Definitive New Business Dress Code

Business Dress Code: Image Consultant Business Casual

The Solution For Business Dress Code Casualties

By Susan Alexander

TMC, the Tailored Men’s Clothing group, has licensed to distribute a new Style Scale™ and Image Management Quick Reference Guide. Together, they set forth the definitive new standard for professional and leadership dress.

"It's the new business dress code for dealing with the confusion and concerns engendered by the business casual downtrend," states Vince Rua, partner in TMC. "Contrary to popular belief, dress-down days in the workplace does not lead to an increase in productivity—but to decreased productivity and a drop in civility."

Judith Rasband, Director of the Conselle Institute of Image Management, is the expert behind the educational effort. She has been tracking the trend toward casual dress for years.

"The business casual trend isn't about fashion," says Rasband. "It's about the whole casualization of America that began in the turbulent 60s. It's about the general decline in civility. It's about people who don't know how to dress anymore. Clothing management is no longer taught to kids at home or in our schools."

Rasband states, "Business casual is driven by with the first generation of kids to go through school without a dress standard. They hit the workplace not knowing how to dress, not knowing or admitting the impact of clothing on themselves, and not willing to learn."

"They demanded casual dress in the workplace," continues Rasband, "holding out for hire only to those companies that will give them their way. Predictably, they pushed the limits of what casual Friday was originally intended to be. They censure and demean anyone who looks nice—shaming them to dress down also."

"Most in the fashion industry didn't see it coming," she adds, "and even now are not aware of the overwhelming domino effects of the casual dress trend. We've got to reestablish the value of clothing as a resource that can meet our needs and aid us in the achievement of our goals.

According to Rua, "Many in our industry have been dispensing advice on business casual dress code without the requisite education. Expert and author on visual design in dress, Judith Rasband has grappled with the issues of business casual. She’s developed a visual Style Scale™ to simplify consumer learning."

"The simplicity of the Style Scale™ is brilliant!" cheers Auke Hempenius, co-originator of TMC’s Dress Up Thursdays campaign. "The four levels of dress, ranging from tailored to untailored, offer classic to creative and affordable dress for everyone. The key design detail associated with each level is an anchor for recognizing the difference between the levels."

Rua adds, "Judith has reduced the complexity of clothing design and selection to its basic elements. The elements of design have always been there, but no one has ever defined their usage for the consumer before. It's brilliant!"

Rasband explains, "Attention to the elements of design—line, shape, color, texture, and pattern—lets you mix the levels of dress to create the look that is appropriate yet works for you."

TMC will make the Style Scale™ available to retailers and businesses as a low-cost premium piece to begin the education process. TMC will offer effective image management seminars for groups throughout the U. S. and Canada, with qualified presenters supplied by Conselle. Seminar content can be viewed on Conselle’s website,

TMC and Conselle, in cooperation with retailers nationwide, will promote Dress Up Thursdays as an opportunity to experience the positive effects of looking nice again.



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