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A relaxed dress code becomes the norm at work

The majority of companies allow their office workers to wear smart casual attire in the office, according to a survey by the Aziz Corporation.

Just over half (51%) of employers allow a more relaxed dress code for everyday office life, while a further 12% allow this for business meetings too.

A quarter of offices require staff to wear suits at all times. This is down from 37% in 2004. But just 12% allow staff to dress however they want.

The research also reveals that workers in fear of losing their jobs during the economic downturn may start dressing more smartly, with 47% of individuals saying they are likely to do so.

"There is no longer a perception that we have to wear suits in order to be smart," says Khalid Aziz, chairman of The Aziz Corporation. "Enforcing a suits-only dress code is seen as outdated in an increasingly international workplace, an image that savvy modern companies want to steer clear of. Suits are best saved for business meetings where a very formal appearance is desirable."