Dress code survey : Dress to impress?

In its latest study, Emolument.com surveyed 850 professionals asking about their companies' dress codes. Results show that Italian firms pay more attention than Americans to their employees' attire. We also found out that some companies have guidelines all the way down to socks...


Dress code by country

 
Does your employer limit colours of suits, shirts, ties, etc?

  Yes No
Italy 20% 80%
Germany 17% 83%
Singapore 9% 91%
Switzerland 9% 91%
Hong Kong 8% 92%
Ireland 6% 94%
France 5% 95%
UK 5% 95%
India 0% 100%
USA 0% 100%
 
Does your employer require you to wear suit and tie/heels and jacket away from client meetings?

  Yes No
Italy 42% 58%
Hong Kong 25% 75%
France 24% 76%
Ireland 19% 81%
Switzerland 18% 82%
UK 17% 83%
USA 10% 90%
Germany 8% 92%
India 8% 92%
Singapore 6% 94%


Laid-back USA : the US appear to have a very liberal approach to dress code, as 100% of surveyed employees say they can choose the colour of their attire and only 10% of them report having to dress formally at all time.


Italians take clothing seriously: Italian companies are the most restrictive when it comes to dress code, with 42% of employees having to wear a suit at all time with 20% also noting that suits have to be of a specific colour.


Dress code by gender

 
Does your employer limit colours of suits, shirts, ties, etc?

  Yes No
Female 2% 98%
Male 6% 94%
 
Does your employer require you to wear suit and tie/heels and jacket away from client meetings?

  Yes No
Female 14% 86%
Male 18% 82%


More options for women? Only 2% of women report having a limited choice when picking the colour of their outfits against 6% for men. Similarly, just 14% of female employees must be formally attired at all times compared to 18% of male employees.


Are men not trusted to pick their outfit? Men may be considered more prone to wearing extravagant or unmatched attires by their employers, which could be the reason they are given more explicit guidelines.


Dress code by company

 
Does your employer limit colours of suits, shirts, ties, etc?

  Yes No
EY 45% 55%
BNP Paribas 20% 80%
JP Morgan Chase 17% 83%
Societe Generale 10% 90%
PwC 9% 91%
HSBC 7% 93%
Barclays Bank 0% 100%
 
Does your employer require you to wear suit and tie/heels and jacket away from client meetings?

  Yes No
BNP Paribas 37% 63%
EY 36% 64%
HSBC 29% 71%
Societe Generale 20% 80%
JP Morgan Chase 17% 83%
Barclays Bank 14% 86%
PwC 0% 100%


Barclays, the startup dresser : Barclays does not limit the colours of outfits its employees are allowed to wear, and only 14% of its employees report having to wear a suit outside of client meetings.


EY is a stickler for etiquette... Nearly half of EY employees say they are limited in their colour selection, and 37% of them say they have to wear a suit at all times.


... down to sock colour! In an additional question, we asked employees if their company had a policy regarding sock colour. EY was the only company for which a significant number of employees answered 'yes' (17%).


Alice Leguay, Co-Founder & CMO at Emolument.com said: 'The debate rages on: is dressing to impress still relevant? In some sectors a sharp look is still important, especially in jobs such as asset management where professional provide a service and must exude confidence and reliability. However the technology world has shaken up dress codes from interns to the boardroom: the Zuckerberg t-shirt or the Steve Jobs uniform denounce traditionally sophisticated outfits as a distraction. Outdated or a mark of respect for clients and oneself? The jury is still out, in the City at least.'

 

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