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Community Manager
Harsh Shukla
Ceo And Md Of 3 Uk Based Mnc's
SAIBHAKTA
Retired From Air India

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Hello Friends,
We are a Business-to-Business organisation and as such we have a strict dress code;
All employees are required to wear business attire at all times, including footwear that covers the whole foot, that is no open toed sandals etc.
The company give a generous clothing allowance, which covers the cost of the clothes and the dry cleaning expense.
I would like your thoughts, if we were to allow one day in a month (eg last working day of the month) as a dress down day; where the employees can come to work in smart casuals. On the proviso that should the employee be meeting with a client then normal dress code will apply.
Regards,
Harsh.

From United Kingdom, Barrow
Dear Mr. Harsh Shukla,

You happened to mention the criteria in dress down day yet again you specified that employee will be meeting clients -- Business matters, If its an MNC or high profiled company consenting Clients now an often should always need to have a dress code. Besides wearing a relaxed fabric; the employee can wear like what you actually desired.

Instead of wearing business suit with tie and suit congesting the outfit, you may try out business casual dress which can be worn at all time, though in a month long without disturbing the routine -- A shirt with long or half sleeves, withouta tie which is collared with cotton pants (khaki, brown, green colours) will serve its need into business casuals. You may also like to deem on men wearing boat shoes/leather shoes and no sneekers, shrewd haircut and limited accessories.

Certainly the clothing should be modest for women -- Ensuring that the skirt should be below knee length witha collared shirt (half or full sleeves). since you said {[footwear that covers the whole foot, that is no open toed sandals etc.]} let them wear feet covered ballet shoes and no heels (flats), hair tied up with groomed nails would specify much professionalism even on a casual day.

Important - If the client needs o meet professionals only in their business attire, the employees should also need to get a place of changing their attire (avant-garde process) to limit nondescript from especially clients at work.

Let us know more about your views in implementing the same, as this may also build-up strategies of dress code at many companies.

From India, Visakhapatnam
Dear Harsh,
Dress code policy is almost a mandatory ingredient of the employee Handbook. There can be no limit to draw the line. I suggest you identify the philosophy to it than the specifications.
The first thing that we are judged for is how we present our selves. A definite outfit helps us cover many loophole to our relaxed behaviour, that can otherwise be misread as 'easy-going' or even 'not-so-serious' .
Please identify what helps one being respectable. Comfort and class will follow. You are the best judge to your environment. You may not need a three-peice suit to be looked upto, neither a Fab India Kurta be laughed at.
I read an article few days back on the inches of heel to the formal shoes. Yes, it was brilliant for entertainment. We as an HR have more interesting if not intellectual ideas to ponder.
Wish you all the best .

From India, Mumbai
Dear Everyone on the Thread:
Clothes can make you! Clothes can break you!
Having said that, let us remember that clothes 'at work' are there to 'conceal' rather than to 'reveal'. An organization may, or may not, have a dress-code -- forgetting not that being 'dressed-up' at times may put you down, and the opposite may be true -- being 'dressed-down' you may be on a high note. Cultural and organization constraints accepted, but what needs being challenged is; do the clothes wear you down, when you wear them or do the clothes spice in that rare balance of space, acknowledgment, need or otherwise, intimacy or distance that is needed as the bottom-line, in building interpersonal relations and getting the job done!
Decide for yourselves
Keep smiling

From Pakistan, Karachi
Clothes can make you! Clothes can break you!...Arif Ur Rehman

I could not agree more. I've been in the Business and Industry consultant training mode for 30+ years. The dressing issue was a concern of mine when I started- always wore a tie, always dressed exceptionally well. Too often, although this may 'seem' appropriate, however it was not. In fact looking back on me then, I can see and understand some of the hesitation from potential clients. Namely, that I was over dressed and no matter what I may have said it was understood and heard as condescension. Basically I learned that my appearance preceded me...by several kilometers. This is not a good thing when a signed consulting contract is weighed in the balance. After a few years I professionally matured and realized that a nice and quite accepted dress would be slacks, button down shirt (no Polo or pullover) and a simple understated dress coat or sport coat which many times was only for appearances and intentionally taken off as the meeting started (certainly no tie). It represented a sort of- now let's get started on the work- image. Never wear cologne for a business meeting or to work. What is pleasant for you is nauseating for others..."why take the chance of offending others" comes to mind.

How should a woman dress? I'm not really sure but professionally speaking, stilettoes are out, makeup for a night clubbing is out. And again...about the perfume- light if any.

*by the way- is there anyone in the market for designer silk ties? ;)

From United States, Fremont
Dear All,

I am in a service industry-an airlines- for the last thirty two years.We have uniform right upto middle management level in all departments.It is expected to project a decent image of the organisation.But frankly I do not find it as useful as it is made out to be.For example a passenger will surely be more concerned about his flight leaving in time than whether he has been checked-in by a person in uniform.Likewise from the customer's point of view (passenger in our case) the priority given to the attending employee's uniform is much less than say flight leaving in time,the in-flight service offered,getting baggage at destination in time and in good condition etc.I have seen several private banks(also in service industry) who offer much better service but whose staff are in presentable dresses but not in 'uniforms'.At best we can say that providing uniform to staff is only a plus point but in reality has nothing to do with quality of service offered and the success of business.

S.K.Limaye/mba(hrm)

From India, New Delhi
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