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Dress Down…

Dress Down…

Naked Leader Week – 312 – Monday 15 June 2009

Dress Down…

Time to read – just 3 minutes

A recent question on dress down days ( attracted a lot of comment, as does the subject on a wider basis.

Arguments in favour of dress down include increased productivity; people feel more like being themselves at work, and it removing the sense of hierarchy.

Arguments against include customer reaction, looking unprofessional and even an increased chance of flirting!

All of these demonstrate that while of course we shouldn’t judge people by their attire, we all do because of conditioning. Just ask the early oil riggers who went in to buy a BMW in Aberdeen – a number of few car sales were lost because of first impressions. You can’t get away from the fact that in certain situations we are expected to dress a certain way otherwise it is deemed to be discourteous. Both dressing like a gardener while attending a black tie dinner dance and out-dressing the bride at a wedding will understandably provoke a bad reaction.

I was once approached by a young lady at work who wanted coaching because no–one would taker her seriously in the world of business and was treating her like a bimbo – she had a degree and was extremely competent. The thing was she was dressing just within acceptable guidelines. The combination of short skirts, t shirty tops and facial piercing wasn’t giving the right impression… and I told her. She complained that people shouldn’t judge her by the clothes she wore.

Right enough!

They do though!

So –  keep dressing like a bimbo and be treated like a bimbo or get a business suit, some smarter tops and less facial adornments (keep them for out of work) and be treated as a professional business person – it’s the society we live in.

Yes the dress codes can be vague, at best. So my advice, if you’re not sure, is to dress one scale up from the advice given – men can always take off their jacket or tie, women their jacket or scarf or jewelry, people are rarely thought badly of for dressing too well.

Because first impressions start with what you see, we will judge someone by what they wear, rather than what they do, or who they are. So, just as I encourage to strip away the barriers, prejudices and opinions between you, I encourage you to look again and see beyond the dress choices, to the real person underneath. Some would call that being truly authentic.

And then there is the ultimate in a dress down Friday – welcome to the TV experiment, that is The Naked Office!  (Link)

With my love and best wishes



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