Survey uncovers what clothing is unacceptable at the office

Workers consider crop tops, flip-flops and cycling gear to be unacceptable in the office - with dungarees a definite no-no, according to a study. (Jon Mills, SWNS/Zenger)

By Simona Kitanovska

Workers consider crop tops, flip-flops and cycling gear to be unacceptable in the office – with overalls a definite no-no, according to a study.

A poll of 2,000 employees found gym gear, Crocs and hot pants are also not appropriate, along with undershirts, sneakers, and jeans.

Following the findings, a quiz [] has been created to see whether you are guilty of any workwear faux pas.

It also emerged 57 percent of workers have had a debate with themselves about whether an item of clothing is suitable for the office or not.

And four in 10 have even been spoken to by a manager or colleague about their work attire, while 21 percent have been sent home for wearing inappropriate clothing.

But 64 percent think their office gets too hot in summer, leaving 57 percent struggling to maintain a cool temperature and still conform to dress standards.

A spokesperson for Andrews Air Conditioning, which commissioned the research, said: “Summer and the workplace is always a tricky combo and it’s clear people battle with themselves over what to wear.

“The poll shows some interesting results about what staff believe is and isn’t acceptable,” said that spokesperson, who singled out flip-flops, sneakers, shorts, and dungarees.

The spokesperson went on to say: “And if you commute to work in cycling gear, many think it’s unprofessional to keep this on all day, as well as gym clothes being a no-go.

“If workplaces were less temperamental when it came to the temperature it would be a lot easier for staff to decide what garments to put on each day.”

The study also found 77 percent miss office attire when they worked from home, but only 34 percent dress the same when working remotely as they do in the workplace.

Survey uncovers what clothing is unacceptable at the office
Guest is seen arriving at the Etro Fashion Show at the Milan Men’s Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2021/22 on June 20, 2021 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Jacopo M. Raule/Getty Images)

And although 58 percent try to dress smarter if they need to interact with clients or customers, 38 percent believe there shouldn’t be restrictions on attire at work.

When it comes to body parts, 45 percent don’t think shoulders should be on display in an office.

While 49 percent think open-toed shoes are a health and safety risk, with 53 percent wanting to avoid having to see a colleague’s bare feet or toes.

But 29 percent would happily wear open-toed shoes during the summer.

The study, carried out via OnePoll, also found 57 percent think traditional office wear will be phased out of the workplace in the next five to 10 years.

And 23 percent of them believed this is already happening.

Andrew’s Air Conditioning’s spokesperson added: “Work can be stressful enough as it is without being confined to an overheated office all day.

“Different workplaces also have varying rules about what can and can’t be worn in order to look professional, which is more difficult than ever before after remote or hybrid working the past couple of years.

“We hope to help take away the stress of feeling hot in the office and as a result be able to concentrate better on the task at hand and feel comfortable and confident in whatever workers are wearing.”

Survey uncovers what clothing is unacceptable at the office
A model walks the runway wearing Eckhaus Latta fall fashions, fashion detail, during New York Fashion Week at Old Essex Street Market on February 12, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images)


1. Casual/gym shorts
2. Gym gear
3. Cycling gear
4. Flip flops
5. Overalls
6. Crocs
7. An undershirt
8. A Christmas sweater
9. Tailored shorts
10. Trainers
11. A t-shirt        
12. A casual sweater        
13. Jeans
14. A polo neck/roll neck sweater
15. A V-neck sweater


1. Gym gear
2. Bralette
3. Crop top
4. Crocs
5. Flip flops
6. Hot pants
7. Tube top
8. Casual shorts
9. Dungarees
10. Vest [undershit, chemise]
11. Playsuit
12. Minidress
13. Miniskirt
14. Skort
15. Leggings       

Produced in association with SWNS.

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The post Survey Uncovers What Clothing Is Unacceptable At The Office appeared first on Zenger News.

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