The world we are living in is rapidly evolving, however, with everything we used to know and love, including the way we dress, changing. Renowned fashion columnist and editor, Diana Vreeland, was once quoted as saying: “Fashion is part of the daily air and it changes all the time, with all the events. You can even see the approaching of a revolution in clothes. You can see and feel everything in clothes.” Something that hasn’t changed is the fact that the clothes we wear have a significant impact on our confidence levels, how we feel, and how we interact with other people according to a feature published in Forbes. Across most industries, and even in our social lives, the clothes we deem as ‘acceptable’ have changed substantially over recent years.
Does it matter what you wear at work?
In certain white-collar professions, dress codes are still adhered to, although some institutions including hospitals, law firms, and schools are becoming somewhat more lenient in their approach towards ‘acceptable attire’. The days of nurses and doctors being clothed in stiffly-starched white dresses and coats is a thing of the past, with these garments often making way for brightly-colored, comfortable scrubs. There is also an increasing number of law firms that are embracing a more casual and comfortable look.
Suits make way for khaki pants
Where suits were an expectation 30 years ago, most law firms have settled on a business casual dress code which means that suits and ties have been replaced by comfortable trousers and collared shirts (including golf shirts) for men. Female employees generally choose between slacks and sweaters, dresses worn with jackets, and knee-length skirts with blouses. There are still. However, a few institutions who prefer their staff to be dressed in a certain way which often involves uniforms being prescribed.
Most creative positions allow for creative dressing
If you are fortunate enough to be self-employed or work in a creative field such as graphic design, hairdressing, tattoo artistry, and photography, general dress code rules do not apply. Many employers, in fact, encourage their staff to dress in a manner that reflects their personal style and character (within limits) as it has been found to boost creativity and productivity. Google is one such a company that has a very casual approach to corporate wear. One of the industry giant’s 10 principle philosophies does read “you can be serious without a suit” after all.
It’s not just our work dress code that has changed
As recent as thirty years ago, going to dinner at a restaurant or enjoying a bout of gambling at your local casino would have required you to be dressed to the nines. Now, depending on the time of day and occasion, of course, it has become perfectly acceptable to take a seat next to a poker table or order a glass of Dom Pérignon wearing your city shorts and sports shoes. The entire social scene has changed with regards to dress code with an increasing number of clubs, pubs, eateries, and even shopping malls fully embracing the diversity of their patrons, much to the delight of the LGBTQ community which has often fallen victim to severe discrimination as far as their fashion sense is concerned.
What we choose to wear is not only an expression of our taste in fashion but also directly reflects on who we are as individuals. It is however important to remember that, although dress codes have changed significantly over the last few decades, there are still occasions that call for specific attire.