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What’s happening to Australia’s dress standards?

Are dress standards of Australian businesses dropping? In my opinion YES. I’ve spoken with 3 senior executives from large multinationals and all have confirmed that their organisations have lowered their dress standards to “casual” for every day of the week. I’m shocked!

There have been so many studies that have shown the correlation between lower dress standards and a drop in the business bottom line. We’ve also seen an increase in sexual harassment claims because women are coming to work dressed in ad hoc pieces as a result of their own interpretation of smart casual.

It seems the NSW Government for Education has also recognised the slip in dress standards and they have issued a dress code for all public school teachers. Read the article here Public School teachers and here’s also their dress code.

The ATO have also followed suit with inappropriately dressed staff being sent home, read the full article here Australian Taxation Office staff.

The key to ensuring your employees dress to express the company’s standards comes down to 6 elements:

  1. Issue a comprehensive dress code. Not one with just words because this leaves each individual to interpret the code for themselves. Include images to support the guidelines.
  2. Have a clear roll out plan so every person in the organisation has been exposed to it.
  3. Hire an Image Consultant to deliver the guidelines during the company induction program. This will ensure each new person who starts within the organisation has a clear understanding of what’s expected.
  4. If you have a “graduates program” then consider a half day or full day session on dress standards and its impact on the bottom line.
  5. Start with your senior management team. Every employee will look to their managers for guidance on what is considered appropriate business attire. If the managers don’t have it right then its a downward slope from there.
  6. Include a general discussion during performance reviews. Use the guidelines to serve as a vehicle for open discussion.

If your business is in need of a company dress policy or ideas around integration of dress standards as part of your induction program then please don’t hesitate to contact us. This is what we specialise in and we’d be delighted to help.

Styling Your Success,



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