Study: UA Students Prefer Casual Dress, Even on Others

A study by a recent University of Arkansas graduate found that students on the Fayetteville campus react negatively to business attire and positively to “business casual” or casual clothes.

The findings by Quang Ngo suggest that college students need to be educated about the importance of dress in the workplace, according to Kathy Smith, an assistant professor in apparel studies.

“It’s possible that college students are influenced more by the popular culture of their peers when making decisions about dress,” Smith said in a press release from the UA. “Such results indicate the necessity for colleges and universities to develop programs for students to understand the importance of business professional clothing and how to dress professionally prior to beginning their career.”

In his study, Ngo studied brief encounters by 100 male and 553 female students on the UA campus, and 81 percent of them were between the ages of 18 and 21.

Students of both genders preferred to talk with a person dressed casually or in business casual clothes rather than with someone dressed in business clothes.

Ngo was invited to present his findings at the American Pop Culture Association meeting in Washington, D.C., in April.