The salary benchmark website emolument.com revealed that nearly half (45%) of the employees at the Big Four firm said they are limited in their colour selection, and 37% of them said they have to wear a suit at all times. Also, 36% said EY requires them to wear a suit and tie/heels and jacket away from client meetings.
Furthermore, 17% of EY staff said the firm had a policy regarding sock colour.
The list of employers with the strictest dress codes were mostly banks, with BNP Paribas, JP Morgan and Société Générale following the Big Four firm.
PwC also featured in the list, with 9% of employees saying the firm limits the colours of what they wear at work.
An EY spokesperson said, “EY provides broad guidelines about the standard of attire that our people, who represent the firm, should adhere to. Our people are able to wear formal or business casual, depending on their professional working arrangements. For example, when at client sites we ask that our people match the dress code of the client.
“EY is committed to creating an inclusive culture where our people are able to be themselves at work. We have worked with a number of our employee networks to reflect these values in our dress code and to ensure that our policies are gender neutral.”
Italy was named the most "stickler" country for etiquette, with 42% of employees having to wear a suit at all times with 20% also noting that suits have to be of a specific colour.
Meanwhile, the US came as the most relaxed country in terms of work dress code, as 100% of employees said they can choose the colour of their attire and only 10% of them reported having to dress formally at all times.
Alice Leguay, co-founder and chief marketing officer at Emolument.com said, "The debate rages on: is dressing to impress still relevant? In some sectors a sharp look is still important, especially in jobs such as asset management where professional provide a service and must exude confidence and reliability.
“However the technology world has shaken up dress codes from interns to the boardroom: the Zuckerberg t-shirt or the Steve Jobs uniform denounce traditionally sophisticated outfits as a distraction.
“Outdated or a mark of respect for clients and oneself? The jury is still out, in the City at least."
Emolument also found that only 2% of women reported having a limited choice when picking the colour of their outfits against 6% for men. Also, just 14% of female employees must be formally attired at all times compared to 18% of male employees.