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Modern Day Office Dress Code | Banana Moon

The modern-day office dress code

What do people wear to work in your office? Do you have a specific uniform, or are you required to stick to a set of guidelines instead? With the average office becoming more casual day by day, we were curious to see how employees from all kinds of industries felt about their current work attire.

Here at Banana Moon, we asked full-time and part-time employees across the country about what they wore to work. Men and women of all industries took part in our survey of 2,023 people, and we discovered over half were no longer required to wear a uniform to work. 53%, in fact, have said goodbye to formal workwear altogether, but how does this change make them feel?

While the rise of a casual, or even smart-casual, work wardrobe is welcomed by some, 39% would prefer to have a compulsory uniform. It seems having more freedom can be a source of stress for many, and over a third feel judged at work on what they choose to wear. Women seem to feel this way more than men, with 25% of the ladies who took part in our survey being able to recall a time when they worried about their work outfit.

What counts as casual?

A further 29% commented on the struggle to find suitable clothing. The UK seems to be a little confused about the meaning of casual workwear, and this uncertainty has led to an awkward telling-off for 24% of males and 21% of females. Vague rules seem to be at the root of the problem, and a lack of guidelines can make what is and isn’t acceptable hazy.

Items of clothing classed as casual vary greatly between offices, and for 20% of people skinny jeans are deemed acceptable workwear. Meanwhile, ripped jeans don’t seem as work-friendly – and only 7.5% of workplaces in the UK allow their employees to wear them. Women feel more comfortable wearing vests compared to men, and band t-shirts are popular in the marketing, PR and creative industries.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, band tees are shunned in HR and recruitment, along with off-the-shoulder tops, shorts and trainers – none of our participants in the two industries claimed to never wear these to work. Women in recruitment and HR still seem to enjoy wearing smart dresses, and men in the industry are inclined to opt for a suit.

Meanwhile, 3% of employed men in the UK thought pyjamas were acceptable for work… we hope they’re self-employed!

Britain’s most uniform-free city

Britain’s most casually-dressed workers are in Leeds, with 65% no longer needing a uniform for work. Manchester wasn’t far behind, with 63% of workplaces in the Northern city going uniform-free. There’s still a dress code in place for many though – 72% of Leeds offices had guidelines employees were expected to follow.

Dublin, on the other hand, was the British Isle’s most traditional city, with 61% sticking with formal workwear. Oddly enough though, employees in the Irish capital wanted a change – over 50% of employees believed they would work better in casual clothes. As for the rest of the country, a third said clothing wouldn’t affect their productivity levels at all – uniform or not, they would still produce the same work regardless!

There’s no denying modern-day workwear is certainly more flexible, but it seems many Brits still enjoy separating their workwear from their everyday clothes.

If you’re a uniform wearer, don’t forget to check out the range of high-quality workwear at Banana Moon. You’ll find clothing from a collection of trusted brands, and we can even personalise your items to include the logo of your company too!

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