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May 16

Category: Career Advice, Job Search

Did you spot those blue ripped jeans amongst your fellow commuters on the way to work today? What about a pair of flip-flops or slippers in the office? Travelling, meeting and working in a professional setting used to be a significant event that we would get dressed up for, but it seems to be less relevant now. Do we still bother? Should we be taking these events seriously? The question to explore is what’s changing and who’s changing it.

What’s changing?

According to this study, it was found that only one in ten employees wear a suit to work. The research, which interviewed 2,000 workers, revealed that the modern office is likely to be staffed by professionals dressed in jeans or chinos along with a long sleeve shirt matched with a pair of loafers or smart trainers. What happened to the days where we had to all wear a formal suit or dress?

‘Casual Fridays’ used to be an award for corporate environments, with one day that they didn’t need to wear suit-based attire. Although, it’s becoming more common that ‘Casual Fridays’ is more like ‘Casual attire every day’ in modern cultures. Sarah Landrum suggests that you should “dress for the job you want” but it’s clear that this is becoming less relevant for millennial workers.

A survey conducted by OfficeTeam found that one-half of the senior level managers who responded, thought their millennial employees dressed too casually for the workplace. Furthermore, almost a third of managers thought that there was “too much skin” in reference to their employee’s workplace attire.

How can I adapt to a business culture?

Firstly, you need to research the business you’re applying for. The best way to find out is to look at their social media presence (Instagram, Twitter and Facebook etc). Companies will more than likely put up photos of their employees around the office, you can have a look at their attire to tell what sort of culture the business has. Is it a full 3-piece suit? Or is it a casual shirt with jeans? The vast majority of companies will enforce their own dress code policies, most vary from workplace to workplace.

Does your attire matter for a job interview?

When you’re picking an outfit for a job interview, the image you’re presenting still matters, even if you’re applying for a junior level job. Your image is what makes your first impression on the interviewer, so it’s always important to dress appropriately. Even if the business you’re applying for has little or no dress code, it’s always worth keeping your joggers and flip-flops at home! Still stuck on what to wear? Read here for advice on what to wear to an interview.

Overall, businesses have experienced unique changes over the last decade. Offices have shifted from a quiet and strict environment to an open and collaborative workspace. It’s unsurprising that work based attire has changed, It’s up to the management to understand what the company is about and what culture they want to present to their employees, then the work attire will form itself. It will be interesting to see what the future holds for work-based dress codes. 61% of employees are more productive at work when the dress code is relaxed according to Stormline. If businesses are recognising that workers will be more productive at work, it won’t be a surprise to see the increase of informal dress codes!


3Search is an award-winning UK recruitment consultancy, specialising in marketing, digital marketing and tech positions. Whether you’re seeking new talent or looking for your next career move, we can help. Learn more at 3Search.co.uk