The days of power suits and nude hose may beÂ over, butÂ doÂ people still dress up for work? AÂ recent study may offerÂ some clues.
In surveying more than 350 AmericanÂ workers aged 18 or older, along with more than 300 senior managers at U.S. companies with 20 or more employees, staffing firm OfficeTeam found that casual dress codes are more common than not. In fact, half of the senior managers interviewed said employees wear less formal clothing than they did just five years ago.Â On top of that, nearly one third (31%) of office workers said they’d prefer to work at a company with a business casual dress code while 27% favor a casual dress code or no dress code at all.
But not everyÂ manager approves of thisÂ trend. When asked for examples ofÂ common dress code violations, they expressed disdain forÂ employees who show too much skin (32%), have visible tattoos or piercings (6%), sport extreme hair colors or hairstyles (3%), orÂ fail to groomÂ their facial hair (5%).
Dress for SuccessÂ
Despite casualÂ dress codes becoming more the norm, John T. Molloy’s ’70s-era concept of “power-dressing,” or suiting up for the job you want instead of the job you have, still has some truth to it.
In a recent study conducted at Yale and covered by The Wall Street Journal, researchers found that wearing, say,Â a suit, can send a signal ofÂ success and confidence,Â both to theÂ formal dresserÂ and whoever he’s dealingÂ with. In contrast, dressing casually can cause a person to “sweat the small stuff,”Â The JournalÂ reported, as well as become stressed and therefore less forceful.
Whether you choose to dress formally or adhere toÂ a business-casual dress code,Â you shouldn’t feel pressed to break the bank in order to look the part. Racking up debt to invest in a dressierÂ wardrobe may feel worthwhileÂ in the short term, but over time such behavior could damage your credit,Â leading employers to question your ability to manage money.
Of course, not all employers conduct credit checks, but whenÂ they do, they typically look for patterns of money mismanagement and unresolved debt, such as student loans.Â This is why it’s a good idea to know where your credit stands. You can checkÂ your free credit scores.