With millennial employees now ascendant in workplaces across the land, managers are grappling with how to hire, retain and engage them. In our new continuing series, Anna Fitzpatrick answers our burning questions about how to approach this exotic species of office fauna.

Photo: Roberto Caruso

Photo: Roberto Caruso

Generation Y workers keep testing the boundaries of “business casual.” Would it kill you to put on a suit?

Almost every visit with my baby boomer mom, bless her heart, begins with a once-over of my outfit, followed by an offer to take me to the Gap.

Yet, like my peers, I’m always conscious about what I wear in a business setting. In fact, a LinkedIn survey showed that people under 35 were more likely than their older co-workers to dress up for work.

So why does it seem that offices are more casual? Likely, it’s because you no longer need a drab grey suit to convey professionalism. “Businesses are diversifying from traditional corporate models, and spontaneity is becoming more valued,” says Estelle Tang, a culture editor at Elle, where (no surprise) people tend to notice one another’s clothes. “I can wear a onesie to work if it’s nice, clean and has no holes in it. It’s definitely not a bad thing, because I hate suits.”


Loading comments, please wait.