/ Asked by Andrew
When I was young, I would wear a suit and tie to work at a business I owned stock in. Now I go to work and am told to dress down anytime I show up in anything like this. I recently read the article here https://amp.businessinsider.com/dressing-for-success-actually-works-2017-7. This states not to let your employer talk you down. How do you feel about this? and what is your dress code?
Answered by Tom, Hiring Expert at VF Corporation, on Monday, February 11, 2019
I think this is all relative, I work in a company that allows casual dress all the time and that includes the CEO on down.  Interestingly, I actually have started getting offended when I'm asked to dress up, not at work, but at work-related functions like outside meetings/conferences, etc.  Not suggesting I'm right in feeling that, but my opinion has certainly changed since working for 7+ years in financial services.

Bottom-line, I think what you need to keep in mind is the last line in the article you reference:

"But make sure to follow the "plus or minus one" rule for company dress. For example, if most people in the office wear button-up shirts, you might want to put on a blazer. If most people wear blazers, you might want to wear a suit. And so on."

If you came to work in my company wearing a suit and tie all the time, it might be viewed negatively as it is so far away from the norm.  That is not to say you have to conform either.  We embrace a movement at my company called "free to be", so nothing prevents you from that suit and tie, but it would be viewed as just another personal style choice, no different than the person in a T-shirt and jeans vs. a confidence or dress for success play.

That said, at previous employers, it made a difference and it really doesn't matter what other employers are doing only the one that you are at right now, so if you feel comfortable and confident dressing up, do it!  You can't please everybody all the time!
Answered by Ashley, Hiring Expert at Cardinal Health, on Wednesday, February 13, 2019
I think you should dress in what makes you comfortable, but also keep in mind the culture and standard dress code for your company. It is becoming more common for companies to embrace a more casual dress code, and suits and ties are becoming less common. My company has recently embraced a casual attire dress code, but also showing up to work with a lens of "dressing for your day". Meaning, you may need to adjust your attire based on the type of meetings you have that day. It is uncommon to see someone in a suit and tie unless they have a meeting of importance, such as a customer meeting, board meeting, etc. Most employee's, including leadership, dress in jeans on a day-to-day basis. In my opinion, embracing a more casual dress code allows employee's to better focus on their work and being comfortable. Some would argue that it also helps to increase productivity.

Overall, you should be comfortable with how you dress and what makes you most productive. However, I agree that the +1 rule is very valid. You should be aware of your surroundings and understand that it may make others uncomfortable if they are in jeans and you are dressed business formal.
Answered by Eddie, Hiring Expert at Quest Diagnostics, on Tuesday, February 19, 2019
I think this is a great question and an important issue, because work attire can be affect one's identity and value. Many companies institute a business casual dress code including Quest in many areas. In other areas of the company, it is more customary to dress conservatively. Now, let's talk about you!

It seems you find great value in wearing a suit and tie (and that's a good thing), so here are a few things to consider. First, find out if there is a written policy against the way you choose to dress. At the same time, find out your employer's rationale for dressing down. You just may embrace their thought process. Another alternative--get ready for this--is to have some fun with your suits. For example, maybe wearing colorful ties, colorful blazer/slacks combinations, suit with no tie, or sneakers with your suit could be nice compromises.

Ultimately, however, keep your eyes on the big picture. You don't want this to turn into an unnecessary struggle over attire when the point of your being there is to be key contributor to the business. So, try having some fun with this conversation with your employer!
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