Dress codes are really vague. Most senior company leaders say that they understand that the days of suits and dresses are long gone. I’m often told by them that they “get it” that their employees want fewer rules and regulations which have little to do with performance.

But later, they will make inconsistent comments. Behind closed doors they get a little more forthcoming. I’ve been told capri pants are too much for a work environment or so and so should stop wearing pants without his underwear showing if he ever expects to get ahead. “Flip flops? Not what future leaders should be wearing.”

The real world is that the boss really wants people to follow his or her lead when it comes to standards of dress. If the boss is wearing a sports coat with Dockers, or a business skirt with a cotton button down collar, they are sending a signal. Disregard such signals at your own peril.

Source: Author, Josette Goldberg of Goldberg Executive Coaching & affiliate of Callosum Creative Ltd.

Clare Hefferren

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