Is dress code at work a dead concept ?
In the midst of the Zuckerberg period, it’s considered proper not to bother too much about one’s professional clothing. The classic black suit can even look like a fake business in some situations, right in the middle of a coworking space for startups for example. Even “casual” and implicit dress code at work shall always exist.
Is a suit really out of date?
Even if the current trend leans more on an increasingly casual style, “business wear” still exists in several sectors. If you’re not sure how to position yourself, here’s a general rule: the more you handle your client’s finances, the more classic your style needs to be. In short, sectors pertaining to finances, law, accounting can’t get away from the traditional pant suit, while more creative sectors make room for flexibility. If you tend to juggle with many strings like entrepreneurs, the style depends on the occasions: a sweatshirt for team lunches, a buttoned shirt for a bank appointment.
The « casual » rule
The official dress code at Google is summed up in 4 words “You must wear clothes”. There you go. Handle this. The youngest and innovative companies are almost proud about not imposing a restrictive dress code (and often sexist) on their employees. But this doesn’t mean that one can do the Monday meeting in baggy trousers. Codes are becoming subtle with time but remain very present, as testified by the very trendy official manual of the PR Factory agency in New York: You’ve been hired among other things, for your impeccable clothing style. Prove this to us every day ». In other words: nobody is going to tell you what to wear, but everyone is counting on you to have some style. In the end, the absence of a dress code ends up creating an informal standard, which is rather cleaving: those mastering codes can play with this and wear a short with a tie, while remaining tasteful. Others continue wondering if this Hello Kitty belt is too normcore trendy or just super tacky.
In short: my codes get muddled up, but the subconscious orders stick: the no dress code is actually a dress code itself…
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