Why a casual dress code?

In our final post in the series on breaking down different workplace dress codes, we get to the Casual Dress Code. More and more companies are implementing a casual dress code because it is an easy, free benefit to offer their employees. Gone are the days where a suit and tie are the norm. Jeans become the everyday attire, not just relegated to casual Fridays or dress down days. Angie Diaz Medina, the Director of Culture and Patient Experience at Baptist Health South Florida says, “Millennials have seen Mark Zuckerberg in his t-shirts and jeans, and they believe what you wear does not define how successful you are going to be or whether it will impact business.”

A casual dress code offers a workplace to feel more comfortable and creative. Which is why you see some companies allow their employees to dress casually during the hot summer months. And still more companies allow casual dress if the day’s agenda warrants it. The vast majority of companies with casual dress codes are in industries and office locations where clients don’t come into the office on a regular basis. This gives everyone a little more freedom to express their creativity through their wardrobe, without worrying about always dressing to impress the client.

But even with casual clothes being the norm, there are still some rules you should follow. After all, it is the workplace.

  • Clothes that work for the gym, the club, yardwork, etc. aren’t appropriate for the workplace.
  • Leggings aren’t pants and shouldn’t be worn without a long shirt or tunic.
  • Cleavage, chests, backs, and stomachs should always be covered.
  • Jeans are fine, they should be clean and rip free.
  • Make sure shirts are not wrinkled and don’t have any offensive slogans on them.
  • Before wearing shorts and sandals, check with your HR department. Even in a casual work environment, these are not always allowed.

Remember that adage, ‘Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.’ So even in a workplace that offers a casual dress code, you may want to dress a little more formal and professional. This is especially true if you see your boss or supervisor dressing nicely every day.

What kind of dress code do you have in your office? Do you get to dress casually at least some of the time?