SUNNYVALE, Calif. – August 22, 2007 – Think that an employee’s work speaks for itself when it comes time for reviews, promotions or landing a new position? That is not necessarily the case according to a new survey from Yahoo! HotJobs and Banana Republic, which found that wardrobe is becoming an increasingly important factor for advancement. The majority of the general workforce (68 percent) and of human resource (HR) professionals (82 percent) agree that how employees dress at work directly affects their prospect for a promotion.
“Wardrobe choices really can make or break an employee’s chance for promotion,” says Yahoo! HotJobs Managing Editor Tom Musbach. “A person’s workplace attire is a reflection of the overall professional image that they want to portray and it speaks to the care and consideration they place on their work. This can be just as important as promptness or preparedness when considering an employee for career advancement.”
While most employees acknowledge the important role that workplace attire plays in getting ahead, 61 percent admit that they either don’t know or don’t care about their company “dress code.” Rather, they maintain that looking professional is a top priority, but opt to express themselves in business casual and comfortable, laidback styles.
"Dressing for comfort, style and advancement all at the same time can be challenging," points out Deborah Lloyd, Executive Vice President of Design and Product Development for Banana Republic. "Professionalism doesn't need to be sacrificed for comfort or style. Instead, choose versatile looks that allow you to infuse your own personal style."
What’s Important to Employees
Employees will be happy to hear that it’s possible to balance comfort and professionalism, based on their top considerations when deciding what to wear to work (ranked in order of importance):
1. Appearing professional (81%)
2. Being comfortable (78%)
3. Dressing conservatively (48%)
4. Looking stylish and expressing their individual style (46%)
Common Wardrobe Problems
Although appearing professional, or “promote-able,” ranked at the top of worker’ priorities, there is room for improvement:
• 36% feel like they are in a fashion rut and have trouble refreshing their workplace wardrobe
• 25% admit to being late to work because they couldn’t decide what to wear or they had a wardrobe malfunction
• 13% have been reprimanded by a supervisor for their clothing attire
“A” for Style Effort
Management can rest easy knowing that employees are willing to put forth the necessary effort to perfect their workplace attire, even if they still need some guidance:
• 58% of employees re-evaluate their wardrobe and buy new clothes seasonally
• 57% would be willing to spend the money to buy a new wardrobe if it meant getting a promotion
• 52% estimate that of their total wardrobe budget, they spend an equal amount or more on career clothes than they do on non-workplace attire
Work Every Day in Style™
To help employees in their search for both style and advancement, Yahoo! HotJobs and Banana Republic have teamed up to offer the “Work Every Day in Style” promotion. From August 22 – September 30, 2007, visitors to Yahoo! HotJobs can enter a daily sweepstakes where a recipient will be chosen every day for 40-days to receive a $1,000 wardrobe from Banana Republic. Visit http://hotjobs.yahoo.com for sweepstakes details and tips from Yahoo! HotJobs and Banana Republic on how to live everyday in style.
Work Wardrobe Tips
• Don’t be afraid to ask. If you have any question about your company’s dress code, seek clarification from your HR Department.
• Take a hint from your boss. If you’re trying to get ahead, then look the part. Take cues from your manager and mirror a similar level of professional dress.
• Be ready. Keep an extra jacket and nice pair of dress shoes in your office to help liven up any outfit, in case you get pulled into a last minute meeting.
• Understand business casual. No matter how casual your office, avoid anything too sloppy or over-exposing. Sweats and ripped clothing are too casual.
About the Surveys
The Workforce Survey data was collected from more than 1,400 employees via an online survey questionnaire across the Yahoo! network, fielded across all 50 states. Fifty-three percent of respondents were male and forty-seven percent were female. The HR Professional Survey data was collected from more than 750 HR professionals through HR.com, using an online survey questionnaire. The results for both surveys reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate. Comprehensive survey results may be obtained via the media contacts listed below.
About Yahoo! HotJobs
Yahoo! HotJobs (http://hotjobs.yahoo.com) is the fastest growing Web site among its top competitors, with +35.4% traffic growth during January – June 2007, versus 2006 (comScore Media Metrix). As a leader in the online recruiting industry, Yahoo! HotJobs has revolutionized the way people manage their careers and the way companies hire talent. Yahoo! HotJobs' tools and advice put job seekers in control of their careers and make it easier and more cost-effective for employers and staffing firms to find qualified candidates.
About Banana Republic
Banana Republic is a global accessible luxury brand that delivers the best in city style. Characterized by elevated design and luxurious fabrications, the Banana Republic lifestyle collections include apparel, handbags, jewelry, fragrance and eyewear. Banana Republic, a division of San Francisco-based, Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS), can be found at over 500 retail locations in the United States, Canada and Japan, BananaRepublic.com, or (888) BR-STYLE.