Back to Listing

Dress Code vs Style Guide

17 January 2017

Everyone wants to look their best and project the right image, especially at work.

But the term “dress code” tends to make most of us balk – nobody wants to be put in a box and feel that their personality is being supressed by the company they work for.

I don’t like the term “dress code”. It’s too rigid, especially considering that personal style is one of the best ways an employee can advertise his or her creative skill and professionalism in the workplace.

“Style guide”, on the other hand, expresses confidence in an employee’s personal choices while still suggesting respect for corporate values.

From a company point of view, a corporate style guide provides the tools for employees to shine – not only because of their skills, but because their personality can be expressed in their fashion choices, without the risk of a “faux pas”. After all, we each know someone we work with – or, more probably, once had a meeting with – who dressed in a way that gave us the wrong first impression.

Codes are for computers; guides are for people. Having a “style guide” is the best way to instill confidence in employees while encouraging them to dress for success.