Re: Work Attire

Subject: Re: Work Attire
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 30 May 2003 19:01:21 -0700

Dick Margulis wrote:

As for what to wear to the office, wear what you're comfortable in and don't worry if other people make other choices.

Remember, when Shakespeare put "clothes make the man" into Polonius's mouth, he was mocking the bombastic old fart.

This gets complilcated.

Or, to put it another way: Yeah, but -

By temperment, I agree with you. My own clothes of choice tend to be shorts and a T-shirt, and running shoes or sandals if I can't be barefoot. All scrupulously clean, mind you - when you run ten miles a day, as I do, you tend to have a fetish about personal cleanliness. But I consider ties an abomination, and long sleeves only relatively better.

However, as ridiculous as judging people by their clothes can be, you can't ignore the fact that many people do judge others by their clothes. In business situations, a man in a tie gets a hearing, and the woman in nylon and heels gets the job. If you're a contractor, you look the part more if you dress up a bit. If you represent a company with clients or partners, the cut of your clothes shows the level of access they're getting: the more casual or cheap the clothes, the less they're going to be convinced that you can help them or make the deal they want.

So, as much as I'm inclined to agree with you, Dick, I have to say that it's not sensible advice to tell somebody not to worry about their work attire. If he or she is ambitious, casual dress might hurt their chances of promotion. Of course, if someone is happy in his or her present job, no harm done.

That's not to say that you need to take dressing up seriously, or that you can't do it with individualism. For example, when I can't wear casuals, I like to wear a 5-10 centimeter armband with Celtic or West Coast designs - unusual, but acceptable jewelry for men, at least in the Pacific Northwest. I also know some men who have chosen to wear kilts rather than business suits. You can do all sorts of things to enliven the ordeal - but you shouldn't ignore the occasional necessity for it, either.

Bruce Byfield bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com 604.421.7177

"I denounce the heresy of Creationism
that would dismiss my mourning as sentimental
and allege a unique sentience divided us;
evolution would alow our parallel minds to meet
if love alone could not."


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Re: Work Attire: From: Dick Margulis

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