Lawyers spend over £26,000 on work clothes - a third say it leads to difficult decisions

02/01/2018 News Team

New research from totaljobs has found that lawyers spend more than £26,500 on clothes to wear for work over the course of their career because of the criticism they face when they don't fit into the company culture.

The recruitment firm found that two-thirds (67 percent) find it difficult choosing what to wear for work and one in five (21 percent) have received unwanted comments about their appearance or criticism for 'dressing down'. 

As a result employees within the law sector across the UK have called for an end to the work 'stress code' as the research found that workers are being put through heightened stress due to a lack of clarity around what they are expected to wear at work. 

According to the survey of 500 male and female law workers, the average worker spends three months of their life thinking about what to wear to work.

In addition to this, those within the sector will spend an average of £47 per month on clothes to wear for work. This is equivalent to £564 a year, or a £26,508 over the span of their career.

The figures indicate that law workers are having to put up with unwanted opinions and comments when deciding what to wear to work, which appears to be a root of the a lot of this stress.

The research also indicated that both men and women 'dress down' for work in the UK at their peril. A fifth (17 percent) of workers have been told they look 'tired' when they have dressed casually, with a further nine percent saying they have been asked if they were sick. 

Whilst it appears that workers endure a high pressure with their work wear, respondents agreed on the attire that is unsuitable to wear at work, with hoodies deemed as the most unacceptable item of clothing to wear to work. 

Top five unsuitable items to wear at work:

1. Hoodies (77 percent)

2. Shorts (76 percent)

3. Slogan T-shirts (71percent)

4. Trainers (68 percent)

5. Hats/Caps (65 percent)

David Clift, HR director at totaljobs, commented: "This study really indicates the uncertainty around dress codes within the education sector and how it is leading to greater numbers of workers worrying about what they wear and what it potentially says about them.  

"We hope that by revealing these findings, employers begin to understand how important it is to outline exactly what is expected in terms of the attire their employees wear to work. Ideally, this would contain specific guidance would help both male and female employees to feel more comfortable in what they wear at work.  We are keen that employers actively look at ways to develop a gender-neutral dress code."

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