how others perceive
you at work. Dressing professionally in the office, despite the urge to wear a
tank top and shorts, will help you project a motivated image to your boss
and co-workers.
To many employers' dismay, traditional dress codes aren't always enough to
keep employees from dressing inappropriately. In order to force employees
to dress more professionally, some employers are banning certain items of
clothing in order to limit the options workers have when it comes to their
work wardrobes.
Sixty-four percent of employers surveyed have banned flip flops, while an
additional 49 percent have forbidden mini-skirts. Thirty-eight percent banned
sleeveless shirts and 28 percent have prohibited jeans. More than one-third
(35 percent) of companies have gone as far as to send employees home for
unsuitable work garb.
Here are four tips for dressing professionally on the job:
- Stock your closet -- Start with the versatile basics, such as a pair of black
pants, a dark pant suit, some button-down collared shirts and a classic pair
of dark shoes. Once you have the staples, you can continue to build your
wardrobe to give you plenty of professional options.
- Keep it neat and clean -- Make sure your pants, shirts and other clothes
are ironed, stain-free and in good condition. When your clothes look sloppy,
so do you.
- Steer clear of bar attire -- Don't mistake the office for your local
watering hole. Leave the slinky shirts, tight pants and cut off t-shirts at
home.
- Look the part -- Have a client presentation or a meeting with the CEO?
Dress for the part, making sure you choose appropriate articles of clothing
for your role.
“Attitude determines the altitude" Thus dress code build the professional
attitude for work into the individual who in real sense is not very
professional.

Also Formals dress lead to:

• Discipline
• Value the organization
• Feeling of part of a professional entity
• Incorporate Team spirit
• Incorporate organizational spirit

Potential Problems with Casual Dress Code


Policies
Although casual business attire tends to be a popular option among
employees, some companies encounter problems implementing casual dress
policies. Many problems arise when companies describe their dress codes
using vague words like "appropriate," "professional," and "business like"
without spelling out a specific policy. This can create confusion among
workers and make people feel uncomfortable trying to interpret the right
way to dress for work. "The biggest problems employers face with these
policies may be how to modify them, enforce them, and adapt the corporate-
dress culture to a changing workforce," Anderson noted. "A clear, definitive
explanation of a corporate casual dress code is rare. What is acceptable at
one mortgage broker's office may be completely unacceptable at another—
even if they are different branch offices of the same company."
Unclear dress code policies can also contribute to problems with employees
taking advantage of the situation by wearing sloppy rather than casual attire
to the office. In fact, many companies have been forced to issue specific
guidelines describing appropriate attire after they have adopted casual dress
policies. Employee abuse has caused companies to ban such items as halter
tops, stretch pants, jeans, shorts, sandals, and shirts without collars. In order
to avoid this situation, small business owners should spell out their dress
codes clearly. It may be helpful to communicate the policies by including
photos of employees wearing appropriate attire on bulletin boards, in
company publications, on Web sites, and in employee manuals.
Another potential problem with casual office attire is that employees may
tend to take work less seriously when they are dressed casually. A survey of
managers conducted by the employment law firm Jackson Lewis and cited in
Entrepreneur indicated that 44 percent noticed an increase in employee
absenteeism and tardiness when casual dress policies were introduced. The
managers also noted a rise in inappropriate, flirtatious behavior. Some
employers and workers say they don't like the way dress-down day has
turned into leisure day, affecting not only attire but behavior.
Some office workers prefer traditional, "business formal" attire because they
believe it provides an equalizing factor for people of different ages or levels
of the corporate hierarchy. After all, if everyone is wearing a suit and tie, it
can be difficult to tell the difference between a CEO and a new hire. As a
result, younger people may be more likely to be taken seriously in business
meetings. Formal business attire is particularly valued by some minority
professionals, who feel that the corporate "uniform" helps them overcome
prejudices.
Of course, some people believe wearing a suit and tie simply makes dressing
for work easier. Older men, in particular, tend to have trouble making the
transition to casual dress. Men have clearly struggled more with casual day
than women, who have never stuck to a corporate uniform and who have a
wider selection when it comes to choosing attire. "Psychologists say many
men, to some degree, see casual day as yet another arena where they have
to compete. Indeed the jungle of casual fashion requires a mix-and-match
ability and a fashion sense that many men say they don't possess." However,
some experts argue that the rapid increase in casual office environments
during the 1990s forced most people to update their wardrobes. "By now,
most former white-collar office workers have business casual wardrobes,
which are often the same clothes they go out to dinner in, go to the mall in,
or travel in," according to Anderson.
Another reason people resist the movement toward casual office attire is
worry about losing their credibility. Bosses are afraid they might lose the
respect of their employees by dressing casually, for example, while
employees are afraid they might lose out on promotions to better dressed
co-workers. In the meantime, salespeople and others involved in
relationships with clients often live in fear that a client will drop by the office
and find them dressed casually. "How you look goes a long way toward
establishing your identity. What you wear says much about your character
and credibility," said a writer for Sales and Marketing Management. "As the
saying goes, you never get a second chance to make a first impression—and
there's nothing casual about that."
Formal office attire is still prevalent in some industries, particularly those in
which employees deal extensively with clients and need to project a
professional, serious image. In most office settings, however, wearing a suit
and tie can cause more problems than dressing casually. "Donning a suit—
when you aren't seeing a client or attending a formal meeting—can project
the image of being stuck in the past or shamelessly seeking the approval of
the firm's oldliners. Although implementing casual dress policies can involve
some potential pitfalls for small businesses, most of these negative effects
are unlikely to cause serious harm to the business.
As Sherry Maysonave explained in her book Casual Power, the goal in
choosing casual attire for the office is to exude the same power, credibility,
and authority as if you were wearing a suit. It is also important that the way
you dress shows respect for your workplace and reflects your career goals.
After all, Maysonave argued, dressing too sloppily can erode your self-
confidence and make you appear unprofessional in the eyes of clients and
employees.

SUMMARY
Contrary to the belief held by some, the end of casual dress codes has not
come. Some people said their employers have made the dress code less
casual than it was previously, but many more said it has become more
casual.
Most people are happy with the current dress code at their places of work.
Among those who are not, more people want to see things become more
casual than want to see it become more formal. This finding is strongest
among those who say they must wear formal business attire to work.
Once it is determined if formal or casual attire is most appropriate for the
organizational culture, a knowledge of the legal issues pertaining to dress
codes will assist in the prevention of dress code related lawsuits and legal
questions relating to discrimination and sexual harassment. A thorough
evaluation of the dos and don’ts of dress code policies should provide
direction for the overall policy statement itself. In addition, the establishment
of precise statements in the policy specifying the dos and don’ts will prevent
misinterpretations of attire deemed appropriate or inappropriate. Ultimately,
the outcome will be the creation of a comprehensive dress code ready for
implementation.

ANALYSIS OF DATA AND


QUESTIONNAIRE
We have assigned values for every scale respectively for simple calculation.

We have 5 scales of measurement i.e.

1) Strongly agree

2) Somewhat Agree

3) Neither Agree nor Disagree

4) Somewhat Disagree

5) Strongly disagree

We have given weight-age for every scale starting from 5 to 1 in descending

order i.e.

Strongly agree = 5, somewhat agree = 4, strongly disagree = 3, somewhat

disagree = 2 and neither agree nor disagree = 1.

Then we count the total vote in each dimension and multiplied with the scale

value.
E.g. LOOK INTO SHEET2 OF BOOK1 i.e. attitude statements and responses

of IBM-Daksh employees. Now let us analyze the counting for question no. 2

which says dressing sense enhances your inner confidence or not. So we

have,

STRONGLY AGREE = 7

SOMEWHAT AGREE = 5

NEITHER AGREE NOR DISAGREE = 1

SOMEWHAT DISAGREE = 6

STRONGLY DISAGREE = 4

Hence, value of this dimension is:

(7*5)+ (5*4) + (1*1) + (6*2) + (4*3) = 80

Similarly, we plot graph of all the questions of these sectors according to

their dimensions:
ANOVA TEST
Ho : there is significant relation between dressing codes, employee behavior
and working environment in an Organization

H1 : there is no significant relation between dressing codes, employee


behavior and working environment in an Organization

Common factor = g2/N


= (637+570+245+302+241)2 /100

= (1995)2 /100

= 3980025/100

= 39800.25

Total sum of Square (TSS) = (∑X12 +∑ X22 +∑ X32 +∑ X42 +∑ X52) – CF

Let strongly agree be x1

Somewhat agree be x2

Neither agree nor disagree be x3

Somewhat disagree be x4

Strongly disagree be x5

Therefore, TSS = (26841+18391+6000+6693+5919) – 39800.25

= 63844 - 39800.25

= 24043.75

Sum of Square Between Samples (BSS) = ∑Ti2/ni – CF

= [(702)2/22+ (615)2/22 + (254)2/2 + (332)2/22 +


(282)2/22] - 39800.25
= (492804/22 + 378225/22 + 64516/22 + 110224/22 +
79524/22) – 39800.25

= (22400.18 + 17192.04 + 2932.54 + 5010.18 +3614.72) –


39800.25

= 51149.66 -39800.25

= 11349.41

Sum of Squares within Samples (ESS) = TSS – BSS

= 24043.75 – 11349.41

= 12694.34

ANNOVA TABLE

Source of Sum of Df Mean Calculate Tabulated


Variation square sum of d F ratio F
s square
BSS 11349.41 (5-1)=4 2837.35 21.23 F4,95(0.0
5)=
ESS 12694.34 (100- 133.62 =24.6
5)=95 9
TSS 24043.75 (100-
1)=99

α is assumed as 0.05

Since, Calculated F is (21.23) is less then tabulated F (24.69), so we


accept the null hypothesis. There is a significant relation between
dressing codes, employee behaviour and working environment in an
Organization.
LIMITATIONS OF THE PROJECT

1. The first and biggest limitation is that the sample size or the people
that we have used could never be enough as it could never represent
the full population. Because, the people who are very computer savvy
would always support this kind of concept. Secondly, new or younger
generation is much more supportive for these concepts. So, biasness
could easily creep in.

2. It is difficult to use methods like anova test, chi test etc on this project
because first of all these test are difficult to implement as they are
purely numerical in nature. Secondly, it is not easy to convert
theoretical questions into numerical questions.

3. Large number of Organizations also plays a crucial role in limiting the


study of this project. Different organizations have different dress
attires. Employees’ preference varies with kind of work done.
4. Generation gap or age differences of the employees in an organization
also limits the study because older generation supports formal dress
attire as the motto of discipline whereas younger generation finds
casual dress attire as symbol of comfort.

RECOMMENDATIONS
Dress codes do not have to be a way for employers to control the

employees. It is a way to keep a professional look to the company and keep

employees safe. Always remember to compromise with employees who have

problems with the dress code not the ones who have a problem complying

with them. The use of casual wear is popular among employees, but should

not get out of hand if employees come to work properly dressed. Always

remember that the employer has the final say with the dress code as long as
it does not violate any of the employees’ rights. But always make sure that

you keep your employees happy because a happy employee works better

than an angry employee.

Dress responsibly, based on the outlined attire deemed appropriate

or inappropriate.

Wear smart business attire, as defined by the specific formal dress

code policy.

Our company dress code is business casual. Business casual attire


consists of …

Such abstract terms are no longer confusing and open to interpretation after
a specific and concise dress code policy has been created. Truly, establishing
and implementing a dress code in today’s family business workplace can be
a daunting task for small as well as larger organizations. A review of the
history of business dress, trends for dress codes in organizations, and the
pros and cons of requiring formal versus casual attire at work will assist in
guiding family business leaders to create dress code policies appropriate for
their specific workplaces.

Unquestionably, taking care of the little things, such as developing and


implementing an appropriate dress code, will help to create a strong and
successful business environment. Keeping employees content, while at the
same time portraying a professional business image, may be accomplished
through policies regarding dress code compliance.
CONCLUSION
It is difficult to comprehend conclusion in this kind of a project because dress
codes differs from organization to organization. Dress codes varies with how
much an employee have to interact with clients and customers but in major
companies management prefers that their employees must wear formals so
as to keep coordination among senior employees and lower workforce.
Unquestionably, taking care of the little things, such as developing and
implementing an appropriate dress code, will help to create a strong and
successful business environment. Keeping employees content, while at the
same time portraying a professional business image, may be accomplished
through policies regarding dress code compliance.

Also in some modern organizations managements prefers to have casual


dress attire so as to make their employees comfortable and more involved in
their work. Such organizations also have very casual relationships among its
management and workforce and among the workforce itself.
Whereas in some organizations like Reebok, employees are free to wear
whatever they desire – there is no dress code.

In most of the organizations it is defined that the higher and lower


management are asked to wear formals and semi formals or business
casuals whereas lower staff or major workforce can come in casuals.
Casuals- as defined by the management.

Therefore we can say that there is no specific conclusion to the project but it
can be said that dress codes have their affect on the working environment of
an organization and the behaviour of an employee. Formal dress code
reflects discipline; confidence and alertness in itself whereas casual attire
gives a feel of comfort and to some people smartness too…
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