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Work Attire Question...

Just thought of this and was wondering what you all thought. One of my sisters owns her own insurance office to which she wore sweat pants and a t-shirt one day. She didn't look homeless or anything - just comfortable. BUT - one of my aunts saw her in that attire and said she would NEVER get insurance from her because of it.
Does the type of clothing people wear to certain jobs have an effect on whether or not you use their services?

For instance, I'm an on-location photographer and I meet and work with a lot of different people every day. When I go out on shoots, I don't wear dressy clothing or typical work-style clothes because I'm down in the dirt trying to get that perfect angle most of the time. There's no sense wearing dress pants to crawl around in the mud, know what I mean? I am clean and presentable, of course, but in casual dress.

Would my showing up in jeans to take your family's picture have an effect on whether or not you purchased my services? Why or why not?

 
SpiffySnaps

Asked by SpiffySnaps at 11:24 AM on Apr. 15, 2011 in Money & Work

Level 10 (440 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (12)
  • Im a female electrician. Outside of work I like to dress up. Heels, purse, the whole nine! But if I go to a job interview looking like a woman I wont even get interviewed. Instead I drive my beater truck (w/toolbox) and wear the dirtiest jeans Ive got. Paint splattered t-shirt and worn out steel toe boots. My friends say I look like a dike! (no offense) but if I look clean/ nice they dont believe Im capable of doing the job even though Ive got a stellar resume, multiple liscenses, customer revues, and all the places Ive worked in the past 10 years have only positive things to say about me (so Ive been told)! The lesson here... Dress for the job. even if it means dressing down.
    Ms.Gwen

    Answer by Ms.Gwen at 2:59 PM on Apr. 15, 2011

  • You never get a second chance to make a first impression in the business world. Im with your Aunt. I wouldnt buy insurance from an office with people dressing in sweats. Its just unprofessional. Same with a photographer as well. Business is business and people should dress professionally if they want to be taken seriously.
    vbruno

    Answer by vbruno at 11:29 AM on Apr. 15, 2011

  • I think first impressions do matter. That being said sweat pants at an insurance agency dont seem appropriate but jeans on a photo shoot are fine. I think being semi caual on a photo shoot may help people relax an feel more comfortable for photos. A young person may be able to relate and chat better thus creating trust with an insurance agent dresed casually but an older couple may place their trust in someone who looks more put together. I do think your image matters, especially when you consider who the client is.
    ria7

    Answer by ria7 at 11:32 AM on Apr. 15, 2011

  • I think in an office is appropriate for business attire. As for the photo shooting, I think it would depend on the setting, indoor or outdoor. There are casual slacks that are jeans or sweats and not dress slacks that would work in all those situations. Not accepting services because of attire is kind of over the top though.
    Dahis

    Answer by Dahis at 11:34 AM on Apr. 15, 2011

  • I feel office work requires office attire. Whether that specifies suit or just nice pants & blouse depends on the type of business being done. Location work can be a little less formal, but you still want to present yourself as professional. I think jeans might be a bit too casual, a nice pair of docker-type pants would be better. They are not as fussy as actual dress pants but still give a nice professional look.
    hootie826

    Answer by hootie826 at 11:36 AM on Apr. 15, 2011

  • I meant to say aren't jeans.........oops lol
    Dahis

    Answer by Dahis at 11:36 AM on Apr. 15, 2011

  • Jeans and a nice top would be a good idea in your profession. I wouldn't say that being in a pony tail and plain t-shirt screams I'm a great at what I do and I'm worth the money. If I worked in an office there are no dress down days. Casual Friday is an exception but I wouldn't go as far as wearing sweats. If one customer sees you in sweats or a co-worker it's hard to change their perceptions of them as being lazy or unprofessional. After all, we are all human and judge people by their appearance. I would tell her to think twice about wearing sweats again.

    F.Y.I. your aunt may have been the only one to say that she wouldn't buy insurance from her, but I'm sure she wasn't the first to think it.
    Bugzmomma

    Answer by Bugzmomma at 11:31 AM on Apr. 15, 2011

  • vbruno: Thanks for your answer. But what about when it's not sweats? I wear jeans all the time. Just regular jeans...no holes or anything and it's because of the nature of the work I do...would that still be considered unprofessional?
    SpiffySnaps

    Comment by SpiffySnaps (original poster) at 11:31 AM on Apr. 15, 2011

  • Bugzmomma & ria - Thanks for your comments, too! You both make great points! :)
    SpiffySnaps

    Comment by SpiffySnaps (original poster) at 11:34 AM on Apr. 15, 2011

  • Perhaps not. As long as the jeans were nice jeans and not low rider's or bell bottoms. or studded with rhinestones, They would probably be alright with a casual work top.
    vbruno

    Answer by vbruno at 12:43 PM on Apr. 15, 2011

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