Changing the workplace dress code

I hate getting dressed up. I never wear makeup. I’m terrible at doing my own hair. I’m not really a girly girl. You’ll find me in yoga pants or basketball shorts and a sweatshirt at home.

That being said, I’ve never seen the point in getting dressed up to go sit at a desk for most of the day. Dress pants, button up shirts and suits are so uncomfortable and who really wants to be dressed in that all day?

Following Arik Hanson’s post PR Outfit of the Day: Agency Edition, it was good to see other casually dressed workers. After Arik posted it on his Facebook page, there were good comments from his colleagues and friends.

Adam Singer:

“Jeans & t-shirt or you are doing it wrong. Suits are so 80s, Slacks = trying too hard. Talent is what matters, clothes = irrelevant. Work in sweatpants for all I care, just do good work!”

Heather Whaling:

“My old agency used to require you to wear suits to all client meetings. That was a nightmare for me. Thankfully, they softened on that while I was there. When I first started Geben, being able to dress like myself was such a welcome change!”

 

I agree. It should be more about talent and the work you do than what you’re wearing.

Granted, I work for a startup now and we’re pretty casual. If I was going to a client meeting I would probably dress up a little more. Most of our clients and partners are more casual as well for meetings, so I may wear dark jeans, a shirt and a fashionable blazer or just a spring dress and a blazer.

It’s a Thursday and this is what I wore to work (at least it’s not a mirror shot):

IMG_2742IMG_2751

  • White tee
  • Print scarf
  • Jeans
  • Bright green flats

And it’s comfortable. The more comfortable I am, the more I want to work. When I’m comfortable, I feel more myself and I’m definitely a happier person throughout the day.

Just a few things to keep in mind as spring and summer roll in and workplace dress codes are being revisited. I don’t even know what business casual means anymore, but if you aren’t sure what’s appropriate it’s always best to ask.

 

8 thoughts on “Changing the workplace dress code

  1. Hey Lauren,

    I intern for a start up so I can get away with wearing basically anything, but with my comfort, I totally agree, comes the urge to work! If I am comfortable, I can focus on the work I am doing, not if my skirt in uncomfortable when I sit down or any other distractions!

    Hope all is well!

  2. Hey Lauren,
    I intern for a start up so I can get away with wearing basically anything, but with my comfort, I totally agree, comes the urge to work! If I am comfortable, I can focus on the work I am doing, not if my skirt in uncomfortable when I sit down or any other distractions!
    Hope all is well!

  3. Love this post, Lauren! We’re so on the same page! Luckily, my employer is there as well. We pretty much have a “wear whatever (within reason)” dress code, with pretty much everyone wearing sweats or yoga pants at least once a month, if not once a week. Our bosses believe that good work gets done when you feel comfortable in your body and your clothes, and I completely agree. When you’re not meeting clients face-to-face (we’re an online company), you’re just dressing to impress your own colleagues, anyway.

    1. I think it can definitely be that way when you’re an online company. I love that you can wear yoga pants! I wouldn’t go as far to say I can do that, but that is a good option. I believe that work gets done better when you’re more comfortable and I’m glad more people are starting to see that.

  4. Love this post, Lauren! We’re so on the same page! Luckily, my employer is there as well. We pretty much have a “wear whatever (within reason)” dress code, with pretty much everyone wearing sweats or yoga pants at least once a month, if not once a week. Our bosses believe that good work gets done when you feel comfortable in your body and your clothes, and I completely agree. When you’re not meeting clients face-to-face (we’re an online company), you’re just dressing to impress your own colleagues, anyway.

    1. I think it can definitely be that way when you’re an online company. I love that you can wear yoga pants! I wouldn’t go as far to say I can do that, but that is a good option. I believe that work gets done better when you’re more comfortable and I’m glad more people are starting to see that.

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