Dress down: how a laidback wardrobe can help you run your SME » SMEInsider

Dress down: how a laidback wardrobe can help you run your SME

Before the days of tech entrepreneurs and startup supremoes, anyone working in the business world would dress themselves with tailor-made suits and expensive attire in order to be seen as successful.

But with the likes of Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs famous for choosing a more casual approach to business fashion, executives are beginning to make dress-down Friday a daily occurrence. We’ve come up with three reasons as to why you should be swapping your suit for jeans and t-shirts.


You save valuable mental energy

As a small business owner, you will have to make important decisions every single day, so you shouldn’t be wasting your mental energy on deciding what shirt-and-tie combination to wear.

By quickly deciding to slip into a pair of jeans and a comfortable pair of shoes, you save your brain the trouble of coming up with something smart to wear, giving yourself more opportunity to think about the things that really matter – your business.

President Obama famously ‘pares-down’ his wardrobe decisions, choosing to wear only grey or blue suits as it gives him more time to run the free world! Richard Branson and Mark Zuckerberg (as pictured below) are known for their casual dress sense and it seems to have worked for them so far.

Business leaders Richard Branson and Mark Zuckerberg are known for their dressed-down approach.

You save time and money

You know as well as we do that there are never enough hours in the day for an SME owner.

So for you to have a smart, expensive wardrobe, you will have to take time out to go shopping, which can be a drawn-out process depending on which time you hit the shops.

By dressing casually, you not only save valuable time which can be spent on your SME, you save yourself a load of cash!


You become more approachable

The days of ruling your employees with an iron fist in an Armani suit is all but over, so make yourself more approachable by dressing slightly more casually.

If you dress more sociably, your workers will find it easier to talk to you and discuss new ideas, which could ultimately improve productivity.

According to Richard Branson, you should never wear a tie to work as it creates something of a monotonous atmosphere within the office:

‘‘I often have a pair of scissors in my top pocket to go cutting people’s ties off. It is time to say goodbye to the tie. Why was the tie ever invented?’’ said the Virgin founder in an interview.

‘‘Everyone in business looks the same and dresses the same. I’m sure they only exist because bosses, after being forced to wear ties all their life, are determined to inflict the same fate on the next generation.’’

  • Hobbs


  • Kimmy

    Interesting article although I feel it is just aimed at Men in Business! I do agree wholeheartedly about dressing for how you feel comfortable and CONFIDENT, but we ladies should be included in this.

    • That’s a great point Kimmy, apologies for focusing purely on the male perspective. However tomorrow we are covering a story on women’s fashion in business, so look out for that on the site 🙂

      • Kimmy

        Great will look out for this! Thanks!