The Tragic Decline of Business Casual

 The Tragic Decline of Business Casual

 Effective dressing code is appropriate to any business organization but is also important to note that it all depend on a company’s policy (Allen, 2013). In the modern business world, the business casual has become too casual since most of the company’s employees cannot effectively differentiate between a business casual, plain casual and a formal business attire. This is according to the survey carried out by Mervyns in 2002. Patricia Hunt, a Globe correspondent, wonders what most employees consider casual (Spitznagel, 2010). Very short skirts that women wear and tank tops for men are becoming the order of the day. Critical analysis of such clothing shows that there is no “business” in such “casuals”.


 Given my observations and experience, I believe the business casual has far become too casual for the organizations. Although every office is different and some could allow flip-flops and tank tops, other office environments do not allow such dress codes. I have had an experience with a company where most of the employees did not either understand the required attires considered business casual and, as a result, opted to wear flip-flop. Such attires often make noise when one walks into their cubicle. In response, the company initiated a dress code policy that would discourage the increasing number of employees putting on casual attires by posting signs such as “This is a no flip-flop zone”. Another observation regarding the violation of dress code is during summer where most employees opt to use plain casuals such as T-shirts. During such periods, most employees break out the beachwear, which is often not considered a typical office wear. This shows the decline in business casuals and most individuals opt to use plain casuals, which in turn make them look like a slob.

 According to the article, the “Top Five Office Fashion Faux Pas” include exposed bra straps, chest plumes, ‘hooker’ earrings, open-toe shoes, and exposed tattoos on the body (Spitznagel, 2010). I agree with the list posted on the article since such Fashion Faux Pas are considered too unprofessional and would affect the imagine of the company. The image of a company depends on the quality of services offered which often depend on the presentability of those offering the services. The article outlines that workers may not like rules, but there must be rules regarding the dress code. Even the top management should not be immune to such rules (Spitznagel, 2010). The items I would add to the list of Office Fashion Faux Pas include sunglasses, maxi dresses, and crop tops.

 Business casuals are not appropriate for independent auditors when working at the client’s office. An office is a working environment and, therefore, there is need consider what the client expects as well as the impact the clothing would have on the introducers, prospects, and client. To project a suitable professional image, the independent auditors should have a formal dress code while carrying out their duties.

 Every company has policies that guide the conduct and behavior of the employees, and a violation or breach of such code of conduct may lead to losing a job. In this regard, an employer has a right to fire an employee over improper dressing unless there are provisions that allow certain forms of dresses in a working environment (Spitznagel, 2010). Such provisions are referred to as reasonable accommodation. Allen (2013) outlines that reasonable accommodation provisions extend to religious practices among other personal grooming habits. For instance, an employer may accommodate Muslim female employees upon request wear headscarf. Nevertheless, such accommodation may not apply if so doing would impose unnecessary hardship on the legitimate business interest of the employer. Therefore, one cannot wear anything he/she wishes, and an employer’s rules regarding dress code must be upheld if applied consistently.

 I like the insights given by the article regarding the appropriate dress code that is required in a working environment. The article further gives the current trends regarding what employees consider casual and what employers, on the other hand, expect of them as well as factors that affect the dressing styles of many people such as current fashion trends and social media usage such as YouTube. Nevertheless, the article does not clearly show how the Office Fashion Faux Pas affect the productivity of an organization.

 Dress Code for Male and Female Auditors

 As a manager at a local CPA firm, the business casual dress code I would foster for male auditors are those that I consider fairly significant dress line such as a “softer look” sports coats, sweaters, tailored khakis and more outerwear. Besides, both the male and females can wear shirts without collars and slogans on them. Both male and female auditors should not wear open sandals or tennis shoes. There are no standards for hair length for male auditors while their female counterpart must maintain standard grooming and hair make. The business casuals are only allowed on Fridays. The formal dress code includes wool pants, synthetic material pants, courts, dressy capris for males are acceptable. For the females, skirts split at or below the knee are acceptable, blouses and golf-type shirts are acceptable. Makeup, jewelry, cologne, and perfume should be in good taste.