NBA Dress Code Update is NOT an Isolated Decision

  • Nov 8, 2005

The National Basketball Association, which recently adopted a more formal dress code, and got a lot of press coverage in the process, is not the only organization requiring more professional dress. In a recent study, The Society for Human Resource Management found 55 percent of companies allow casual attire only once a week, which is down 60 percent from 2001. The trend is moving towards a professional presence versus a casual look.

According to a BizRate Research study, the majority of people who work full time in an office setting have a dress code that requires business attire. Organizations are implementing dress codes that ban form-fitting pants, sheer clothing, low-cut blouses, tank or halter tops, short skirts, backless dresses, and no areas of the body with body-piercing jewelry can be visible at work. Some dress codes are going so far to state that any employee who does not follow the dress code will be sent home and not paid for the time away from work. For example, a peer advisory for female business owners are required to dress up when they meet a client — that means wearing a suit or skirt with a jacket.

NBA adopts a new dress code

The following are the reasons why so many businesses are moving toward a professional presence:

  • It's about building confidence in the profession.
  • It refines our public image.
  • It reduces client complaints.
  • Now, people call us for our expertise because we look like experts.
  • A dress code is important in order to project a more professional image.
  • Our image goes along with our branding, and it is how we set ourselves forth in the community.

According to a recent ESPN poll, 60.8 percent of respondents support the new NBA dress code and 67 percent thought the NBA had an image problem. The league could have better sold the dress code had it prepared the players beforehand. This also applies to the corporate world. It is important to prepare the employees before hand. It's not about taking away a favorite outfit or putting someone in something they are uncomfortable in or making them something they are not. It is about keying in to each individual and teaching them how to present themselves professionally.

It is good for professional basketball players to set themselves apart from the crowd attending the games. Those players will feel differently and carry themselves differently if they are wearing weekend clothes. In weekend attire, you can not tell the difference between the fan and the player. People do not want that, in sports or in the business world. If you walk into a hospital, you want to know who the doctor is. If you walk into a school, you want to know who the teacher is. If you walk into a business, you want to know who the professional is.

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