Nearly two-thirds of workers feel their image is more important to their career prospects than it was two years ago.
According to research by internet job site reed.co.uk, nearly half of all workers (45 per cent), feel they will need to spend more of their own money on looking the part over the next six months than they do at the moment.
The survey shows that people spend nearly a fifth of their salary on looking good at work.
Someone on the average salary of £23,000 spends £3,214 a year on an entire catalogue of work-related expenditure. This 'cost of work' includes a whole range of items, including the right suits, shirts, shoes and haircuts; travelling to work; networking with colleagues or clients; and buying the latest electronic accessories.
After travelling to and from work, the largest work-related cost is buying suits (£442 a year) followed by networking with work colleagues (£364 a year). And shirts and shoes combined cost the average worker more than £500 a year.
Men spend nearly a fifth more than women on work-related items, perhaps reflecting their higher salaries - women spend more than their male colleagues on new shoes and haircuts whereas men spend more on everything else.