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Casual dress is becoming the norm in workplace dress codes

Were you aware that only one in ten people working in London now wears a suit? This is not the type of statistic you expect to read for people employed in the city. How many of us have spent considerable amounts of money building a wardrobe of expensive suits, only to learn that the company now has a ‘smart-casual’ dress code?

Indeed, smart casual is becoming increasingly popular and with over 90% of companies confirming it does not affect productivity (including here at Eames). The days of being suited and booted are strictly on a ‘need to wear’ basis. ‘Suit 2.0’ is a growing trend.

Who has steered this shift in dress code?

Up until recently, London’s reputation has been for employing suit wearing, corporate professionals.. In the C20th there was a tendency for compliance when it came to dress code and not wanting to break the mould.

A classic example of discarding the smart work attire and notorious for his ‘functional’ dress style is Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO, who has stated, “I feel like I'm not doing my job if I spend any of my energy on things that are silly or frivolous about my life.” – In response to comments made about the lack of variety in his work wardrobe.

As millennial's are now the largest generation in the workforce, it is natural for office dress trends to shift with demographic change. Growing up, most of us were told that ‘untidy attire equals an untidy mind’, which granted is something still associated with certain industries, nonetheless the consensus is that professionalism is moving towards a much more casual dress code.

There are more benefits for the employee than just comfort

There is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to nailing the right smart-casual dress code, but that is the whole point. No company will have two employees exactly the same and its reason they were hired. The mix of unique skill sets, opinions and personalities is what makes a company diverse and successful. Your employers will often voice the financial and productivity benefits to this new 2.0 dress code, but what is in it for you?

  • Truly be yourself at work Having the office as a place you can be yourself will allow you to express your personality, promote a health mind set, positivity towards body image and the confidence to handle situations in your own form of body armour.

  • Choose comfort over style "Enjoying a smart-casual dress code allows me to enjoy the summer without being stifled in a suit.’" Feeling comfortable no matter the weather, environment or industry will make way to a mind-set of feeling in control and maximising flexibility.

  • Make productivity your initiative Promoting your own productivity will make way to your own benefits. Taking an efficient approach, plus a focused mind, minus unnecessary distractions, equals more money and more reward. Not making your dress code a distraction clears space in your mind for reaching your goals.

  • Embrace the trust We all want to work in an environment where we are trusted to do our jobs and given the autonomy to do so. "It comes down to treating people like adults and trusting them to be productive while representing themselves and the business appropriately whether you are in a suit or not.". Utilise this autonomy not only for your wardrobe, but for your desk and career.

Feeling comfortable in your own clothes at work will contribute massively towards a healthy mind set. It is a benefit that works in your favour, not just for your outlook in the office, but for promoting your self-confidence, comfort and it gives you the opportunity to show who you really are. Succeed with your own style.​