Formal Dress Policy in Vogue

March 11, 2002 ( - The nineties tech-boom trend that saw more and more businesses adopting casual dress policies in may be reversing as the economy wanes, according to a new poll by a men's clothing trade group.

A fifth of the 200 companies responding to the Dress Code Survey have initiated a business dress code in the last year. More than half of the companies said they have a dress code in place.

There’s good reason. Executives polled said well-dressed workers have definite advantages over those more casually dressed:

  • seven in 10 executives believe a person in a suit and tie is more effective,
  • more than a fifth of the executives, or 22%, said professionally dressed workers are more likely to be promoted,
  • almost half said well-heeled workers are more confident, and
  • 46% said employees appear more organized in formal dress

The expectations for style of dress are not uniform through the workforce. For example, half of respondents think sales people should wear suits, 44% would prefer consultants to be well dressed, and 46% include lawyers among the well dressed.

The survey was commissioned by the Men’s Apparel Alliance and conducted by research firm Leflein Associates, Inc.