Is Business Casual Dress Appropriate?
By Joyce E. Byrd
OBVIOUSLY, most companies want their
employees to project the company in the most favorable light.
Does business casual clothing compromise the corporate image?
Many professional corporations have adopted a business casual
dress code for employees. Some companies permit this
more relaxed form of attire on “casual Fridays”
while others have implemented the code for everyday dress.
Personnel professionals maintain that the new business casual
philosophy has greatly improved recruiting and retention efforts.
In this day and age where market competition is fierce and
employee retention is low, a break from monotony through business
casual dress can help boost morale by providing a comfortable,
friendly work atmosphere. If it is implemented as “casual
Fridays” it provides another reason to look forward
Conversely, some people do not have appropriate “business
casual” clothes—particularly to extend for an
entire week. A closet filled with designer suits and
scraggly jeans is not uncommon. Such employees would
either stand out in their business suits on casual days or
would have to invest in a business casual wardrobe.
And, what if an employee receives a last-minute invitation
on the day of an important executive or client meeting?
Should he dash home to change clothes, carry a spare suit
just in case, or risk being the only person at the meeting
dressed in business casual clothing? Inconsistencies
can send mixed signals to employees as well as visitors.
Does business casual attire influence professionalism?
Is the image projected in khaki slacks and an open-necked
shirt that different from the fašade of a suit and tie?
If the individual is well-groomed and neat in appearance and
presents himself as knowledgeable and professional, is the
packaging that important?
Copyright © 2000, Joyce E. Byrd.
All rights reserved.