Friday, December 17, 2010

Underpants for Work

A major Swiss bank has taken the appropriate dress code for the office policy to the extreme by issuing a large document to its employees which strips them down to their underwear. The document has stated that all undergarments should be flesh-coloured and that women were not to wear 'flashy' jewelry. It further stated that those with coloured hair must not have roots showing and that the men must have at least 2 parts of a 3 part suit when they showed up to work.

While it's evident that everyone would like to dress professionally for work, just to which point do we have to be told how to dress? After all, these are adults who are working within a professional institution in good standing. Surely they don't need to be told what colour their knickers can be?

But on the flip side, there's a good part of the population that does need telling and they're likely the cause of this strict fashion regime. While the anything goes attitude of North America and casual Fridays are liberating, they're also horrible for the image of a company or organization. The amount of people wearing pajamas to work, pajama plaid pants, yoga pants and every variety of night club wear Monday to Friday has proven that point. A quick look around the bus usually tells you that someone is heading into an office job looking either like a college freshman who's still hung over from last night and may be wearing someone else's pants or a skirt so short that they may literally have a slip of the cheek at some point during the day.

It seems like this is a common sense principle that our mothers should have taught us. We all know that office appropriate generally depends on who's up top. Some people enjoy a very comfortable, laid back office ambience where people are free to come in wearing sweats, while others have a shirt and tie policy and above the knees for the ladies. There are two distinct schools of thought on this issue:

1- this is a democracy and adults should be free to choose how they want to dress and to express themselves through their clothes

2- a workplace is a professional organization and you have an obligation to represent them properly by coming into work not looking like you're homeless

There are good arguments for both, but what it boils down to comes to this: be reasonable. There's a time and place to wear certain things and your common sense, as well as the social cues of the people around you, should indicate what's proper and what's not. While some people dream of living in a world where they can wander around wearing a tutu and tiara, the truth is, you will have to wear different things for different occasions.

Dressing appropriately for things like work and funerals are a sign of respect for the organization or the event that you're attending. And in a workplace, it's also a sign of self-respect, to show that you're interested in your image, your clients and the quality of your work and that maybe, just maybe, you're thinking of going places.

No comments:

Post a Comment