More Than Half of Women Pressured to Buy New Clothing for Work

Over half of female office workers feel pressured into buying new clothing solely for work to ‘keep up appearances’, a survey can reveal. Almost a quarter of women spend more than £50 a month on clothing just for work, equating to £600 each year, or £27,000 over the course of a career*, which is above the average annual wage of a worker in the UK (£26,500).

The study, carried out by office stationary suppliers, Viking, expose the pressures that office workers across the UK feel when it comes to the clothing they wear for work, revealing that 1 in 10 workers are unhappy with their workplace attire.

When asked why they felt the need to buy new clothing, the majority felt their fellow colleagues would judge them for not revamping their wardrobe. Full results from the survey can be found here.


30% of women feared that other female colleagues would judge them, closely followed by 29% fearing the same thing from male counterparts.

Although those with a more formal dress code felt that women had it easier when it came to dressing in the workplace, women were more likely to be scrutinised than men in smart-casual, casual and uniformed workplaces.

This suggests that colleagues are most likely to pressure women about their day to day wardrobe, a stance that Gemma Terrar, European HR Business Partner at Viking, thinks should be becoming more lenient:

“As a HR professional, I’ve seen it become more and more common to have a casual dress code – possibly due to the influence of millennials in our workplace.”

“As a result, wearing a shirt and tie is not only becoming a thing of the past, but our restrictions for what counts as ‘business formal’ have relaxed. Now, it isn’t uncommon to find a business meeting without a suit jacket in sight.”