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Corporate America is Easing up on Dress Code - Should You?

Workplace dress codes can be a sensitive subject; employees are either for it or against it.

In the 80's, if you were hired for an "office" job, you had better be prepared to look the part. We still see this expectation in some instances today, however not nearly as much due to corporate America and companies in general moving toward the motion that a strict dress code just isn't as high on the agenda as it once was.

With so many organizations easing up on dress codes, this begs the question, should you?

Why are Organizations Changing their Dress Code Policy?

The main factor behind this change is generational. Employees today are just not interested in coming into work each day dressed in a full pant suit, unlike the generations before them.

Company leaders and head players in HR are recognizing this and, to embrace the change, they are easing up on the dress code in an effort to attract and retain top talent.

Pros and Cons of a More Relaxed Dress Code

Take a look at the lists below to help you with your decision.


  • Attract top talent

  • Boost morale

  • Increase productivity

  • Cultivate a creative work culture


  • Perceived unprofessionalism

  • Risk of inappropriate attire

  • Atmosphere may become too lax

How to Implement a new Dress Code Policy

  1. Create guidelines: create new dress code policies/guidelines within your organization or with the help of an HR provider.

  2. Have the discussion: address your staff about the new dress policy and be sure to include details regarding why the change is taking place.

  3. Exemplify the new dress code: spearhead the change by dressing in the example of what's acceptable. Although attire may be a bit more relaxed, we still need to maintain a sense of professionalism.

  4. Correct where needed: if an employee seems to have some confusion of what's appropriate, have a conversation.

  5. Gather data: after a few weeks, ask your HR provider to collect feedback from staff with a survey.

Wrap Up

There is no "best practice" for dress code that fits all workplaces; however, organizations should be open to change as the organization grows and culture changes. No matter what the formal dress code is, be sure to communicate, set clear expectations, welcome feedback, and re-evaluate as needed!

Give us a call for assistance with dress code policies and more!

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