Freshly dry cleaned blazers, ironed shirts, delicately tied ties, slick stockings, finely groomed hair and high heels prancing around the office are quickly becoming a thing of the past.

Business attire has come a long way in the last few years with a shift away from the conservative business suit. It wasn’t long ago that wearing a pink shirt or bright tie seemed like a career risk. Now, it’s just another compliment you can chuck into your small talk with a colleague.

Gone are the days of wearing your blazer and tie on all occasions, including out to lunch. At some companies, blazers are no longer required even when attending client meetings.

Relaxing dress code policies

Most companies have a set workplace dress policy, however, businesses are increasingly loosening these rules to create a more relaxed and creative workplace environment for their employees, and what better place to start than with appearance?

For some workplaces, dress codes are applied purely to ensure the safety of their workers. Other workplaces operating in particular industries must abide by a certain dress code expectation that has been set across the board, for example in the legal industry.

On the other hand, there are many job roles that do not require client meetings or daily face-to-face interaction with external parties, making a casual dress code easily adopted by those employees if tolerated by their workplace.

Too casual

But how far is too far when it comes to casual workplace dressing? Is a long beard, casual shirt, jeans and a pair of brown leather shoes too casual? Or what about the nightclub outfit that some women like to wear to show up to work in? Some employees believe that dressing too casually at work will hinder their career progression and dress to professional perfection at all times.

So, what are your thoughts? Does your workplace have a strict or casual workplace dress code? Which do you prefer?

Dress code tips

Make sure your workplace dress code is reasonable by ensuring it relates to the job and that it is applicable in a manner that does not discriminate against either sex, cultural background or religious belief. It must also be fair to employees with disabilities. A compliance audit can ensure that your dress code policies are sound.

Be wary that if an employer dismisses an employee based purely on not abiding to the workplace dress code, the employer could be subject to an unfair dismissal claim. Ensure that you seek workplace advice before making any decision in this area.