Dress Code: Is It A Rule In Most Companies?

-by Deepa Natarajan Lobo

The power dressing of the corporate world or the casual code of the back-end work force, the young professionals have their own opinion on what to wear to work.

WP-FinalEver wondered what it’s like to go to work in a pair of shorts and a T-shirt? Or are you one of the lucky few who can actually do so? Many companies all over the world believe in giving their employees the freedom to dress as per choice. However, there are some workplaces where professionals have to adhere to a strict dress code.

In most Bangalore-based companies, Western or Indian formal is the usual norm. Stringent, as it may seem, the young professionals of the city tell BangaloreMag that they don’t mind going that extra mile to dress up and “be taken seriously.”

Rithika Sundaram, an HR consultant, works at a leading human resources consultant organization which follows a strict dress code. “We have to wear Indian or Western formals everyday. On Fridays, we can dress casually if we don’t have a client meeting,” she says. But even that comes with a set of rules. “For instance, we can’t wear T-shirts with messages on them,” she adds.

But she isn’t complaining. “A sense of professionalism is exhibited and decorum is maintained when you adhere to a dress code. Many a time, people don’t take you seriously if you are casually dressed or look too young,” she explains.

According to Sundaram, the trend amongst corporate today is to be fashionably formal. “High-waist skirts and trousers are a common sight. Many women dress up very well in summery blouses, which are not too floral or loud, and high heels. Even semi-formal blouses are passed off as formals,” she says.

Divya, another HR professional in an IT services company, says her office has a written policy when it comes to dress code. “It has always existed and soon as you join the company, you get it in your offer letter,” she explains. “There is a belief that an informal setting helps people bond better,” she notes. She feels nowadays, one need not worry much about dressing to work as there is plenty of choice in formal wear. “A lot of options are available and one can experiment,” she says. But the underlining thing, she feels, is to be dressed comfortably while following the company’s dress code at the same time.

Though her company doesn’t have a stringent dress code, Manoshi, a campaign manager at Inmobi, a mobile technology company, feels the need to be dressed at least semi-formally to work. “We don’t really have a dress code. But sometimes I travel and meet clients. So I feel I should be dressed formally. Those who are into back-end jobs and don’t meet clients in my company come casually dressed,” she says.

The workforce of Bangalore is not restrained to corporate and multi-national companies. There are many professions in which one can be dressed casually. And when one talks of exceptions, the first profession that comes to mind is advertising. Pawan Mahalingam, a copywriter with a leading ad agency, considers himself lucky to have never followed a dress code in his career. “I can wear jeans and shorts to work. The client servicing professionals have to wear formals always but since I am in the creative part of advertising, it doesn’t really make a difference,” he notes. “But I believe in focussing on work and don’t draw parallels between being casually dressed and having fun,” he is quick to add.

Dress code or no dress code, the young professionals sure seem to be having fun. After all, there is nothing better than working in the IT capital of our country.

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