In Thursday's Wall Street Journal there was an interesting article by Christina Binkley titled "Wall Street Women: Dress Code of Silence" about women and workplace fashion. My own work takes me all over the country into companies that range widely in size and industry and it is very apparent in the way that their employees dress.
No doubt, some industries are by nature more "professional" than others. However, very often I think some mistake "business casual" for "barbeque casual." The important thing to keep in mind is what I tell people in many of my workshops-people make judgments about you within 3-6 seconds of meeting you and your clothes are what they are going to see first. While we all believe we should be judged on our character and innate worth, unless that first impression is a positive one, we often do not get the chance to reveal who we truly are.
Particularly when it comes to Wall Street or any financial institution, being "buttoned up" is still the way to go. The way we look speaks volumes! Overall, my theory on dressing in today's business world is simple elegance. Remember, it is still the workplace and I for one always feel more productive and powerful when I am dressed with professionalism and class.