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Do you have a dress code for the workplace?

Written dress codes may be a largely a thing of the past but there are workplaces with that touch of civility left. In Panama City, I stayed in an apartment with a balcony overlooking a government building. For three mornings, I watched people come to work and it was an odd exception to see someone not in a suit. Women wore pants or skirts, but always with matching suit jackets. They were navy which made me believe there was a code. The blouses and shoes varied. The cuts of the suits varied.

Last week I received a volunteer newsletter from the city hospital, Mary Greeley Medical Center. I was surprised, actually, to read this paragraph:
Dress code reminder
As we approach warmer weather, we need to be mindful of the MGMC dress code. As you know this includes no shorts or Capri pants. Sandals are allowed however, flip-flops are not. Any open toed sandals must be worn with socks, pantyhose or tights. And legs must be covered completely with pantyhose or tights when wearing a skirt.
(I volunteer for meals on wheels and they haven’t thus far enforced this dress code for that activity.)

Business casual
Giovinella Gonthier in ‘Rude Awakenings: Overcoming the Civility Crisis in the Workplace’ says we’ve never been taught what ‘business casual’ means. She provides a rule: The more you deal with a client’s money, future or family, the more conservative a role you should present. She says dress according to your activities and responsibilities for that particular day, keeping in mind your industry, company’s dress code and your position within the organization. She defines standard business casual as a top, bottom and third piece such as a casual jacket, sweater, tie, scarf or vest. For more casual, she drops the third piece.

What really sets people apart is the care of the clothing such as polished shoes and pressed shirts plus grooming and posture.

Your appearance helps define your attitude for the day. If you feel good about yourself…….you’re set for a good day.

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