Over the past few decades, the “Aloha Friday!” of the 1960s became casual Friday, which then turned into the dress code for everyday. In a survey by research firm NPD Group, half of respondents said what they wear for work is the same as what they wear off the job.
The hoodie-clad startup crews of Silicon Valley—the place and the TV show—are the icons of this new workplace style, which has few stringent rules and doesn’t much distinguish between office and leisure attire.
But remaining bastions of formality, such as the finance sector, still exist—although even they are starting to give way.
The Wall Street Journal (paywall) reports that JPMorgan Chase, which has been allowing business-casual dress in certain corners of the bank, is officially relaxing the rules companywide. According to an internal memo reviewed by the paper, the shift “reflects how the way we work is changing. More clients are dressing informally, and many parts of our company are already business casual.”
But based on the detailed list of do’s and dont’s in an FAQ accompanying the memo, also published in the Journal (paywall), the move to stay relevant to employees’ lifestyles and fashion preferences does have its limits. Men and women might not have to wear suits everyday, but that doesn’t mean they’re welcome to wear jeans, sneakers, or yoga pants, even if they are becoming acceptable in other kinds of offices. Dress sandals are ok, but flip-flops are not. And if you have company-logo sweater or polo shirt, that’s fine, so long as it stays intact, as torn or frayed clothing remains strictly prohibited.
We’ve reached out to JPMorgan Chase for further details.