Dress codes have been in the news a lot lately, especially relating to schools and their responses to some of fashion’s most current popular clothing items. Many people think of dress codes as being something that you leave behind when you graduate high school, but offices often have basic dress codes as well to help reinforce the company culture. While many companies are moving towards a more casual approach to dress standards, there are still guidelines nonetheless. Some of these guidelines are industry-specific. For example, you wouldn’t expect a preschool teacher, who will need to be active throughout the day and has the potential to get messy, to wear a suit every day. You would however, probably expect to walk into a law office, and see mostly suits.

Where you work in the country can also have an effect on dress codes, especially in the middle of summer. If you’re located in a very hot climate, it sometimes just isn’t practical for your employees to be wearing jackets in July every day. The business casual dress code can be a good solution to maintaining a good atmosphere in the office as well as helping keep your employees comfortable and working at their best. There are a few things to make sure you think through before making the shift from formal to casual or vice versa.

When looking at your day-to-day operations, is there anything that would be hampered or worsened by more casual clothes in the office? If you work in a location that involves manufacturing or any kind of chemicals, would there be safety concerns if employees were allowed to wear open toed shoes? Do your clients and customers expect a certain image of your employees when they interact with them? If your clients expect a certain level of dress from the employees they meet with regularly, and it could harm your company’s reputation or ability to maintain positive relations with those clients if they were to start wearing more casual clothes, then you may want to err on the formal side of dress codes.

This article was written by Gillian Kruse of Examiner.com for CBS Small Business Pulse.


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