Gender differences related to corporate dressing down

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Virginia Tech


In recent years corporate organizations have implemented casual wear as an alternative to traditional dress codes to encourage comfort, relaxation,productivity, and manager/employee interactions. The purpose of this study was to examine gender differences related to attitudes towards casual work attire and productivity, to examine perceptions of the effects of casual attire on the office atmosphere, and to determine what constitutes appropriate casual dress in corporate offices. The study involved a comparative analysis of males and females to determine the differences between perceptions and attitudes towards corporate dressing down.

The sample was comprised of 66 employees of 3 major companies in the southeast. Respondents completed the Manager /Employee Questionnaire on Corporate Dressing Down which contained 38 Likert-type questions and 2 questions requiring the respondents to rank apparel ensembles. The questionnaire was pilot tested for content validity and reliability. Data were analyzed using factor analysis, frequencies, t-tests, and MANOVAs.

T -tests revealed no significant differences between male and female attitudes towards dressing down, attitudes towards productivity, perceptions of the atmosphere, and perceptions of manager and employee interactions.

Examination of frequencies revealed that males and females differed in their selection of appropriate male and female casual wear for the workplace. Multiple analysis of variance indicated no significant difference between males and female perceptions of casual and traditional work attire.



Gender, symbolic interaction, dressing down