Dress smart, be smart?


Photo by Rigmarole

The hoards of smartly dressed men and women that bustle through the city of London every day are a perfect example of dressing smartly to achieve high – and also a sign of their office dress codes, of course. Looking around campus, it’s clear that students don’t have a similar attitude. Hoodies, leggings and joggers are essential items in our wardrobes, but is the way we dress having an effect on our ability to be productive and work well?

On placement this year, dressing in office wear has become normal, and I can say from experience, it does put you in the mood to work. We all wore uniforms for school, and I am sure many of us worked hard then. We also got up and went to class for 9am with a lot less complaining than takes place now! So is there some science behind the way we dress and how productive and motivated we are?

A little research on the web led me to a discussion group about dressing smartly for work, and its effect on productivity. 41% of people believed that by dressing in this way, their productivity was increased. Dressing smartly for interviews is a great way to not only impress the interviewer, but also to give you confidence and increase your chances of being taken seriously. The working environment is significantly different to university life; meeting clients, managers and achieving targets are some people’s daily routines, and these perhaps are key factors as to why people want to be able to impress in the workplace. Dressing appropriately in your work is vital in showing that you are serious about your job.

University is a complete contrast to the business environment. The work that we do is purely for ourselves. We aren’t trying to meet targets and get a promotion, we’re trying to get a degree, which is something that only we can use and benefit from in the future. Our productivity is something that only we can control and dressing smartly to achieve more is probably more of a mental factor, rather than a scientific theory.

My advice is to dress in the way that you feel most comfortable. We haven’t entered the business world yet, and I’m sure many of you won’t ever have to wear a suit and be in the corporate environment anyway. Here at university we have the chance to be ourselves, dress how we want and organise our time effectively. Dressing so that you, personally, feel productive is a much better way of thinking, although this might well be a shirt and tie. Leggings, hoodies and joggers are just as acceptable – just as long as you get your work done!


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