Joanna Jarjue sparked a debate on Good Morning Britain today when she said dressing well for work is a mark of respect.
The Leeds-based TV personality and businesswoman, who rose to fame on season 13 of the BBC’s reality show The Apprentice, said there needs to be a clear distinction between personal and professional life.
Speaking to Ben Shephard and Susanna Reid, she said she wouldn’t want an MP at the PMQs looking like they were ‘just nipping to the shops’.
Meanwhile, marketing agency director and fellow Apprentice candidate from Bolton, Michaela Wain, said she is happy with her employees wearing what they want as long as they are comfortable.
On Twitter, viewers agreed that some professions require a minimum of effort when it comes to dress codes, while others said they are in trades where dressing down is an obligation.
Michaela Wain, pictured, who ran a marketing agency in Bolton, said she let her employees dress as they liked
The debate came after it was revealed in August that less than half of branches of M&S are still selling suits following the pandemic.
But Joanna was adamant a dress code should still be in place in British offices.
‘I think everybody realises there’s a difference between our professional life and personal life,’ she said.
‘For me, personally, I don’t want to see my MP doing PMQs looking like they’re jut nipping to shop.’
Speaking on Good Morning Britain from her home in Leeds, Apprentice star Joanna Jarjue, pictured, said it was a mark of respect to dress well for work
‘I think there needs to be a clear distinction. You don’t act the same as you do in your personal life when you’re at work. So I think there should be a separation in that sense, and it’s a sign of respect to dress well for work.
While she recognised that the attitude towards wearing full suits at work had changed, she said the way you look in the office is still important.
‘I think in this day and age, nobody is expecting you to rock up in a three-piece suit, but I do think in some sense, people do take it too far and they are too relaxed at work,’ she said.
‘Whether we like it or not, people do judge you in those environments. And you have to have a clear distinction between the way you dress outside of work and inside of work,’ she added.
‘I think rocking up in trackies or a t-shirt at work is completely unacceptable.’
People agreed different jobs called for different dress codes. Some people who worked as tradesmen said they had no choice but to dress down
She said her objections had nothing to do with prioritising looks over comfort.
‘It’s got nothing to do with being comfortable. I’m here wearing a shirt and do not feel more uncomfortable than I would wearing a t-shirt.’
On the other side of the debate, Michaela Wain admitted she works in a very creative environment and doesn’t care about what her employees wear.
‘I don’t dress up to work and I will wear tracksuits,’ she said.
‘I run a marketing agency, so it’s quite creative. I like to be comfortable and I allow everybody at work to wear what they choose to wear,’ she added.
The marketing agency director said some of her employees do choose to wear suits because they want a clear line between work life and personal life.
‘But the majority of people want to be comfortable in jeans or chinos or tracksuit. As long as they look clean and tidy, then that’s fine with me,’ she said.
Pressed by Ben Shephard, Michaela said that while she doesn’t care what people wore in her agency, she will adapt to her clients’ dress code.
‘In my office, it’s smart casual, and I’ll follow whatever my clients are doing, to be honest,’ she said.
Online, some people agreed there were jobs that require a strict dress code.
‘I work for a funeral directors. I don’t think it would look nice if I turned up to a loved ones funeral in tracksuit to carry their loved ones,’ one said.
Michaela, left, and Joanna, right, were both asked their opinion on dress code on Good Morning Britain
‘Imaging to go to the bank and see someone in joggys and Guinness t-shirt serving you! How would you feel?’ another said.
‘I agree people these days don’t generally dress well,’ one wrote.
But others aruged that in their professional lives, they have no choice but to dress down.
‘For people in fancy well-paid office jobs who don’t get dirty at all and sit at a desk all day and show off their Rolex, some people get dirty for a living Joanna,’ one said.
‘I work as a tradesmen, so I have no choice but to dress down…. Can’t be on site in a shirt and tie now can I?’ another said.
‘Each job is different and we should dress accordingly. We don’t wear high heels if we go on a hike, (normally!), nor will I wear hiking boots if I was a nurse,’ one wrote.