Joanna Jarjue sparked a debate on Good Morning Debate today when she said dressing well for work is a sign of respect.
The Leeds-based TV personality and businesswoman, who rose to fame in season 13 of the BBC reality show The Apprentice, said there should 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 to look like they’re “just going to the shops.”
Meanwhile, the marketing agency’s director and fellow Bolton-based apprentice candidate Michaela Wain said she’s happy her employees wear whatever they want, as long as they’re comfortable.
On Twitter, viewers agreed that some professions require minimal effort when it comes to dress codes, while others said they are in professions where dressing up is an obligation.
Michaela Wain, pictured, who ran a marketing agency in Bolton, said she let her employees dress the way they wanted
The debate came after it was revealed in August that less than half of M&S affiliates are still selling suits after the pandemic.
But Joanna was adamant that a dress code should still apply in UK offices.
“I think everyone realizes that there is a difference between our professional and personal lives,” she said.
“Personally, I don’t want my MP to pretend PMQs are going to the store.”
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 should be a clear distinction. You don’t behave the same as in your personal life when you are at work. So I think there should be a divorce in that sense, and it’s a sign of respect to dress well for work.
While she acknowledged that attitudes toward wearing full suits at work had changed, she said how you look in the office is still important.
“I don’t think anyone expects you to jump into a three-piece suit these days, but in a way I do think people take it too far and relax at work,” she said.
“Like it or not, people judge you in those environments. And you have to make a clear distinction between the way you dress outside of work and inside work,” she added.
“I find it completely unacceptable to rock in workout clothes or a t-shirt at work.”
People agreed that different jobs required different dress codes. Some people who worked as merchants said they had no choice but to dress
She said her objections had nothing to do with prioritizing appearance over comfort.
‘It has nothing to do with being comfortable. I’m wearing a shirt here and don’t feel any more uncomfortable than if I were wearing a t-shirt.’
On the other side of the debate, Michaela Wain admitted that she works in a very creative environment and doesn’t care about what her employees wear.
“I don’t dress 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 everyone at work to wear whatever they want to wear,” she added.
The director of the marketing agency said some of her employees choose to wear suits because they want a clear line between work and home.
“But most people want to be comfortable in jeans, chinos or tracksuits. As long as they look clean and tidy, I’m fine with that,” she said.
Under pressure from Ben Shephard, Michaela said that while she doesn’t care what people wear in her office, she will adapt to her clients’ dress code.
“In my office it’s smart casual, and frankly I’ll follow what my clients are doing,” she said.
Online, some people agreed that there were jobs that require a strict dress code.
‘I work for a funeral director. I don’t think it would be fun if I came to a funeral of loved ones in tracksuits to carry their loved ones,” one said.
Michaela, left, and Joanna, right, were both asked for their thoughts on the dress code on Good Morning Britain
‘Imagine going to the bank and seeing someone in sweatpants and a Guinness t-shirt serve you! How would you feel?’ said another.
“I agree that people generally don’t dress well these days,” one wrote.
But others claimed that in their professional life they have no choice but to dress.
“For people with nice, well-paid office jobs that 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 tradesman, so I have no choice but to dress decently…. I can’t be there with shirt and tie now, can I?” said another.
“Every job is different and we have to dress accordingly. We don’t wear high heels when we go for a walk (normally!), and I won’t wear walking shoes if I was a nurse,” one wrote.