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The trend is definitely moving towards dressing in a more casual style for work. I often hear people say that they don’t really distinguish between work and private wear anymore. But there will always be items that we prefer not to wear in a professional environment. So, the question is where do we draw the line.
A little investigation
I decided to put the question to my followers (in 2018) on social media and received close to a hundred reactions. As always, the majority of responses came through LinkedIn with equal reply rates from both men and women. 79 people gave a concrete answer to the question: what items should not be worn to work.
Taking the lead in first place is tracksuit bottoms and activewear. Perfectly logical as these clothes are purposely designed to exercise in. As logical as it, I have seen people in professional work environments walking around in jogging pants. I work in a shared workspace and I regularly see freelancers arrive for work dressed in their sportswear.
Taking second place is sneakers and tough outdoor shoes. This is an interesting one. Sneakers are now regularly worn to work but of course, there are many different styles of sneakers. There are some very respectable and professional-looking sneakers and the rougher, tougher more street styles. I also received comments about ‘leather boxes ‘and other tough forms of footwear that people feel are not appropriate for the workplace.
Also mentioned as being unsuitable for professional work environments are baggy sweaters and t-shirts along with old, worn-out tops. Jeans, both with and without holes comes in at number four. As with sneakers, there is a huge difference in styles and models, but I still received a lot of reactions about jeans being inappropriate business attire.
Men in women’s clothing and cats
I love to read through the reactions I receive after posting a question on social media. The best part is when people get into a discussion and I love to hear from people who see things a little differently to the rest of us. In this instance, a man commented that he makes more of an effort with his clothes in his private life than he does for business. At the weekend he chooses to dress up in a stylish blue or black suit paired with an overcoat and tie. At work, he settles for business casual.
Another commented on what it would be like for men to dress in women’s clothes for work. When the reactions started pouring in, he was quick to point out that he does not wear women’s clothes but recently met a man who dresses in women’s clothes for work without the desire to look like a woman. Interesting idea, and this has given me food for thought for Prettybusiness.
The last comment that stands out is a woman saying she would never wear her cats to work! As cat mum to two feline beauties, I can identify with this. As cozy as it might be the cat hair would definitely be an issue. As it is I have a daily battle with getting to the office covered in as little cat hair as possible.
I am curious to hear if you agree with the points listed here? Let me know.