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Hello Mr. Lingham,

I am a student at the University of Minnesota. For my WRIT 1301 course, I am writing a paper on the trend of Casual Dress in the Workplace and I would like to ask you a few questions to make my paper stronger.

What would an ideal business casual dress uniform for men and women be? What are the do's and don'ts for business casual? Especially for a high performance work situation.

How does a worker's uniform correlate with how well they work, or is the correlation nonexistent? In an article I read by Elisa Biecher, she talks about how hurricane Andrews affected some of the businesses and specifically brings up Burger King. Micheal Evans said that employees did not have to wear a uniform to get their job done.

Where do you see casual dress going in the future? Stephanie Armour wrote an article for USA Today covering this new group of workers called Generation Y'ers, and she explains that they are a generation of people starting their first careers, but they are not letting their jobs consume who they are. Jeans, flip-flops, iPods and Blackberries are their workplace norm. They multitask work and their social lives in the workplace. What's particularly surprising about this is that Generation Y'ers work more efficiently than their older co-workers, and can even sift up through the ranks of their jobs faster.

Thank you so much, I greatly appreciate your time in answering my questions.

Nicholas

Answer
Question:   Hello Mr. Lingham,

I am a student at the University of Minnesota. For my WRIT 1301 course, I am writing a paper on the trend of Casual Dress in the Workplace and I would like to ask you a few questions to make my paper stronger.

What would an ideal business casual dress uniform for men and women be? What are the do's and don'ts for business casual? Especially for a high performance work situation.

How does a worker's uniform correlate with how well they work, or is the correlation nonexistent? In an article I read by Elisa Biecher, she talks about how hurricane Andrews affected some of the businesses and specifically brings up Burger King. Micheal Evans said that employees did not have to wear a uniform to get their job done.

Where do you see casual dress going in the future? Stephanie Armour wrote an article for USA Today covering this new group of workers called Generation Y'ers, and she explains that they are a generation of people starting their first careers, but they are not letting their jobs consume who they are. Jeans, flip-flops, iPods and Blackberries are their workplace norm. They multitask work and their social lives in the workplace. What's particularly surprising about this is that Generation Y'ers work more efficiently than their older co-workers, and can even sift up through the ranks of their jobs faster.

Thank you so much, I greatly appreciate your time in answering my questions.

Nicholas




What would an ideal business casual dress uniform for men and women be?

Business casual guidelines for men and women
Business casual is crisp, neat, and should look appropriate even for a chance meeting with a CEO. It should not look like cocktail or party or picnic attire. Avoid tight or baggy clothing; business casual is classic rather than trendy.
Basics:
Khaki or dark pants, neatly pressed, and a pressed long-sleeved, buttoned solid shirt are safe for both men and women. Women can wear sweaters; cleavage is not business-appropriate (despite what you see in the media). Polo/golf shirts, unwrinkled, are appropriate IF you know the environment will be quite casual, outdoors or in a very hot location. This may not seem like terribly exciting attire, but you are not trying to stand out for your cutting edge look, but for your good judgment in a business environment.
Shoes / belt:
Wear a leather belt and leather shoes. Athletic shoes are inappropriate.
Cost / quality:
You are not expected to be able to afford the same clothing as a corporate CEO. However, do invest in quality that will look appropriate during your first two or three years on the job for a business casual environment or occasions.
Details:
Everything should be clean, well pressed, and not show wear. Even the nicest khakis after 100 washings may not be your best choice for a reception. Carefully inspect new clothes for tags, and all clothes for dangling threads, etc. (as with interview attire).
Use common sense.
If there are six inches of snow on the ground and/or you are rushing to get to an information session between classes and you left home 12 hours earlier, no one will expect you to show up looking ready for a photo shoot — they'll just be happy you made it. Just avoid wearing your worst gym clothes and jeans. If you show up at an event and realize you're not as well dressed as you should be, make a quick, pleasant apology and make a good impression with your interpersonal skills and intelligent questions.
Specifics for men's business casual
Ties:
Ties are generally not necessary for business casual, but if you are in doubt, you can wear a tie. It never hurts to slightly overdress; by dressing nicely, you pay a compliment to your host. You can always wear the tie and discreetly walk by the room where the function is held; if no one else is wearing a tie, you can discreetly remove yours. (Then put it in your bookbag or other discreet place. Don't stuff it in your pocket and let part of it hang out.)
Shirts:
Long-sleeved shirts are considered dressier than short-sleeved and are appropriate even in summer. Choosing white or light blue solid, or conservative stripes is your safest bet. Polo shirts (tucked in, of course) are acceptable in more casual situations.
Socks:
Wear dark socks, mid-calf length so no skin is visible when you sit down.
Shoes:
Leather shoes should be worn. No sandals, athletic shoes or hiking boots.
Facial hair:
Just as with interviews: Facial hair, if worn, should be well-groomed. Know your industry and how conservative it is; observe men in your industry if you are unsure what's appropriate or are considering changing your look.
Jewelry:
Wear a conservative watch. If you choose to wear other jewelry, be conservative. Removing earrings is safest. For conservative industries, don't wear earrings. Observe other men in your industry to see what is acceptable.
Watches/cell phones/checking the time:
If you use your cell phone as a watch, just be careful that you don't look like you're taking calls/texts while speaking with employers. Your attention should be directed on the people with whom you are physically present. Be discreet when checking time; frequent checking sends the message that you are bored.
Specifics for women's business casual
Don't confuse club attire with business attire. If you would wear it to a club, you probably shouldn't wear it in a business environment. Also, most attire worn on televison is not appropriate for business environments. Don't be deluded.
Pants / skirts:
Women can wear casual pants or skirts. Neither should be tight. Fabrics should be crisp; colors should generally be solid; navy, black, gray, brown and khaki are always safe bets. For the most business-like appearance, pants should be creased and tailored; neither extreme of tight or flowing. If you are pursuing a conservative industry and are in doubt, observe well-dressed women in your industry on the job, at career fairs, at information sessions, etc.
Skirt length and slits:
Your skirt should come at least to your knees while you are standing. While you are seated, your thighs should be covered. If your skirt comes to just below the knee, a slit to just above the knee might be acceptable. A very long skirt should not be slit to above the knee. Generally slits in the center back of a skirt — to facilitate walking a stair climbing — are acceptable. Slits to facilitate a view of your legs are not appropriate for business purposes. Slips should not be visible.
Shirt / sweaters:
In addition to tailored shirts or blouses, tailored knit sweaters and sweater sets are appropriate business casual choices for women. Cotton, silk, and blends are appropriate. Velvets and shimmery fabrics suitable for parties are not appropriate. Fit should not be tight. Cleavage is not appropriate to business and job search occasions.
Jewelry / accessories:
Wear a conservative watch. Jewelry and scarf styles come and go. Keep your choices simple and leaning toward conservative. Avoid extremes of style and color. If your industry is creative, you may have more flexibility than someone pursuing a conservative industry.
Cosmetics:
Keep makeup conservative and natural looking. A little is usually better than none for a polished look. Nails should be clean and well groomed. Avoid extremes of nail length and polish color, especially in conservative industries.
Shoes:
Should be leather or fabric / microfiber. Appropriate colors are black, navy, brown, tan, taupe (to coordinate with your other attire and accessories); white and pastels are not appropriate. For the most conservative look, toes should be covered. Sandals which are neither extremely dressy nor extremely casual might be appropriate. Thin straps and spike heels are not appropriate. Chunky heels and platforms are not apropriate. Your choices reflect your judgment. Make certain you can walk comfortably in your shoes; hobbling around a job fair in shoes that are pinching your feet does not convey a professional image and does not convey good judgment.
Hose:
Not essential for business casual, but are recommended if your skirt is knee length (rather than calf length) and in more formal environments such as hotels. Climate and weather can be a factor. Hose may not be expected in hot climates/weather and in less conservative industries. Hose may be expected in more conservative industries. All your choices send a message about your judgment; if the weather is extremely cold/snowy/icey, and you wear a skirt with bare legs, you won't look like you have good judgment.
Purse / bag:
If you carry a purse, keep it simple, or carry a small briefcase or business-like tote bag in place of a purse. A structured bag tends to look more professional than something soft or floppy. Purse/bag color should coordinate with your shoes. A briefcase is certainly not necessary for most business casual events. Leather, microfiber and fine wovens are appropriate. Casual canvas and straw are not appropriate.
Grooming tips for men and women
Hair:
Should be clean and neat.
Shoes:
Should be in polished condition. Make sure heels are not worn.
Details:
No missing buttons, no lint; and don’t forget to remove external tags and tacking stitches from new clothes.
Hands:
Clean fingernails.
Fit:
Clothes should be clean, neatly pressed, and fit properly, neither tight nor baggy.
Smell:
Perfume or cologne should be used sparingly or not at all.
No odors on clothes.
Don't smell like smoke.
Padfolios:
Preferred over a bulky briefcase. A small briefcase is also appropriate, but if you have no reason to carry a briefcase, don't; you risk looking silly.
Bookbags / backpacks / totes you carry on campus:
Appropriate to carry to an information session held on campus, depending in time and location and the employer's instructions about attire (after all, you are a student). For career fairs and job fairs on campus, bulky backpacks are sometimes checked at the door (it's too crowded for people to be bumping into others with backpacks), and you should carry a padfolio only. Consider the industry and type of event in choosing what to carry.
It's preferable not to carry a backpack to an event held at a hotel.
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What are the do's and don'ts for business casual? Especially for a high performance work situation.

Business Casual for Men

Business casual tends to be very easy on men so this post will be pretty short. Like with women, there are three things that men must remember when it comes to business casual:
•   Shirts with collars
•   Belt that matches shoes
•   Appropriate length trousers
Men are less likely to violate business casual dress codes than women since they do not have a wide range of choice as women do. You must make sure to avoid jeans—it doesn’t matter if they’re dark coloured, they are not appropriate business casual wear— and shorts.
Men, along with their collared shirts, can also wear blazers, pull over v-necked sweaters, and v-necked vest. It is also okay to wear a turtleneck if a blazer will be worn over it.

Business Casual for Women
Business Casual is, perhaps, the most difficult for a woman. With so many clothing choices available, how does a woman choose what to wear? Of course, they can wear a button up shirt and dress pants, like men would, but what of the fashion conscious woman? What is she to wear?
When dressing business casual, three things must be remembered when it comes to business casual:
•   No cleavage
•   Clothing should not be too tight
•   Skirts should be no shorter than 2 inches above knee
This shortens the list of things that you can consider ‘business casual’.
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DO’s   AND  DON’t
•   Do wear a nice fitted shirt with a cardigan, blazer, sweater or other sleeved shirt.
•   Don’t wear spaghetti straps or shirts that are so fitted that your boobs brim over the top. As impressive as your girls may be, they shouldn’t been seen at the work place.
•   Do wear vibrant colors and/or patterned tops.
•   Don’t wear printed t-shirts, shirts with brand labels plastered all over them, or tops with inappropriate gestures.
•   Do wear tops that are hip length or longer.
•   Don’t wear tops that expose any mid drift. Even if you’ve been working on your abs for months at the gym, the workplace is not where you show them off.
Skirts

•   Do wear fitted skirts.
•   Don’t wear a skirt that are so tight that it’s nearly bursting at the seams.
•   Do wear skirts that are just slightly above the knee or longer.
•   Don’t wear skirts that are anywhere near your thighs, or even worse, short enough that your buttocks are threatening a reveal.
•   Do wear basic and bold print skirts for fun.
•   Don’t wear sequins or glittery skirts to work. These are best worn at places they were intended for, like parties and evenings out.
Jeans

•   Do wear a pair of nice fitting jeans.
•   Don’t wear a pair of jeans that are so tight that you had to lie on your back on the bed to squeeze into them. Save those for date night  
•   Do wear basic color jeans, ie. blue, black, white.
•   Don’t wear jeans that have fancy washes, brand names or huge colorful designs plastered on the pockets.
•   Do wear relaxed fitting jeans.
•   Don’t wear jeans that have rips, holes, or any type of tears. Although Brandy looks fashionable and cute above, this is hardly work appropriate.
Shoes

•   Do wear comfortable heels or flats that are stylish.
•   Don’t wear the sexy stilettos that you wore to the club the night before. Leave the shoes that are over 4 inches high at home.
•   Do wear stylish shoes that fit current trends.
•   Don’t go overboard with busy colors and patters or hardware. Simple and chic is the goal.
•   Do wear stylish boots for work that are below the knee or shorter.
•   Don’t wear thigh high boots, hiking boots, running shoes or any other type of shoe that is intended for sports or manual labor. Unless you hiked a mile before work and intend on changing shoes as soon as you get in, leave these babies on the trail.


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How does a worker's uniform correlate with how well they work, or is the correlation nonexistent? In an article I read by Elisa Biecher, she talks about how hurricane Andrews affected some of the businesses and specifically brings up Burger King. Micheal Evans said that employees did not have to wear a uniform to get their job done.


THE  CORRELATION   IS VERY  VERY  MINOR.  

how you are managed
Your rights to  equality at work
IS  MORE  RELEVANT/ IMPORTANT.

look at the following work situations:
1. When you apply for a job
2. Working hours and time off
3. Pay and benefits
4. Promotion, transfer, training and development
5. When you are being managed
6. Dismissal, redundancy, retirement and after you’ve left


1. Your rights to equality at work: how
you are managed
If your employer is making a decision, or taking action following a decision, about how to
manage you, equality law applies to what they are doing.
Equality law applies:
• whatever the size of your organisation
• whatever sector you work in
• whether your employer has one worker or 10 or hundreds or thousands
• whether or not your employer uses any formal
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Where do you see casual dress going in the future? Stephanie Armour wrote an article for USA Today covering this new group of workers called Generation Y'ers, and she explains that they are a generation of people starting their first careers, but they are not letting their jobs consume who they are. Jeans, flip-flops, iPods and Blackberries are their workplace norm. They multitask work and their social lives in the workplace. What's particularly surprising about this is that Generation Y'ers work more efficiently than their older co-workers, and can even sift up through the ranks of their jobs faster.


Increasingly lax office culture means we have not two wardrobes—work and play—but one. Is anything allowed at work.
Telecommuting is changing our culture—and so are the fields we’re choosing to work in, from near or far. The Department of Labor calls computer-systems design and related services “among the fastest growing industries in the economy,” and says sectors software engineering and data systems are the most likely to surge over the next five years—jobs you can do from anywhere, no-suit-required.
But what happens when it’s time to head back into the office or to a client meeting? With an estimated 2 million American businesses equipped to allow workers to telecommute, possibly in their PJs or T’s, will business-casual dress codes devolve into a whatever-goes attitude?


Sartorial strictures have been loosening for decades. The start-up ethos of the ’90s dotcom boom meant jeans and T shirts took the place of cuff links and pocket squares. Suits, and being a suit, were out of style. And as tech companies like Apple, Google, and Microsoft helped create a nation of mobile workers, each company helped entrench the notion that looking smart isn’t as material as being smart. Google cofounder Sergey Brin, for example, still describes his company’s dress code as that of a “disheveled student,” and Google’s relaxed attitude toward dress and hours (as well as its friendliness toward working remotely) is part of its allure for employees. Those same lax standards have seeped into other sectors: centuries-old American companies like Ford, Procter & Gamble, and General Motors have devolved from Mad Men–sharp to comfy-casual in most departments.
Many company dress codes have been stripped down to a simple “Use good judgment.” But such fashion statements aren’t one-size-fits-all. New York City–based image consultant and personal stylist Lindsay Weiner advises against going too casual for that reason. Apparel like shorts, athletic gear, and flip-flops, Weiner says, should be avoided for most work occasions, lest we get in the habit of looking sloppy and unprofessional. “Your attire depends on the type of work you do—the rules are a little more lax when it comes to dressing for the workplace in creative fields,” says Weiner. “It’s business, but casual, and most times, I do think you can wear jeans—but make it dark denim.” Yet Weiner, a former stylist on the TLC makeover show What Not to Wear, says that even if you work in a creative industry or telecommute, you should invest in a well-made suit. She says you can still wear it every day by breaking it down: wear the suit jacket with dark jeans, or the suit pants with a more casual top. When a more formal occasion presents itself, you won’t have to scramble for the appropriate attire: just put the suit pieces together, she says. And there is one thing—even for those lucky telecommuters like Birch—that Weiner says is never acceptable for work time. “Sometimes, people think sweatpants are OK,” she says. “They’re never OK.”
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Leo Lingham

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human resource management, human resource planning, strategic planning in resource, management development, training, business coaching, management training, coaching, counseling, recruitment, selection, performance management.

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18 years of managerial working exercise which covers business planning , strategic planning, marketing, sales management,
management service, organization development

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24 years of management consulting which includes business planning, corporate planning, strategic planning, business development, product management, human resource management/ development,training,
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MASTERS IN SCIENCE

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