It’s 8 a.m., you’re running late, and you probably should have done laundry a week ago. It’s OK though. Your office is pretty casual. Surely you can get away with your favorite graphic tee and some jeans, right? Not so fast. According to a new survey conducted by the Holiday Inn Express Smart Thinking campaign, what you wear in the workplace isn’t as trivial as you might think.
After surveying 1,172 adults who were 18 years of age or older, researchers found that 90% of people think that being put together at work is important. When asked to rate the level of importance on a five point scale, 62% responded by saying that office attire was “very important,” while 28% agreed it mattered somewhat. Only 2% of respondents said that the way that employees dress wasn’t that big of a deal–but we’re willing to bet those guys are self-employed.
Bottom line: Whether you like it or not, being being judged on the way you look. Even in a relaxed work environment, your outfit can determine if you’re taken seriously or not–no matter how well you perform. While the jeans and tee combo is tempting, tailored pieces–a pair of khakis at the very least–deserve a spot in your work wardrobe. If you’re the type to hit the snooze button 2 or 3 (or 10) times, a good rule of thumb is to lay out your clothes the night before so you won’t have to deal with it in the morning. After all, there’s a reason the saying “dressed for success” exists.