US Workers Iron out Dress Code Question

March 4, 2002 ( - US workers, generally happy to see the demise of the suit and tie, are quick to list the benefits of the shift towards a more relaxed corporate dress code seen in the last few years.

Asked about the benefits of a business casual policy,

  • 34% of respondents in a new survey said it promoted a more relaxed atmosphere,
  • 22% said casual clothes were more comfortable,
  • 16% said it save them time and money, and
  • 15% said it was good for morale

Still, according to the survey by Roweta, a garment care company, casual does not mean sloppy.

  • 94.4% of respondents admitted they acted more favorably toward someone in ironed clothes,
  • while only  17.8% of respondents would put on wrinkled clothing for work

The style shift has led to much debate over what is and isn’t acceptable work attire, respondents helped define three dress categories for work:

  • corporate casual is characterized by dress pants and formal shirts or blouses,
  • classic casual translates into men and women mixing dress pants or khakis with formal or casual shirts, and
  • comfortable casual means clothes that go comfortably from the office to the beach

Respondents were also asked what they consider inappropriate work clothing:

  • 15.9% said jeans,
  • 12.5% mentioned tight or revealing clothes, while
  • 5.3% cited unkempt or dirty clothes