First impressions are lasting, and every company expects their staff to dress in a specific style. Dress codes are religiously followed and are regarded as an important aspect of human appearance. What really counts is projecting a professional image.

An Ipsos Reuter's survey done among employees from 24 countries states that 26% of employees wear uniforms, 34% of them wear business/smart dress, and 40% of them wear casual attire on the job. 45% of them feel that wearing casual clothes makes them more productive, and 55% of them believe that wearing prescribed workplace clothes enhances their efficiency. The study further reveals that 34% of the employees prefer smart dressing to work, and 26% of the total respondents said they wear a type of uniform to work. 66% of the people surveyed expressed their opinion that their senior managers should be more appropriately dressed than the other employees. (Source: Reuters/Ipsos Workplace Attire Poll)

The 'Corporate wear' umbrella is broad, and consists of:

Normal office clothing which consists of durable overalls, trousers, and shirts.

Corporate wear specifically designed and adopted for working business class people. They put more emphasis on color and design, and include uniforms as well.

Protective clothing for people working in inimitable environments and manual labor positions. They are made of special fabrics or ordinary fabrics with special coatings such as acid-proof, fire-proof, bullet-proof, heat-resistant, and chemical-proof fabrics.

Corporate wears create a dress code that is professional and comfortable at the same time. Adopting a corporate dress code removes the intangible barriers between management and employees, promoting cooperation and communication. Employees are able to identify themselves more with their company's objectives and values. Corporate dress codes make them unconsciously responsible for upholding the goals and values of the company, ultimately resulting in better performance and enhanced results.

Market for Corporate wear:

Currently, corporate wear has become a vivacious sector, and market for the apparel is going through drastic growth. Market for corporate wear is estimated to be worth $10 billion in annual sales, of which work wear comprises to be 45%. Corporate wear consists of four separate garments; shirts, jackets, trousers, and skirts. Media and globalization have brought drastic changes in the evolution and market of these outfits. The mushrooming growth of multinational companies, have also fuelled market for the clothing. Retail sales consist of suits, skirts, jackets, and trousers. Market is highly fragmented in terms of suppliers. Some specialist national companies and few global players dominate the segment.

Corporate wear can create employee motivation, enhance customer relation, and build brands. Employees of big corporate in some countries are given allowances to get their outfits from mass market retailers. The line dividing casual and corporate wear is very thin, and is blurring with the span of time.

Does Corporate dress code mean to sacrifice one's personal style?

Adopting a corporate dress code need not necessarily be achieved by surrendering one's own personal style. An employee can dress according to his personal choice along with a polished and professional look. Appealing fashions; both trendy and graceful, are being brought into the corporate world. Current trends encompass a professional look with minimal color patters, and stiff fabrics.

Choice of color goes a bit psychological in exposing the wearers' personality. Shades of navy display trustworthiness, white confirms honesty, gray a conservative image, and black projects a chic illustration. Traditional colors of black, white, and brown remain in the corporate sector always, and mix well with the other accessories. Feminine colors like ice blue, soft pink, ivory, and lilac are also in vogue.

Branding with Corporate wear:

Branding serves the main purpose of creating a lasting impression of a company. Effective branding strategies create a persistent brand identity associated with quality, origin, preference and personality. Brand building requires considerable time and investment. Motivating employees to adopt a corporate clothing culture enables the company with a cost-effective branding solution. It gives both internal and external benefits to the company.

Looking smart and being comfortable are what every company and its employee wish for. For someone, who wants to look fashionable, and also professionally dressed, fashion brings in a more work appropriate, and job friendly attire than ever before. With many companies getting stringent regarding their dress code, fashion is changing even more quickly, taking new dimensions every now and then.