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Philadelphia's First Toastmasters


September 10, 2007, revised January 31, 2016
To: Fellow Toastmasters - Philadelphia's First Toastmasters Club
Subject: Meeting Dress Code

Business dress codes have evolved. It's no longer a three-piece suit for men or a conservative dress or women's suit. The Dot Com craze brought more casual dress to the workplace. Casual Friday's started to appear, but even that has started turning as companies found their employees took work less serious and professional relationships eroded.

Our club's history has called for business dress during the year and business casual during the summer. However, our club has continued to evolve into allowing for business casual dress throughout the year.

The dress code for Toastmasters goes beyond the dress code for the workplace. It is about the image and the message we are trying to send as being professional, self-confident and knowledgeable in our presentations. Dressing effectively encourages others to take you seriously. Putting effort into your appearance sends a message that you are a person who takes care of details.

When giving a speech you want the audience focused on your presentation. If you are not dressed appropriately, the focus is on your attire. Even by today's standards it is unprofessional to present in shorts, tee shirts, blue jeans, sneakers and athletic apparel.

Business Dress is defined as follows:

Men - Suit or sports jacket and slacks, collared shirt and necktie.
Women - Tailored pants or skirt, blouse or sweater, business suit or dress.
Police, Fire, Military and MRT uniforms are considered business apparel.

Business Casual:

Men - Collared shirt, turtleneck or sweater, slacks without jacket or tie.
Women - Similar to above, i.e., slacks or skirt, blouse or sweater, jacket or vest may be optional.

When you present yourself on a professional level your speech takes on a professional quality that builds your confidence.

Your Board feels very strongly about this issue, as do the majority of our members. To attract guests into becoming members, we need to provide an atmosphere that allows them to see a professional organization that can enhance their communication skills and help advance their careers. Even those not in professional or business settings can have more appropriate dress without going all the way to business suits.

Inappropriate dress should be addressed in speech evaluations and by the General Evaluator.

Thank you all for your cooperation in adhering to a long-time club policy.

Any club officer would be happy to answer any questions you may have concerning this issue.

Michael Anderson - President


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