That's because image is often at the heart of the dressing-down trend, says Lisa Scherrer Dugan, Executive Vice President, The Professional Image.
"Companies feel like some of their clients have gone to business casual," Dugan
says, so they, too, dress down "to mirror and match that [client] behavior so that they don't feel overdressed when they work with them."
So, the bottom line to corporate dressing is, casual or otherwise, image and impressions, according to Dugan
"It all goes back to how you want to be perceived," she
When it comes to evaluating your competency, Dugan
cites what she
calls an age-old rule: 67 percent of perceptions about us is accurate, and 55 to 80 percent of what is believed about us is visual, not verbal.
"It is about communication," she
"What do you want to say about yourself and your business?"
The best place to begin evaluating the fashion statement you're making is to have a quick conversation with yourself before you get dressed, Dugan
Ask yourself, Who am I going to see today?
What do I want to project about myself?
What's going to be the best, image-wise?
"It has to be a conscientious decision," Dugan
"It's important for companies to give guidelines to their employees," Dugan
"Some companies do put out some sort of, 'This is what we don't want to see' [lists].
Clearly it's difficult for them to identify this is what you have to wear."
In the absence of written guidance, "A lot of times the way [business casual dress codes] get established in companies is by just word of mouth through the human resources department or management levels," Dugan