On April 28th, Chantal “Taly” Russell was invited to be a keynote speaker at New York’s prestigious Fashion Institute of Technology in New York highlighting appropriate professional attire in various workplaces. Alongside a few other noteworthy industry professionals, Taly Russell spoke broadly about the changing work environment and how dressing appropriately for individual working cultures is playing an ever increasing role in overall professionalism.

Among the many topics that were covered during the conference below are some of the most important takeaways about fashion in the workplace.

Dress Codes Vary

Each industry has their own set of rules of what they deem appropriate in the workplace. Administrative professionals or client-facing careers require employees to dress more professionally than jobs that are absent of face-to-face client interaction. A vital piece of information to learn is the company dress code. Once you understand the parameters of your company’s dress code you can begin to incorporate items that fit your personal fashion style.

Casualization In The Workplace

A high percentage of managers in all professions say that employees are dressing less formally now than ever before. There are a number of reasons why this phenomenon is occurring.

  1. Millennials
  • The increasing number of millennials in the workplace plays a significant factor in casual work attire. Millennials are demanding a more relaxed fashion that they feel comfortable in but can also (ideally) exude professionalism.
  1. Changing Impressions
  • The perception of what a professional looks like is changing. Hiring managers and executives are becoming slightly more open to individuals who openly express themselves through moderate tattoos, piercings, and even different hair colors in less than-natural colors that tilt more towards colors of the rainbow, than the standard brown, blond or black.  
  1.       3. Social Media
  • Platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook highlight companies with employees who wear more relaxed clothing. The exposure to this kind of company culture is paving the way for a new generation of workers.

The Old Adage

Dress for the job you want, not the job that you have, is a resounding code to live by. The power of executive presence is real and can be used to showcase your leadership attitude and qualities in the workplace. Do not be afraid to portray your personal style into your professional attire and always keep it neat, clean and crisp.