Darwin Blog

Dressing for Work
Tuesday, 17 April, 2007, 12:01 pm
Filed under: Mind Your Manners Miranda

You have the right to wear and behave how you want.  Anything you wear, say or do will be used against you.  You have the right to seek advice to ensure you do not make a complete ass of yourself.  If you do not know how or where to get advice from; you shall be Mirandarised!

Not so long ago, the Commonwealth Bank decided to issue a “grooming booklet” to assist its workers on how to dress and present themselves.  There was some attention in the media suggesting that such a guide infringed on the rights of its workers.  Bollocks! 

Look around your own office.  In mine today, there is a pair of very low hipster jeans complete with a “muffin top”, a tight “little” singlet and slippers, that really pass as fancy thongs.  Not to mention the tattoos on different parts of the body that are exposed.  That was just one employee who sits in the executive area of a large professional company. 

There is nothing wrong with a company seeking a certain dress standard for the staff they employ.  After all, the staff are representing the company and their attitude and pride in their appearance reflects on those managing the company. 

Dress appropriately for where you work.  Make sure that it is clean and pressed.  Tattiness is not acceptable anywhere.  A piece of clothing can be old and loved, but ensure it is in good enough condition to wear to the office.  It is ideal for men to wear shirts with collars as opposed to muscle shirts and tank tops.  In the tropics, short sleeves are the way to go.  If your workplace has casual Friday, it would be wise not to wear any item of clothing with offensive, obscene or lewd comments.  For females, I would strongly recommend building a work wardrobe for the week that consists of appropriate and professional work wear.  Anything exposing the midriff or extremely figure hugging is quite simply, inappropriate.  Any exposed muffin top is truly offensive. 

Also part of the package is cleanliness and tidiness.  Make sure you are clean i.e hair is washed and brushed, nasal hair is clipped and shave daily if you are a man, wear deodorant and brush your teeth.How you present yourself is a reflection on how you think about your workplace. 

If you work in an Executive area, the Managing Director would like to see professionalism, expertise and confidence ooze from the presence of his workers and this can rarely be achieve dressing in your weekend wear. 

Many offices have a casual Friday system whereby employees come to work in smart casual (including denim) and donate money towards charity for the right to do so.  Smart casual means exactly that, no torn jeans, clothes still need to be ironed and you still need to be respectable, if by chance a client comes in or you have to go to them. 

A good rule to go by is to dress for the job you want, not for the one you currently have!


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