The Importance of Workplace Fashion

By: Marie Donlon

In order to climb the corporate ladder, one must look the part, according to new research from the staffing firm OfficeTeam.

Of the managers and employees surveyed, 86 percent and 80 percent, respectively, said that clothing choices are so important in the workplace that they may go as far as to affect whether or not someone is promoted.

"Dressing professionally establishes credibility and helps others envision you in a role with greater responsibility," said Brandi Britton, a district president for OfficeTeam. "While many organizations have relaxed their dress codes, especially for warmer months, employees shouldn't assume casual attire or the latest fashion trends are OK for the office. It's always a good idea to follow company policies and observe what colleagues in more senior positions typically wear."

The survey also found that:

  • People spend 11 minutes a day (on average) selecting their outfit for work.

  • Men take longer deciding what to wear to work (13 minutes) than women to decide what they will wear (9 minutes).

  • It takes employees ages 18 to 34 the longest to decide what to wear (13 minutes) than those in the 25 to 54 (10 minutes) and 55 and older (7 minutes) categories.

  • Experts are calling jeans, leggings and sneakers acceptable work attire, while declaring tank tops, shorts and off-the-shoulder clothing inappropriate for the workplace.

For more on the findings, see Robert Half.