Ignoring the Dress Code at Work Could Help You with Your Career

A new study from Harvard Business School highlights the “red sneakers effect": the idea people who ignore the dress code at work seem like they're better at their jobs.

Lose the heels and uncomfortable clothing and get brownie points with your boss? Seems like a win-win.

Because dressing for work as a woman can be a massive struggle.

Unless you have a job that requires a uniform, such as nurses, police, or military roles, the “dress code” is often not as clear. Corporate jobs require a certain “look”, and whether it's a business shirt and pencil skirt, or a pantsuit, there are certain items of clothing many of us get told are necessary to be taken seriously.

One argument is that dressing the part makes you feel more confident—and so does being a bit more "dressed up" than your colleagues.

But apparently it works the opposite way, too. Dressing down gives the impression you're confident your work will speak for you.

A photo posted by @amyschumer on

This doesn’t mean you can just ignore that pile of laundry. There’s a big difference between dressing like a slob, and looking underdressed in a way that exudes confidence in your work.

How do you get around that? Make it look intentional.

A photo posted by Amanda Seyfried (@mingey) on

Just like the normcore and athleisure looks that have dominated fashion in recent years, there’s a way to make sure your casual dress sense is carefully considered.

You should think about your outfit just as much as normal, but find clothes that are more comfortable.

As the end of summer nears, it's probably the best news we’ve heard all day. Whip out the jeans, embrace your sneakers and don’t shy away from a T-shirt. As long as you put some thought in, your boss will love you for it.