Casual Dress Code Conundrums

March 21, 2019


It came as quite a shock last month when Goldman Sachs announced a “firm-wide flexible dress code”.


In its leaked memo, the US bank described the changing nature of workplaces, stating that the working environment has become more casual. With 75% of its employees being born since 1981, the bank, like many institutions is keen to keep up with the demands of its younger personnel. The bank also added "Casual dress is not appropriate every day and for every interaction and we trust you will consistently exercise good judgement in this regard," the memo read. Does confusion reign?


There are ‘givens’, that are advisable for both sexes – choose a good watch – but not as expensive as the boss’s Porsche! Avoid sportswear unless you are on the way to the gym. Flip flops are definitely out! What on Earth is ‘good judgment’?


Many institutions have varying ‘secret’ dress codes, some insisting on ties at all times, others being less prescriptive. Some have different codes for more senior personnel than junior. So, what to wear is the question?


One thing you can do is research – what are others wearing? (look at the successful people in your department), ask the HR team for the dress code. Another thing is to play safe, but does this reflect the real you? Should you wear a suit? Or separates e.g. jacket and trousers or dress and jacket? Should you ditch the jacket? Ditch the tie? Keep a smart outfit at work, just in case?


We think the best bet is to consult your stylist and your tailor. They will help you choose formal, smart-casual and casual wear. Dressing has gone from simple in 1980 (wear a suit whether man or woman) to complex in 2019.


We are here to help – just give us a call…





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