By Daniel Reyes
They say the way you look at the office translates to your performance, but in today’s workplace that is not the case anymore. Business attire has significantly changed over the past years.
Decades ago, male employees typically wore long-sleeve shirts and slacks at the office. Some companies today, however, are now allowing their personnel to dress casually—Friday or otherwise—to the extent that men can get away with wearing shorts to work.
“There has been a shift in terms of office policies since most of the companies are young, if not, business owners are very adaptive to the emerging trend of wearing casual clothing to work,” opined Guam Partosa, a 25-year-old retail executive at a multinational fast fashion retail company.
In Partosa’s workplace, there is no restrictions as long as their outfit is fashion-forward because they have to introduce new trends to the market. “We are not only selling items, we are also educating customers how western trends can be adopted in the country,” he explained.
Paolo Reyes, 26, a marketing associate at a retail company who wears shorts at work twice a week, said they are allowed to wear shorts and even slippers as long as those are the brands that they carry in their company.
“In one of the multi-branded concept stores that I handle, we carry brands that cater to the youth. Thus, the way I wear my outfits are aligned with the lifestyle that we have in our store,” he shared.
And wearing casual outfits happen to be the same for Keith Clemente (not his real name) who works at a start-up company. Clemente, a 20-year-old associate, said, “Our work attire policy is dress as decent and comfortable as you can. In fact, you can even go to work wearing slippers.”
While some would think that shorts are too casual for work, there are ways to make them presentable. Partosa, who also handles the visual merchandising in one of their stores, said, “Having a ‘sophisticated casual’ look is one way to be presentable to your clients.”
He explained that a “sophisticated casual” look can be achieved “through layering or by mixing classic apparel pieces with one’s go-to casual look.”
Partosa, however, pointed out that it is still important for them to wear a more defined and professional outfit when they have meetings.
“Whenever we are going to meet with our clients that is the time we wear trousers,” he said.
Moreover, Reyes said that “the phenomenon of wearing shorts at work depends on the industry in which a person is working. But since there are several millennials starting up their companies, wearing shorts wouldn’t be as unusual as before—especially in the retail industry.”
As for Clemente he believes that this can become a norm in the Philippines in the future as companies are becoming more flexible when it comes to office attire since several studies prove that comfort affects an employee’s productivity.
Partosa argues, “We have to thank the millennials because what this generation is teaching us is to be practical; since we are living in a tropical country why would one force himself to wear something like a trouser pants made out of wool?”
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