Broker Check

So Long, Suits & Ties

February 10, 2017

The casually dressed workplace seems like the new normal.
Decades ago, few employees would have risked wearing jeans to work; they dressed up for their jobs and left their casual clothes at home. Then change came from California, specifically Silicon Valley, where tech employees spent more time at the office each week than they did away from it. Sneakers, denim, Steve Jobs’ black mock turtleneck, and even Mark Zuckerberg’s grey T-shirt came to symbolize a new kind of workwear. In some offices today, employees collectively set their own dress code rather than adopting any prescribed notions of what to wear.

Formally dressed professionals and employees are generally paid well, but on the whole, those who dress casually for work do not earn substantially less. A 2017 survey found the median pay at $57,800 for “business formal” workers in the U.S., but it was just slightly lower for “business casual” employees: $53,700. Casually dressed workers (their dress code described as “the Zuckerberg, or Anything Goes Within Reason”) had median pay of $50,300. It appears that the more money an employee makes, the more formal he or she may have to dress – but dressing up may no longer be a condition of earning a high salary.1
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