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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Do's and don'ts of casual business attire

Business casual is now the most widely accepted corporate attire in the United States, and companies in Greenville are following this national trend. Although it appears that there is no standard definition of the term “business casual”, employers develop their policies for this for this dress practice based on the following general guidelines
  • Men:  slacks, short or long sleeve collared shirts or sweaters, closed toe non-athletic footwear and socks. 
  • Women: knee length or longer dresses, skirts, full or Capri length pants, tops and blouses with or without collars, sweaters, and closed or open toed shoes. 
Often companies allow their employees to “dress down” on certain days. Employees of the North American corporate headquarters of Michelin tires in Greenville may wear jeans on Fridays. The Greenville offices of Hubbell Lighting permit their employees to wear jeans a few times a month, usually before holidays or in conjunction with a charitable fundraising or food drive. Steve Nail, Vice President of Human Resources,  pointed out that jeans and specially designed tee-shirts are also worn at events celebrating the achievements of individual departments. 
Business casual is not synonymous with informal or casual attire. Certain clothing and accessories are always off limits in a business casual environment.  Leisure, athletic clothing, club wear and beach attire are prohibited, and so are clothes that show too much skin or undergarments.    Hubbell Lighting and other companies also prohibit clothing and accessories that display inflammatory or profane language, designs or photos. 
Business casual by no means sacrifices seriousness of purpose for comfort. Janet Wade, Michelin’s Director of Corporate Personnel, emphasizes that ones work clothing should reflect a single purpose:  doing business. Image awareness professional and owner of “DotThati”, Tamra Silvestre, stresses the “need to maintain a professional image that is a positive reflection” on one’s company.  Alicia Abrahams, Community Manager at Verandas at the Point apartment residences on Carolina Point Parkway, strongly believes that a professional appearance from “head to toe” also sends the message that employees take pride in their work and value the customers they serve. In Ms. Abrahams’opinion, the gold standard for business includes being neat, well groomed and polished. 
Although all employees need to become well versed in their organizations’ dress code, from time to time they may have questions about the appropriateness of certain clothing. Jason Loftis, Corporate Recruiting Manager at Michelin, offers this essential piece of advice to employees and job candidates alike: always seek clarification from a supervisor on matters relevant to professional attire.

1 comment:

  1. Accessories must be considered as well when wearing business attire. Wristwatches and closed leather footwear make a good pair. With the right combinations, it would be quite easy to look fashionable yet professional in the workplace.

    Dylan May