Always dressing formally a job no-no for Brits

What would you wear to the office if you had a choice? And would what you have to wear affect which employer you work for?

work clothes


More than a quarter of workers in the UK would not accept a job if they always had to dress formally, according to a new survey by retailer Very.

That number goes up in London, with 40% of respondents saying this would be the case.

After the Office of National Statistics (ONS) decided to remove suits from its standard basket of goods that it uses to track inflation, the poll shows that 59% go into work dressed in smart casual with another 17% wearing casual attire. Only 15% dress formally.

A spokesperson for Very said, “The smart casual versus formal debate has raged for some time and it’s clear to see that smart casual is now the nation’s uniform with fewer people wanting or needing to dress formally for work.

“However, despite predictions of the demise of formal workwear, it remains popular. Many respondents to our survey are fans of dressing smart, believing it makes them feel more confident and productive.”

While nearly two thirds ultimately agree with the statement that what they wear doesn’t impact how they do their job, respondents report that clothing does have an impact on their mindset at work.

Sixty-one per cent agree that dressing smart makes them feel more confident compared to over a third who say that it makes them feel uncomfortable. When it comes to output, 42% feel more productive wearing formal clothes compared to 40% who feel more productive in casual clothes.

The Northern Irish are the most most formal instincts when it comes work clothing, with only a quarter agreeing with the statement that a suit is a thing of the past, compared to 55% of Scottish respondents and 54% of Welsh.

Elsewhere, Londoners (43%) are most likely to cite being able to dress casually as a key driver in whether they’d accept a job, followed by 35% of Yorkshire residents and 34% of the Welsh. Those based in the East Midlands (18%) place the least emphasis on the role of casual clothing in whether they’d accept a job offer.

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