Survey reveals what not to wear to the office if you want to be taken seriously

If you’re wearing open toed shoes to work, you should know that nearly half of your colleagues might think you look unprofessional. And even more people disapprove of your super high heels.

A new survey by Randstad US asked workers for their opinions on office wear and dress codes, and found that, despite a general preference for workplaces to allow casual wear, some things are considered too casual.

The survey found that:

  • 73% of workers don’t think ripped jeans are appropriate for work, even in a business casual setting.
  • 56% feel the same about leggings (presumably as a substitute for pants, rather than under a skirt).
  • 50% of respondents say that heels higher than three inches look “unprofessional.”
  • 40% say the same about open-toed shoes of any kind.
  • 30% of 25-35-year-olds have been asked to dress more professionally by HR or their manager.
  • 28% say someone else’s clothing at work has made them feel “uncomfortable” because it was too revealing.

The survey also found that employers with a formal workwear policy might want to take another look at their rulebook. A full third of respondents – 33% – would quit or turn down a job that required them to follow a conservative dress code. On the other hand, most people prefer a dressed up job interview. Sixty five per cent said it’s important to wear a suit for the interview, regardless of how formal the company’s workplace actually is. Forty-two per cent even think it’s worth being 20 minutes late not to show up looking disheveled or underdressed.

Amusingly, half (50%) of respondents say they will wear business attire from the waist up and casual clothing from the waist down for a video interview.

How many offices have a casual dress code? Seventy-nine per cent of respondents said their current employers’ dress code policy is either business casual (26%), casual (33%) or non-existent/no dress code at all (20%).

More findings include:

  • 74% of men surveyed own a suit, compared to 45% of women.
  • 63% workers aged 18-35 say they like dressing up for work because it boosts their confidence and performance.
  • A smaller number of workers (51%) aged 35-64 agree.
  • 40% of millennials would rather spill coffee on themselves before a big meeting than show up wearing the same outfit as their boss.

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