Acceptable in the Workplace?

October 27, 2015

Tops which show belly or cleavage, mini-skirts and baseball caps are unsuitable for the workplace – but tattoos and body piercings are more acceptable than ever before, a study has revealed.

A study of 2,000 workers found many consider anything which bares too much skin to be out of place in the office, including cropped, low cut, strapless or backless tops as well as short skirts. But while some still consider visible tattoos to be a no-no, six in ten think body ink is more acceptable than ever before, with another 42 per cent believing the same is true for piercings.

Despite this, the poll, by workplace uniform provider Simon Jersey, found one in five workers have been reprimanded by their boss over their inappropriate work wear. One female employee has been hauled up in front of her boss because her dress was ‘too pink’ while another worker faced a talking too as their top was creased. Other unusual or bizarre requests made by bosses include telling one woman to wear more make-up, another to dress ‘less young’ and wearing hair up instead of down.

The study found crop tops are deemed the most unacceptable item to wear to work, followed cleavage-flashing clothes, mini-skirts and baseball caps. Flip flops completed the top five, with beanie hats, underwear on show, t-shirts with inappropriate logos, backless tops and ripped jeans also a no-no. Other things considered to be beyond the pale include high heels, long or unkempt beards and excessive make-up. But the study found 44 per cent of workers think there is something about their appearance which isn’t particularly suitable for work, with one in ten admitting they don’t dress appropriately for their job.

Almost two thirds even believe the way they dress or look may have had an effect on their chances of getting a pay rise or promotion in the past. Their fears could be correct though as 37 per cent of managers admitted they have overlooked someone if they have consistently dressed inappropriately. Two thirds also admitted they would be less likely to give someone a job if there was something they didn’t like about their appearance during the interview.

Infographic - Acceptable in the workplace

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