A reader writes…
Do most companies have a dress code? Are pantyhose and full suits the norm?
Dear, “Dress Code,”
This is a tough question for me to ad-dress (this is me being punchy!)
Dress codes vary by business, industry, and location. In general, however, I would say that YES, most companies have some sort of dress code established, and as an employee, it is part of your job to adhere to the guidelines. Some places require a specific uniform; others enforce a strict professional-dress policy, while others may be a lot more casual.
In the world of business, where you are working in an office, I’ve noticed that “corporate” attire has turned to “business casual” more than ever before. That’s not to say that flip-flops and shorts are acceptable, though for some industries it’s perfectly fine, and some companies offer it as a perk when salaries are a bit lower than the rest of the market! Blouses and slacks (for women) and button-down shirts or even Polos with slacks (for men) are becoming more and more widespread.
Here’s the challenge that I see when it comes to the “business casual” code as a female employee… coordinating tops and bottoms appropriately can be tricky. Combining the styles of “business” and “casual” takes a certain eye – some people just don’t have enough fashion sense to pull it off appropriately. In fact, I read an article where the Certified Image Consultant and Chair of the Association of Image Consultants International (Kelly Machbitz) said, “I’ve noticed that Casual Fridays have morphed into ‘Happy Hour’ Fridays — you can tell who’s got a date that night by what they wear to the office that day.” SO true!
Being asked to wear a full suit may seem a little stuffy (and can be costly when it comes to dry cleaning bills), but at least people don’t have to pick out what they’re going to wear by mixing and matching things. It’s basically “these pants go with this coordinating jacket.” (Your personal flair comes in with the shirt (and tie) you choose!
Here’s the big question for the ladies… Whether you’re business casual, professional attire, or required to wear a uniform, do you have to wear pantyhose?
Men, you have no idea how lucky you are not to have to deal with these form-fitting, leg squeezing pull-ups that will get a snag or run if you even LOOK at them wrong!
To me, pantyhose should be banned. Now, I understand that they can serve a purpose in keeping things together, hiding varicose veins, and giving some women a more finished look… but please don’t force them in the dress code! Optional is fine.
I’d love to hear from each and every one of you…
1. What are some of the worst outfits you’ve seen at work? (Keep it clean people!)
2. (Specifically for the gals) What is your opinion on hose?
Can’t wait to read your comments!