Thursday, June 26, 2008

Where is Joan Rivers When You Need Her?

I had a couple of friends in town this past week and one of them works in finance. His company has the policy of a "business professional" dress code. This means he wears a suit everyday. That means EVERYDAY. No casual Fridays, no dress down Tuesdays, nothing.

Personally, I find this to be a little refreshing, as the whole dress code thing has gotten a little out of hand. My friend's biggest complaint is that women are able to get away with murder when it comes to what's considered appropriate and what is not, while men are held to a very strict standard.

This could be debated for hours on end and I don't really want to get into a gender battle so I'll focus on my particular comment, which is, certain people will always look unprofessional, no matter what they are wearing, and others will always look extremely professional.

For example, when I worked in Denver, I wore jeans on Fridays, no exceptions. The geniuses in the Denver office were constantly flip-flopping (geeky election-year term) on whether we could wear jeans to the office on Fridays or not so I decided that I could make up my own mind and decided to wear them every Friday. I rationalized this in a number of ways:

ONE: the constant indecision on the part of management was annoying and I decided to do it out of spite.
TWO: Denver is a pretty casual town, people are wearing jeans everywhere in the downtown area, including in our building, no one is going to notice.
THREE: I looked better (and hence, more professional) in my jeans than most of the guys at the office who were wearing unpressed, baggy, Chipotle stained trousers.

For the most part, I will focus on point three because, isn't this the real issue? Whether or not I'm wearing a shitty pair of dockers shouldn't be the point. The point is, does the individual appear professional?

The answer is that 75% of men do not appear professional on a normal day and on a casual day those percentages go up to 99%. The numbers are made up but the point I'm trying to make is that most men in the corporate world either don't know what they look good in or they don't care. Either way, it's completely unacceptable.

I see guys wearing black belts with brown shoes, no belts at all, untucked shirts, shirts that should be worn to the country club rather than the office (i.e. short-sleeved button-ups), baggy golf polos, baggy trousers, striped ties with striped shirts (most combos don't work), poorly fitting suits, wearing blue shirts five days a week, shoes that look like they came out of the dumpster, the list goes on and on.

In short, most men do not look "professional" at a place of business. They look more like a contestant on Geek, Dweeb or Spazz (yes, the SNL skit).

I imagine I will visit this topic again but in the meantime, let's starting calling these guys out or at the very least, start pointing them out our friends. Sphere: Related Content

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