Business suits and ties worn less and less

More and more companies around the world are telling staff they do not need to wear a suit and tie. In the last century, most business people and office workers had to wear business clothes. In today’s world, that is becoming less important. Companies now want their workers to dress in a more casual way. This is to make staff feel more relaxed, so they work harder. The latest international company to relax its dress code is the investment bank Goldman Sachs. It said its staff could choose not to wear a suit, but asked employees to „show good judgment” in deciding how to dress for work. It said the shift was due to „the changing nature of workplaces generally in favor of a more casual environment.”

Many people in business think more casual dress is not a good thing. Justin Stewart, founder of the investment company 7IM, said not wearing a suit and tie could give a bad impression to clients and customers. He said: „You’re looking after people’s money, so you should behave and dress respectfully. I would not expect to hand over my pension to someone in jeans, loafers and a
football shirt. It may be old-fashioned but I think it would be dangerous for a business to do that.” He added: „If you let people dress sloppily, that is how your brand will be perceived.” Many companies, like Google and Amazon, allow their staff to dress casually and wear jeans and Tshirts to the office.
(adapted from breakingnewsenglish.com)


Ex. 1 Match these Polish words with their English equivalents from the text:

1. personel
2. miejsce pracy
3. środowisko
4. ubiór
5. założyciel
6. wrażenie
7. emerytura
8. osąd

• dress
• environment
• founder
• impression
• judgement
• pension
• staff
• workplace


Ex. 2 What collocations can you make adding the words from the list below?

bank / casually / code / company / hard / relaxed / suit / worker

1. business ________________
2. dress ________________
3. international ________________
4. investment ________________
5. office ________________
6. to dress ________________
7. to feel ________________
8. to work ________________


Ex. 3 Translate these sentences using expressions from the exercises above:

1. W firmach międzynarodowych personel może się ubierać bardziej nieformalnie.
2. Jako założyciel banku inwestycyjnego musiał bardzo ciężko pracować.
3. Mam wrażenie, że nasi pracownicy biurowi nie czują się zrelaksowani.


Phrasals, phrasals…

This lesson’s text deals with the issue of wearing or not formal business clothes (suits and
ties). That’s why let’s see one of these this key words as a phrasal verb:
• to tie down someone = to limit someone’s freedom (ograniczać kogoś)
➢ More and more managerial obligations tied him down.


I know English idioms:

So now it’s time to look at the other key word of today’s lesson: “suit” in an idiomatic meaning:
• to suit somebody right down to the ground = to suit somebody perfectly, usually because it’s convenient for them (doskonale pasować komuś)
➢ Part-time work would suit me right down to the ground.


Grammar corner…

Let’s observe these fragments of the text: “Business suits and ties worn less and less”, “More and more companies (…)”The underlined parts are examples of comparative structures, which can translate with the word “coraz” (coraz mniej, coraz więcej). Here are a few more examples:
➢ She drives better and better. (coraz lepiej)
➢ It’s harder and harder to live in Venezuela. (coraz trudniej)
➢ Holidays are closer and closer. (coraz bliżej)


business suit – granitur biznesowy
tie – krawat
to wear, wore, worn – nosić (ubrania)
less and less  – coraz mniej
more and more  – coraz więcej
company – firma
around the world  – na całym świecie
staff-  pracownicy, personel
century  – wiek
office worker  – pacownik biurowy
to become  – sta(wa)ć się
important – ważny
to dress  – ubierać się
casual  – nieformalny
relaxed  – zrelaksowany
to relax – poluzować
dress code  – zasady ubioru
investment bank  – bank inwestycyjny
to choose – wybrać
judgement  – osąd
shift  – zmiana
due to  – z powodu
workplace – miejsce pracy
generally  – ogólnie
in favour of  –  na korzyść
environment –  środowisko
dress –  tu: strój, ubiór
founder – założyciel
impression – wrażenie
client / customer  – klient
to look after  – opiekować się
to behave  –  zachowywać się
respectfully  – z szacunkiem
to expect –  spodziewać się
to hand over  – przekazać
pension  – emerytura
loafers  – mokasyny
old-fashioned  – staromodny
sloppily  – niedbale
brand  – marka
be perceived  – być postrzeganym
to allow  – pozwalać


download lesson (pdf)



1. staff
2. workplace
3. environment
4. dress
5. founder
6. impression
7. pension
8. judgement
1. business suit
2. dress code
3. international company
4. investment bank
5. office worker
6. to dress casually
7. to feel relaxed
8. to work hard
1. In international companies, staff can dress more casually.
2. As the founder of an investment bank he had to work very hard.
3. I have an impression that our office workers do not feel relaxed.