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Unless you work for one of the handful of surviving Internet start-ups, wearing vintage Pumas and a Def Leppard T-shirt to work may no longer cut the mustard. According to the “American Industry Dress Code Survey,� a national poll of 201 senior executives at companies with over $500 million in annual revenue, more than half of large businesses (56 percent) maintain a business attire policy — that means a suit and tie for the gents and a suit or dress for the ladies. What's more, the study, conducted by the New York City-based Men's Apparel Alliance between November and December 2001, reveals that of those companies with a business dress code, 19 percent have reinstituted their policy within the past year. Think this reeks of the Old Boys Club seeking revenge upon the minions? Perhaps, but the companies have their reasons. Respondents in the survey predict that a switch from a casual to a professional business dress code could result in an average 3.6 percent productivity gain for their company. Says James Ammeen, president of the Men's Apparel Alliance: “The executives surveyed believe a professional image can translate into improved work ethics and growth in overall productivity.�


Percent of senior executives stating: “When employees dress in a business suit or professional business attire they…�

Project a better image 70%
Are more likely to be noticed 68%
Tend to command more respect 60%
Feel more confident 49%
Appear more organized 46%
Are more likely to get promoted 22%
Source: Men's Apparel Alliance
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