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T-shirts are now the most popular work attire for UK employees

Last Updated on November 2, 2016 by Christian Ralph

Casual wear is leading the way in offices throughout the UK, according to our new survey.

We asked 2,000 workers how they felt about their work attire and the attitudes their bosses have towards certain clothing – and the results were surprising.

A third of those living in the North West still like to dress smartly for work and opt for a suit, but over 40% of those living in London and the North East choose t-shirts or polo shirts rather than formal attire.

Percentage of people who still wear a suit for work

However, it seems that some people are still conservative when it comes to what is appropriate to wear around the office – and what is just too casual.

Flipflops (87%) got the most disapproving votes, with more people tolerating ripped jeans or cropped tops.

Short skirts (80%) and Ugg boots (82%) were also popular peeves and surprisingly, over a quarter of people (27%) surveyed, thought that make-up shouldn’t be acceptable!

And a staggering 42% told us that beards should never be allowed, while 45% said high heels were inappropriate for the office.

Work attire with the most disapproving votes

We also found that bosses in Northern Ireland are the strictest when it comes to tattoos and piercings, with 35% of employees told to cover up in the office. However, the Welsh are the most relaxed, with 57% of staff allowed to show piercings and body art.

When it comes to washing work clobber, a third of workers said they would wear a shirt for two days without washing it, while one in six said they would happily wear the same shirt all week.

Those working in the charity sector were the most likely to wear the same clothes all week, while the majority of those in Scotland claimed they launder their clothes every day.

The research also revealed that the average UK worker splashes out £397 on their work wardrobe, with the over 55s deemed the biggest spenders.

The average amount spent on work clothes

Nine out of ten of those surveyed said they had to stump up the cash for their own work clothes but despite this, half of those people didn’t mind buying new work items every couple of months.

But it seems the cash isn’t being spent on underwear, as 42% of respondents admitted that they sometimes go commando at work, with a further 53% claiming they occasionally don’t bother wearing socks or tights.

Despite the lack of hosiery, the average UK worker spends 23 minutes getting ready for work, with those working in information research and media, taking the most time over their appearance.