Business Casual: JP Morgan’s New Dress Code
JP Morgan Chase & Co announced a new dress code. The Wall Street Journal reported on the details in their Saturday edition. JPMorgan is adopting a new business casual policy. Our largest bank is taking a break from traditions. JP Morgan is advising employees to wear more casual clothes, even to meetings with clients. JPMorgan wants to keep up with and mirror what their clients are wearing and also what is going on with technology upstarts.
One of the most popular questions I receive during a business etiquette training class, is about how to dress when meeting with a client whose dress code is more casual. First and foremost, I advise anyone to keep their professional bar raised high in this type of situation. You want to uphold your professional reputation while at the same time you do not want to make your client feel uncomfortable or underdressed.
What are the Latest Guidelines for Business Casual?
Jeans: Check your dress code policy. Some companies allow jeans all the time, with clients, or not. Other companies have a strict policy against denim. Awareness is key. In any case, if you wear denim to the office, especially if you are in the world of finance, wear a darker denim. It is more polished and professional than a lighter wash. Never wear jeans that are torn or too tight to your office.
Yoga pants or athletic wear: Warning! This type of clothing is never appropriate for any office. If anyone is telling you differently, then you are looking in the wrong place for advice.
Shoes: Again, check your dress code policy or ask. Flip flops are not for the office. Consider the noise they make when you are walking around your office. Employers want you to be comfortable but not that comfortable. Flip flops are for the beach and hanging out at home. If you are an intern, new hire or interested in making a positive impression, wear closed toe shoes. Yes, even in the summer. Gladiator sandals are also best kept for the weekend or going out with friends after work.
Stick with the classics: You can never go wrong with a navy blazer (man or woman). Sheath dresses, slacks with collared shirts or turtlenecks will always work in most industries.
Dress above the norm: If you want to appeal to upper management or your goal is getting a promotion, dress the part. You most likely have heard this before. Listen. It is true.
You might be asking the question “Why is it important that I dress professionally”. The answer is “confidence”. It is a psychological choice. You will feel more confident on the inside which in turn leads to a confident appearance. You are sending the right message when you dress appropriately.
If you are interested in learning more about a business etiquette training session for your team, I invite you to have a conversation.Whether we decide to work together or not, I am confident our call will be full of insights.