Ashwin Casmir and Vivek Rajan studied in the same school, graduated from the same course in college and started work mere days from one another. They even earn the same salaries — however, when they turn out for work early Monday morning, you notice one rather striking difference. Ashwin in a pair of jeans and a round collared t-shirt and Vivek in a smartly pressed long sleeved shirt and trousers — with the company’s logo printed on them.

In ‘Corporate’ India, with its air conditioned offices and gleaming computers, both are beginning to go side by side. Especially with the rise of young start-ups and seemingly laissez-faire dress codes. But is there a right and a wrong way for companies to ask employees to dress? Apparently not. According to Human Resource professionals, there are positives to both and the rigidity of a dress code generally goes up proportional to the employees’ exposure to clients. 

“For financial and service professionals and firms, a firm dress code makes sense. It instills a sense of confidence in clients, employees are more focused and looking formal affects attitudes. It also gives a sense of belonging to a team,” points out Aditya Narayan Mishra, President of staffing, Randstad. 

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