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    1 in 3 people don’t understand what smart casual means

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    Research conducted on behalf of work wear provider Simon Jersey has shown that UK workers could be hampering their own career progression because they don’t understand how to dress in the workplace, with 34% saying they don’t know what ‘smart casual’ means.

    The study, which polled 2000 people, showed that almost two-thirds (65%) of workers believe they have been overlooked for a pay rise or promotion in the past simply because of the way they dressed. Additionally, 37% of managers admitted that they have chosen not to award an employee with a pay rise or promotion because they consistently dressed inappropriately.

    Other key findings included:

    • 36% of Britons would now describe their workplace dress code as smart casual
    • 32% of UK workers said they have fallen foul of the smart casual description
    • 64% of respondents believe you can judge how good someone is at their job based on how they are dressed
    • 55% think that employees now dress less smartly than they did 10 years ago.

    As the research shows, it’s important to get things right when planning your attire for work. To help people come to terms with exactly what smart casual means, Simon Jersey has created an expert guide. You can find it here.

    The company’s Design Manager Helen Harker said that for many workers the smart casual dress code is too ambiguous and it’s common for people to either under or overdress.

    “The difficulty with smart casual is that it’s often referenced as the dress code in event invitations and in work contracts, but it’s never quite clear what it means. We think businesses should aim to be more specific, especially when it comes to what people should wear to work so it saves the stress on both sides.

    “In general, smart casual for work is anything that helps you create a professional look, with a relaxed feel that allows you to stay comfortable and show your personal style,” she commented.

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    Molly Dyson

    Former Editor – PA Life

    All stories by: Molly Dyson