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Dress Codes at Work: Join Our #MTtalk…

Please Join us!

What: #MTtalk
Where: Twitter
When: Friday, October 13 @ 1pm EST (5pm GMT / 10:30pm IST)
Topic: Dress Codes at Work: Fashion and Fitting In
Host: @Mind_Tools

“Without professionalism I’d be an amateur, and the clients I want don’t hire amateurs.”
David Airey, graphic designer

About this week’s chat

Looking the Part

Quite a few years ago, I worked for a company that imposed a strict dress code. It extended beyond what clothes we should wear, and included how we should wear our hair and do our makeup.

We were especially strict on frontline staff because, like it or not, first impressions are important. Our policy was to send staff home if they didn’t “look the part.” They had to make themselves presentable, then come back and work their full hours.

One morning, one of the women who worked the early shift came to work without makeup, and with her hair pulled back untidily. It was evident that she’d had a late night, and that she didn’t have time to get herself ready for work.

As her HR manager, it was my unpleasant duty to ask her to go home and get herself ready properly. As you can imagine, she wasn’t too happy, even though she knew she was at fault. She got very angry with me, burst into tears, then went home.

But she came back a few hours later, looking completely different. After sulking for a week or two, she finally got over it.

Fast-forward four years, and we bumped into one another at a mutual friend’s wedding. She was working for another company, and I was out of the corporate world and working for myself.

After the wedding ceremony she came to greet me. We laughed about the day I sent her home. Then she said, “I now work at a company where the people don’t care as much about how they look, and you won’t believe how much it bothers me. I find it difficult to deal with how unprofessional it comes across. I often have to bite on my tongue not to say something.”

Dress Codes at Work: Fashion and Fitting In

In this week’s #MTtalk Twitter chat, we’ll discuss “Dress Codes at Work: Fashion and Fitting In.”

In our recent Twitter poll, we wanted to know how you feel about workplace dress codes. Almost half of our respondents said that it’s professional to have a dress code, with a further 32 percent saying that it keeps dress appropriate for the office. To see the full results of our vote, have a look here.

We’d love you to participate in Friday’s chat about workplace dress codes. The following questions may spark some thoughts in preparation for it:

  • Is it right for employers to issue a dress code in 2017?
  • How are men and women, or different professions, treated differently in regard to dress codes, and why?
  • What benefits do you see in having a clear dress code? Are there any unspoken dress code rules at work? Do you go along?
  • How do you present yourself at work? Why?


To help you prepare for the chat, we’ve compiled a list of resources for you to browse.

6 Traits of a True Professional

Dress to Impress

What Are Your Values?

Avoiding Cross Cultural Faux Pas: Clothes

Making a Great First Impression

At Mind Tools, we like hearing from people all over the globe. We’d like to learn from you, too, and we invite you to participate in the #MTtalk chat this Friday at 1pm EST (5pm GMT; 10:30pm IST). Remember, we feature great participant responses right here on our blog every week!

How to Join Our Chat

Follow us on Twitter to make sure you don’t miss out on any of the action this Friday! We’ll be tweeting out 10 questions during our hour-long chat. To participate in the chat, type #MTtalk in the Twitter search function. Then, click on “All Tweets” and you’ll be able to follow the live chat feed. You can join the chat by using the hash tag #MTtalk in your responses.

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