NEW YORK — So how do Americans really feel about casual dress in the workplace?

According to a recent study commissioned by hosiery brand No Nonsense, 69 percent would react favorably if their companies adopted dressier codes, but on the flip side, 85 percent of executives said they feel their employees would balk at the idea.
The study, entitled “A No Nonsense Analysis of Workplace Attire Trends,” was conducted over the summer by Wirthlin Worldwide to provide the hosiery firm with information about workers’ and executives’ attitudes toward career attire.

It surveyed about 1,000 people over age 18, as well as 150 chief executives and senior-level executives in the top 500 U.S. manufacturing and service firms.

Among other results, the study concluded:

  • 75 percent of workers would be willing to dress more professionally at work if it helped them advance their careers faster and obtain better pay.

  • 71 percent of executives believed workplace attire affected an employee’s state of mind, behavior and productivity.
  • 58 percent of executives said there was still confusion among employees about what is appropriate attire in the workplace.

When asked about one thing they would change about their employees’ work attire, executives said they would get rid of jeans and tight clothing.

While hosiery is considered to be an important element of a woman’s career wardrobe, the study doesn’t explore specific categories, such as hosiery, and instead focuses generally on apparel. That raises the question as to why a hosiery company would conduct market research about an apparel sector it is not in.

Jed Holland, vice president and general manager of Greensboro, N.C.-based Kaiser Roth Corp., which owns No Nonsense, said the company expects to launch some sort of new brand or enter into a new product category with an existing brand in the next year. He would not disclose any further details and wouldn’t say whether or not it relates to career apparel.

“We’re exploring a number of avenues. We’re in the process of expanding the Hue brand into additional lines and we’re very interested in expanding No Nonsense into additional apparel lines,” said Holland. “We intend to do some additional research and get together and decide what direction we want to take this. Regardless of where we end up in 12 months, this research is applicable to our existing brands.”In 2001, No Nonsense launched No Nonsense Woman, which targets the plus-size woman and the company expanded its Hue brand into sleepwear and intimates earlier this year.

No Nonsense is distributed in the food, drug and mass retail channels and is a division of Kayser-Roth Corp., which is a subsidiary of Italian firm The Golden Lady Group.

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