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Dressing down suits client demand…

PERTH’S professional firms are falling over themselves to get their staff decked out in casual clothes.

Accounting and legal giants such as PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu and Freehills have adopted full casual dress codes.

Even banks are starting to shed their traditional uniforms and adopting casual dress days.

BankWest customer service staff are required to don official bank uniform or business suits for most of the week but can wear casual clothes on Fridays.

Most professional firms are taking the casual approach because their clients have already gone that way.

Their main dress code stipulation is that staff wear clothing to suit the occasion.

Many of WA’s big mining and engineering houses eschew the traditional business uniform because it is not practical in their line of work.

And many believe WA’s climate is not suited to the suit and tie look.

But despite WA being ideally suited to casual dress, the push has come from the US.

The technology boom created a huge demand for executives. Allowing a worker to wear clothing of his or her choosing became another tool to win them.

Microsoft’s only corporate dress code is allegedly “bathe”.

The push for casual dress is starting to make its presence felt on St Georges Terrace.

Perth’s Western Australian Club has been forced to drop its jacket and tie rule for its restaurants because it was losing too much money.

Because most Terrace workers are opting for casual dress, they were unable to use many of the club’s facilities.

Deloittes managing partner Keith Jones said the staff had embraced the firm’s casual dress code.

“The casual dress code is a response to the market,” Mr Jones said.

“In many places, many of our clients are dressing casually. It’s part of the electronic commerce world we’re moving in.”

Freehills managing partner Peter Mansell said the firm’s casual dress code seemed to be well received by its clients.

“I just see modern business mov-ing that way,” Mr Mansell said.

“Our staff like it and it gives them a lift. The casual dress code is good for recruiting and staff retention.

“This profession has traditionally been fairly conservative. We want to be perceived differently.”

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