Working in Manly on Sydney’s Northern Beaches we are lucky enough to be surrounded by ocean and the sea breeze provides welcome respite from summer days.

Despite that, it still gets uncomfortably hot which is one of the reasons why we mostly chose to avoid wearing a suit and tie.

We’re not alone. According to an article in the New York Times, businesses with strong formal dress traditions such as JP Morgan Chase, IBM and General Electric have relaxed their dress code to “business casual”.

This doesn’t mean wearing thongs and torn denim or active wear to work, but it could be as simple as chinos and a sharp shirt in place of an expensive suit.

The change is driven by millennials and the tech industry, according to the article, with other industries following suit, partly in a bid to compete for talent who don’t want to wear a suit or shave every day.

Here in Manly and the Northern Beaches, there is strong evidence of that trend. Lifestyle is a strong driver for people setting up their businesses here so it’s only natural that extends to fashion and attire.

That said, this is not the creative industries where t-shirts and five-day facial hair is common. A balance must be struck between professionalism and embracing the magnificent lifestyle that Manly and the Northern Beaches has to offer.

Real Estate Agent Attire:

Real estate website Domain argues that a sharp suit is a must for agents – and heels a requirement for women – as they signify a certain level of professionalism. They add that it’s a good idea to stand out by wearing bright colourful ties or memorable accessories.

Here at Pine Property, as a commercial agency we regularly deal with some of Sydney’s most successful business people. Most of them attend meetings or inspections in casual attire, sometimes even board shorts and thongs.

These are experienced businesspeople and they value results over all. In fact any agent – whether commercial or residential – will be judged on their performance not on the price of their suit.

Yes first impressions count and there is definitely a time and place for a quality suit, however delivery is what matters: delivery of results, delivery of service and following through on promises.

Changing Corporate Fashion Trends:

Ties Are Out:

Once the accepted and expected business attire, the tie has tied the noose and it’s a rare sight to see in 2017.

Stubble:

Facial hair was once a dishevelled sign of laziness. No longer. For the same reasons that business casual is becoming the norm in Fortune 500 companies, facial hair is also in. This trend is evident just by walking down the street, along with the advent of specialist beard barbers such as Manly icon, Captain Sip Sops.

Bright Socks:

Walk through Sydney’s CBD and it’s a veritable laser show of bright socks flashing between strides. Plain, boring socks are out, coloured socks are in. Whether it’s a subtle dash of colour, fluro polka dots or stripes is up to you.

Skinny Pants:

Go shopping for pants in 2017 and it’s a fair bet they will contain Elastane. Wool suit pants are increasingly being swapped for skinny chinos or smart denim. With skinny pants something’s got to give and with 5 per cent elastane it’s less likely to be the crotch!

Invisible / No Socks:

While commonplace in casualwear, invisible socks combined with slightly shorter suit pants is less common – and may raise an eyebrow. However it is a regular sight in Europe and the US and is increasingly making its way down under.

What do you think of these fashion trends? Would you think less of a real estate agent – commercial or residential – who was not wearing a suit?

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