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Drop the Dress Code

Article by Richard Branson on Virgin.com

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With temperatures soaring in the UK and elsewhere, there is lots of debate going on about what is suitable attire to wear to work. Personally, I think all employers should drop the dress code and let their teams wear whatever they feel most comfortable in.



I was interested to read Frances O’Grady, the TUC general secretary, telling The Times that “those not dealing with the public should be able to discard their tights, ties and suits”. Of course they should be allowed.

I would go further than that and encourage staff to wear any clothing they think will help them to work most productively and enjoy their day. If that means shorts and a vest, then that’s fine, and not just in baking weather. The only exception should be places like airlines where it is important for guests to know who are passengers and who are crew.


Making people wear suits and ties at any time of year makes very little sense. It’s an antiquated tradition we have somehow clung onto, despite very few people enjoying it.

virgin_16844421803The idea that being professional is linked to having a piece of fabric dangling from your neck is frankly ridiculous.

I have always dressed how I have felt like dressing, whether it was bare feet and long hair in my youth, some brightly coloured jumpers in the Eighties, or t-shirt and board shorts nowadays.

I’ve always thought of clothes as a way to help people feel confident and comfortable – not clammy and constricted.


How are you dressing for summer in the workplace? Here’s my office attire, feel free to share yours on social media too.

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