The Evolution of Work-Place Dress Code

It is said that in order to obtain respect in the workplace, one must be professionally dressed. Companies of all types have different ground rules and dress codes, so it’s difficult to say what looks “professional” or not. What does ‘professionally dressed’ mean, exactly? With the many types of clothes in different styles being produced in the market, office wear can be quite confusing. Fashion moves like time. It evolves, and changes. It can be different for everyone! One might think to wear something personal to them, or one might also wear something similar to their workmates. Each person has a different perception of what clothing means to them.

With evolution, comes with the change of people and the way that they dress. Of course, clothing is a way to represent one self, and it can say a lot about who you are. Nowadays, employers look at a person’s capabilities rather than what they wear. They care less about what you are wearing and care more about how you can contribute to their company. As more and more of the younger generation join the workforce, office wear has become more modern, stylish and less strict. Many years ago, this was not the case. How you dress is equal to how one should respect you as a person. Office wear has had a long time tradition of formality. This can mean a powersuits or neck ties for men and long cut dresses for women. This type of dress code is a standard to many workplaces and is considered as professional and respectful.

1#) Office Wear Through the Years

1. The 50’s

The roaring 50’s was the boom of the working class. Men wore gray flannel suits, striped ties, fedora hats, and heavy oxford shoes. Women wore heels, chanel-type suits with matching nylon stockings.

2. The 60’s

During the 60’s, men and women were complete opposites. Men wore more color and patterns and women wore monochromatic shades with pearls across their necks and of course, a pillbox hat.

3. The 70’s

As the hippie generation started from the 60’s, it carried on in the 70’s, with people wearing jacket lapels and ties and bow tied- blouses for women, both sexes of which wore the ever-famous bell bottom pants that were a huge hit in the 70’s.

4. The 80’s

Women empowerment, and feminism was a huge thing back in the 80’s. This meant more women in the workforce wearing powersuits with their shoulder pads and masculine structured suites to reflect their power and leadership in the office.

5. The 90’s

The start of casual wear in the workforce, the 90’s was the start of a more tech savvy workplace. This meant little to no dress code in the workforce, as long as you do your job well.

6. The 21st Century

The modern man and woman. Fashion, as a statement in the workforce. Nowadays, dress codes do not exist, especially in more relaxed and open companies. An example would be Miami women’s clothing where any woman can freely dress however she wants as more and more companies are starting to grasp the idea of how clothes do not dictate how one should be treated. Many years ago, women in the workforce were obligated to dress for the entertainment of men. Now, they dress for themselves.

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