Fitting for the Workplace
The woman behind the counter
wore a tube top dress with a jean jacket. On her feet were flip flops, with a
big plastic sunflower in the center of each one.
If this were a public pool,
that outfit would fit. But this was a doctor's office.
Welcome to summer in the
workplace. When the temperature heats up, so do battles over dress codes. Dress
codes exist for a reason – because some people make unfortunate choices in
clothing and grooming.
It could be tube tops and
flip flops were within the bounds of the doctor's office dress code. But that
Appropriate wear is a
sensitive issue, because it's personal. People see clothing choices as
self-expression. They resist any change, saying, "I have my own style," or "This is who I am."
Employers don't want to have
the "your outfit is inappropriate" talk with an employee, any more
than the "body odor" talk. Those that need it don't always get the
talk, they just get passed over for promotion.
When we work for an
organization, we are not just representing ourselves. For many people we meet,
we are the face of the organization. It's important to represent our
Some cover this topic by
cataloging the Don'ts. Don't wear tank tops. Don't show your boxer shorts.
Don't wear a thing with glue-gunned bling.
Instead, here are some
guidelines to consider for all dress codes:
• Represent your
organization's brand, mission and culture well.
• Select clothing that
inspires confidence in others.
• Dress so people respect
you, not inspect you.
• Keep it simple, so people
hear you, not your loud outfit.
• Let your attire lead to
where you aspire.
Whether your dress code is
professional, business casual or extreme casual, strive to represent your
organization in a way that's fitting.