Corporate uniforms in both the retail environment and the corporate office environment exist today. In retail, like fast food chains, the uniform is bright and distinctive and exactly the same every time. In the corporate office environment, although there is choice of attire, in most situations, the clothing must be very conservative.
Work uniforms in the retail environment are usually very distinct when they represent a large enterprise or megacorp. Just like a logo or a trademark, the work uniform is usually distinct, bright and easily distinguished from every other piece of clothing that a person may have in their closet. Think about the large fast food chains or the crew of an airline, most people can instantly identify the employer the minute that you see the uniform.
Not only are retail uniforms used to identify those individuals that work for a particular company, they are also used as marketing, advertising and branding tools. When a certain look, combination of colors or style of clothing is so distinct that the general public can identify the business syndicate that it represents, it has fully reached its potential and its use as a marketing tool.
In the corporate office environment uniforms usually come in the form of a set of guidelines related to dress and business attire, rather than people being told that they have to wear a particular uniform. Although there may not be any explicit policy or uniform give to office workers, there is a definite standard of dress. This standard is usually unspoken yet completely understood by those working in the corporate world.
Traditionally, corporate office clothing is made up of dark colors, conservative suit-like attire with very few trimmings and distractions. This standard still exists today and it is very rare that it is broken. Gender in no way affects the standard of business dress. Power suits were developed for women that wanted to be taken seriously and be able to complete in the, not so long ago, male dominated corporate environment without being seen as weaker or less effective.
For men, there is the traditional work suit that is dark in color and that includes a pair of trousers, a shirt and tie and a jacket. Without a doubt, there are some environments where a businessman can forego the tie or go without their jacket. At the same time, there are other situations where not wearing a tie or jacket would be completely inappropriate.
Those involved in big business or large negotiations want to believe that they are dealing with a reliable enterprise whenever they establish a partnership or agreement with a company. Some of the ways in which they judge a company is by their representatives; this includes the representative's outfit and the way that the rep behaves. A definite association is made between the way that a representative looks and how conservative or professional the business is that they represent.
Not many serious business people would turn up for work in a bright, orange suit whether meeting with clients or working inside of the office. It would disturb the balance of the work place, if not for the fact, that they would be the talk of the office for that day and also because, in most people's minds, it would send the message that they found it appropriate to change or reestablish age old rules related to business and work attire. It just would not be in line with what people consider to be appropriate for the workplace.
Any large legal entity or megacorp is usually much stricter about the way top executives dress than about those that work in the lower rungs of the company. More responsibility is placed on employees at the executive level and therefore, their judgments and the decisions that they make will have greater repercussions.