Millennials Dress Smart Despite Relaxed Dress Codes

iam.mike

Partner / Administrator
Staff member
Thought this would be of interest to our community here, and be a good subject of conversation.

Any thoughts on the following press release from Saville Row?

Any millennials, those 20-30 years old, who would care to comment?

Assuming the general membership here, I'd guess that more folks prefer to dress smart?

Millennials Dress Smart Despite Relaxed Dress Codes

New data suggests that millennials don’t always put fashion first, with over half wanting an enforced dress code within the office.

A recent survey by Savile Row Company, London-based tailors of fine shirts and suits, found that 76% of millennials are choosing smart clothing as their first choice within the workplace. What’s more, only around a third (34%) think their workplace colleagues dress smartly enough already and want an enforced dress code.

Millennials are choosing to dress smart despite relaxed office dress codes, with 77% believing those who dress smart are taken more seriously. They also see dressing smartly (28%) as more important than being perceived as fashionable (8%) and 56% say their office would benefit from having a smarter dress code.

It looks like professional office attire is back and Justin Grau, fashion expert and publisher of Aspiring Gentlemen, said: “If you work at a law firm, ad agency, or a more traditional workplace where it is expected to dress "Professionally" you should dress at least at the average dress level and probably slightly above average.

I do think the management and clients look at this and put a big weighting on your professionalism and even job knowledge based on your attire.”

Millennials Like Tailoring

Even though more businesses are giving people the freedom to dress how they prefer, tailored clothing is making a comeback and millennials are embracing smarter attire.

Jeffrey Doltis, Owner of The Savile Row Company said “Although historically our demographic has been the 35 plus male, we are seeing more purchases on our online store from the 25 – 34-year-old age group. For us, tailoring is timeless and a good suit can make the wearer feel and look great at any age”.
 

Fading Fast

Connoisseur
Interesting - and thank you for posting - but "a survey by Savile Row Company" makes be wonder about bias - intentional or not. I'd like to believe it, but I think it leans heavily toward what a Savile Row company would want or what it would see by the fact that its clients have self selected into dressing well / traditional by choosing a Saville Row tailor.
 

JLibourel

Honors Member and King Fop
Isn't the term "smart" rather vague in this context? I can recall a woman of my acquaintance saying of some garment, "It's not pretty but it's terribly smart." This would have been close to 70 years ago, and I'm still not quite sure of the meaning.
 

Dhaller

Elite Member
I am surrounded by Millennial creatives, and while I'd hardly say they dress "smart" in the traditional sense, they do *dress*, meaning they have a sense of style and put some effort into their presentation... it's a far cry from the sloppy "jeans & untucked button down" of just a few years ago.

DH
 
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iam.mike

Partner / Administrator
Staff member
@Fading Fast - I tend to agree with you about the objective and/or bias of the press release.

Generally speaking, I think press releases are mostly garbage.

Though, I did find this one interesting, so I thought I'd share it nonetheless for discussion-sake.
 

smmrfld

Elite Member
I am surrounded by Millennial creatives, and while I'd hardly say they dress "smart" in the traditional sense, they do *dress*, meaning they have a sense of style and put some effort into their presentation... it's a far cry from the sloppy "jeans & untucked button down" of just a few years ago.

DH
Agree completely. The millennial-bashing has become quite tiresome.
 

Fading Fast

Connoisseur
@Fading Fast - I tend to agree with you about the objective and/or bias of the press release.

Generally speaking, I think press releases are mostly garbage.

Though, I did find this one interesting, so I thought I'd share it nonetheless for discussion-sake.

Glad you did - as you note, still interesting. Living in NYC, I see a lot of Millennials in suits and ties - and most of those that are, bring some style to it (even if it is within the parameters of the very skinny fashion of the moment).

Since wearing a suit and tie is, for the most part, not forced or the social norm today as it was of old, those Millennials that do find their way to suits probably care how they look since, most of the time, it is a choice not a requirement. Maybe as they age - and skinny becomes, um, more challenging - they'll gravitate to more classic cuts and fits.
 

donquexada

Starting Member
I don't know what 'smart' means in this context. In my experience, millennials conflate dressing professionally with dressing for the club.
 

Dhaller

Elite Member
I don't know what 'smart' means in this context. In my experience, millennials conflate dressing professionally with dressing for the club.

Not my experience at all.

I don't know any Millennials who "go to the club"; specialty bars and craft beer places are more their speed.

The Gen Xers were the ones who went "clubbing". To this day, it's the aging Gen Xer you see with a black suit, square toed shoes, and a ridiculous and greying gel-spiked hair style.

My office is in a pretty trendy space with a lot of creative and tech companies (Twitter, Spotify, Pinterest, and Buzzfeed all have offices on my floor), and we have the ubiquitous open conversation/coffee area with coffee bar, piles of keto energy bars and avocados, and local craft beers and boozes, and the Millennial set mostly wear trousers (I never see jeans anymore), button-down shirts, lots of vests and bow ties. Lots of beards. We do have a bunch of women in high-end yoga attire (one of the companies here is a private equity group focused on yoga and related lifestyle and apparel, and if staffed mostly by incredibly fit women - I depend on them to ward off any shooters with Pilates-fueled roundhouse kicks); frankly, I can't complain.

Yes, things are too short and too fitted, but it's a coherent style. And really, "professional" is more about "correct" than a specific style: attending an impromptu pitch session in a suit and tie would make one look lost, not professional. Time and a place, as has always been so.

DH
 

TheBarbaron

Senior Member
My evidence is influenced by selection bias (young men who put effort into their wardrobe are much more likely to show up at my job then those who don't), but I have seen a gradual uptick over the last ~5 years of those who dress well because they enjoy it, or because they don't like the super casual office.
 

MNJ83

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
The term “millennials” is very confusing. The oldest millennials are 38 and by some standards 41. 1977 to 1981 are cited as the years the generation started.

I am a “first batch” (thank God) so I am over 30, and I think the older millennials dress terribly. The “last batch” , the youngest of the group, are the ones that seem to have some interest in their apparel, to a certain degree.
 
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TheBarbaron

Senior Member
The term “millennials” is very confusing. The oldest millennials are 38 and by some standards 41. 1977 to 1981 are cited as the years the generation started.

Same boat; I was surprised to learn it a few years ago.
I've heard some start using "Generation Xennial" to refer to those of us who are technically millennials, but in many ways are closer to the X-ers. It's an awkward portmanteau, but it feels a little more accurate.
 

MNJ83

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
Same boat; I was surprised to learn it a few years ago.
I've heard some start using "Generation Xennial" to refer to those of us who are technically millennials, but in many ways are closer to the X-ers. It's an awkward portmanteau, but it feels a little more accurate.

You know why that is? Because some of us “first batch” millennials as we get older are ashamed to be associated with the term that has come to simbolize everything that is wrong in the world and everything “millennials” are known to be: entitled, lazy, vapid, whiny, self absorbed, and seeking participation trophies.
As far as I am concerned the only thing I share with people in our generation is that we where all children to teenagers on 9/11 and the technology that we all use.
 
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FLMike

Connoisseur
It seems that someone is forgetting about Gen Y, aka the Echo Boom. They came after Gen X and before the Millennials.
 

Fraser Tartan

Senior Member
I think the generational embrace of the smartphone, social media, and "selfies," is causing Millennials to pay more attention to their appearance than they otherwise would.
 

Hebrew Barrister

Senior Member
The term “millennials” is very confusing. The oldest millennials are 38 and by some standards 41. 1977 to 1981 are cited as the years the generation started.

I am a “first batch” (thank God) so I am over 30, and I think the older millennials dress terribly. The “last batch” , the youngest of the group, are the ones that seem to have some interest in their apparel, to a certain degree.

Younger people are now taking an interest in their apparel again. However, they aren't going with classic style menswear. They're going for more casual stuff but made from quality fabrics. Or the athleisure thing - ESPECIALLY younger women.

Look at JCrew - the core JCrew stores are doing poorly but their MadeWell brand cannot open up new stores fast enough. Or look at Lulemon for athleisure

Selvedge denim, flannels, button ups, and OCBDs made from Japanese fabrics, etc, see to be the stuff the younger men are going for. Or the high end hoodies and t-shirts made by places like Everlane.

Millenials are definitely starting to take care in how they dress. They just have vastly different preferences than previous generations.

In some ways, it isn't terrible. There are so many places to get different cuts of quality jeans, in all sorts of different washes, now.
 

Hebrew Barrister

Senior Member
Same boat; I was surprised to learn it a few years ago.
I've heard some start using "Generation Xennial" to refer to those of us who are technically millennials, but in many ways are closer to the X-ers. It's an awkward portmanteau, but it feels a little more accurate.

I'm 40. I'd be insulted if someone called me a millennial. I am MUCH more a Gen Xer than a millennial.
 
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