In its latest study, Emolument.com surveyed 850 professionals asking about their companies’ dress codes. Results show that Italian firms pay more attention than Americans to their employees’ attire. We also found out that some companies have guidelines all the way down to socks…

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Dress code by country

Dress Code

  • Laid-back USA : the US appear to have a very liberal approach to dress code, as 100% of surveyed employees say they can choose the colour of their attire and only 10% of them report having to dress formally at all time.
  • Italians take clothing seriously: Italian companies are the most restrictive when it comes to dress code, with 42% of employees having to wear a suit at all time with 20% also noting that suits have to be of a specific colour

Dress code by gender

Dress Code

  • More options for women? Only 2% of women report having a limited choice when picking the colour of their outfits against 6% for men. Similarly, just 14% of female employees must be formally attired at all times compared to 18% of male employees.
  • Are men not trusted to pick their outfit? Men may be considered more prone to wearing extravagant or unmatched attires by their employers, which could be the reason they are given more explicit guidelines.

Dress Code

  • Barclays, the startup dresser : Barclays does not limit the colours of outfits its employees are allowed to wear, and only 14% of its employees report having to wear a suit outside of client meetings.
  • EY is a stickler for etiquette... Nearly half of EY employees say they are limited in their colour selection, and 37% of them say they have to wear a suit at all times.
  • ... down to sock colour! In an additional question, we asked employees if their company had a policy regarding sock colour. EY was the only company for which significant number of employees answered 'yes' (17%).

Alice Leguay, Co-Founder & CMO at Emolument.com said: 'The debate rages on: is dressing to impress still relevant? In some sectors a sharp look is still important, especially in jobs such as asset management where professional provide a service and must exude confidence and reliability. However the technology world has shaken up dress codes from interns to the boardroom: the Zuckerberg t-shirt or the Steve Jobs uniform denounce traditionally sophisticated outfits as a distraction. Outdated or a mark of respect for clients and oneself? The jury is still out, in the City at least.'