It鈥檚 no secret that, when it comes to deciding what to wear to work, millennials鈥 work wardrobes聽look a little different than our parents鈥 generation. Many of us work in creative or tech industries, where jeans and t-shirts (or even聽workout wear) are the norm,聽OR we work from home, where PJs are totally acceptable attire. Most impressive? Millennials have even figured out how to wear their most scandalous outfits to the office. And it鈥檚 not just the startup scene 鈥 a聽new study by staffing company OfficeTeam shows that workplace dress codes across all industries are getting more and more casual every year.

casual office

In the聽study, researchers surveyed 300 senior managers and 350 American workers. They found that half of all managers surveyed said that their employees are dressing more casually than they did five years ago, while a third of workers said they prefer business casual and another third said they prefer casual or no dress code at all. That鈥檚 a pretty clear trend toward comfy chic.

Another study done in April by workspace provider Regus found that, of the 40,000 respondents in 100 countries, 74 percent said that a suit and tie dress code is a thing of the past, and think it鈥檚 way too formal for today鈥檚 professional culture. And 70 percent of those surveyed said jeans are totally okay in a work environment, BUT only 51 percent say it鈥檚 okay to pair them with a t-shirt. So smart casual 鈥 but not sloppy 鈥 seems to be a go.

But what does this shift toward casual clothing actually mean for the ways we work? One study suggests it might not be the best move. Back in 2015, researchers from Columbia University and California State University studied the effect clothing has on our cognitive processing. They actually found聽that dressing in more formal attire makes us feel more powerful, which can then make us better at our jobs.聽But, of course, that all depends on what industry you鈥檙e in. If you work in a super creative environment, wearing a full-on suit would probably make you feel less powerful and more like the odd one out.

Bottom line? 鈥淓mployees should take their cues from company guidelines and what others in the office are wearing. Some industries, for example, are more formal than others,鈥 says Brandi Britton, a district president for OfficeTeam. 鈥淎 casual dress code doesn鈥檛 mean that anything goes. Staff should always look professional and project an image that reflects positively on the business.鈥澛營n other words, take note of what your coworkers and managers are wearing and follow suit (or not)鈥 literally.

What do YOU wear to work? Tweet us your thoughts聽@BritandCo!聽

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