Corporate Uniforms vs Dress Codes

Over the years, companies have become more refined and have an image which they want to present to customers as their brand. This image may be based in culture, diversity, and so many other things. A company’s image could also be interpreted in form of the clothing item worn by its employees which often times is a women’s uniforms. The benefits of a work uniform being worn by employees have been noted by several managers and they include: aiding productivity, improving work ethic, a sense of belonging is formed etc.

Corporate uniforms should not be mistaken for a corporate dress code and here’s why:

Corporate Uniforms

A corporate uniform’s purpose is to create a sense of uniformity amongst a workforce while breaking barriers of culture, ethnicity, gender, race and any status discrimination by creating a form of dressing for its workers. Although it is a great thought on the part of management, some workers may feel restrained as they might want to express their sense of style individually. On the other hand, it instills commitment to the organization on employees as they have a responsibility towards the organization. It also eliminates the cost of having to buy a wardrobe that has to be suitable for office wear.

Corporate Dress Code

A set of rules written, typed, said or posted outlining specifics for the required manner of dressing a company expects from its employees. For instance, it may include what is acceptable to be worn in the work environment like corporate, suits and ties and what not to be worn like jeans, shorts and exposing clothing. It may also include not showing objects or drawings that are not meant for the workplace. It allows the wearer a little bit of freedom to express style unlike corporate uniforms. It may unfortunately lead to discrimination on the quality of clothing worn by the staff. Employees that violate a dress code are liable to be sanctioned or penalized by management.

Although both deal with mode of dressing in the workplace and help create an image for the company, they still have differing characteristics as stated above. Most people would argue that should creativity and self-expression be sacrificed for uniformity? Is unity better gotten by dictating uniforms instead of allowing freedom in choice of clothing but still maintains a restraining hand on things?

The answer to the above questions can only be given by the organisations involved in both forms of dressing and not by a silent observer.