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79 percent of US employers prefer informal dress code

By Marjorie van Elven


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Casual attire is the new norm in most workplaces in the United States, a new survey of 1,204 employed people, conducted by Randstad US, reveals. A combined 79 percent of respondents report their current employers’ dress code policy is either business casual (26 percent), casual (33 percent) or non-existent (20 percent). Casual dress codes are becoming so commonplace that 33 percent of respondents said they would quit their job or turn down a job offer if they were required to wear formal attire.

“The nature of work -- where, when and how it gets done -- has changed dramatically over the past several years, and many of those changes (open offices, remote work) have ultimately contributed to a less formal workplace,” explained Traci Fiatte, CEO non-technical staffing at Randstad US, in a statement. “The bottom line is, as long as employees dress in a way that’s consistent with their employer’s policies, most managers care less about what their employees wear than about their performance and work output”.

But this doesn’t mean suits and ties are dead. Old habits die hard, so 65 percent of those surveyed still find it important to wear a suit during a job interview, regardless of how formal the company’s dress code is. Formal attire is still considered the best way to make a good first impression.

Additionally, some types of apparel are still considered too casual for the office, such as ripped jeans (mentioned by 73 percent of respondents), leggings (named by 56 percent of respondents), very high heels and open-toed shoes (mentioned by 40 percent of respondents).

Last but not least, even though dress codes are becoming more and more casual, a significant amount of workers prefer to dress up to continue to create a good impression and boost their own confidence. 63 percent of respondents aged 18-35 said they prefer dressing up for work because they feel it improves their confidence and performance.

Randstad US