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Do you care how your coworkers dress? Does the decline of formality of dress bother you? - Page 7

post #91 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by biged781 View Post

So, ignoring all of the other talking points, I find it very hard to believe that dressing well actually makes you more productive. Not everyone shares the same ideals as most of us do and couldn't care less about a well fitting pair of trousers. I've worked with some brilliant people in my career who dressed terribly. I don't buy that, if they threw on a nicer outfit, they would be better at their job. In any way. Whatsoever.

Not everyone shares the ideals of Styleforum, that's true, but there's irrefutable evidence to the fact that people absolutely do judge by appearance. Not everyone admits to it (and for some people, it's probably a subconscious process), but we all do. The question, therefore, is more whether your occupation or position lets you get away with a suboptimal appearance, and if not, what kind of appearance you should cultivate for your colleagues and clients to view you as favorably as possible.
post #92 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slippybee View Post

Isn't the way an organisation's people present themselves internally and externally (including how their staff dress) important in establishing its public and marketplace perception and reputation? If staff dressing well contributes positively to this perception and reputation then that enhances the prestige of working there (to some degree) increases each workers perceived market value if and when they look to move on?

Absolutely. This ties in with what I wrote above.
post #93 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedDevil10 View Post

I secretly just enjoy the fact that someone else somehow, someway enjoys opera.

Count me in as well in the opera fan club. I've got tiockets to see La Bohème on Saturday - and yes I will dress up for the occasion biggrin.gif.


To get back to the original topic of the thread: I think people do care more about what co-workers and colleagues wear - more than they care to admit anyway. I work in an environment where anything goes (except perhaps completely naked) goes - a university department in the natural sciences. You see mostly jeans, T-shirts and the occasional shirt and I for a long time my work outfit consisted of shirts and chinos and (which still would place me among the most "well-dressed") and occasionally suits when required for things like thesis defences etc.

A few years ago I decided I wanted to start dressing better but also realised that going full-in with suit and tie right from the get go was probably not a great idea unless I wanted to hear comments about whether I was on a theses committee everyday. being the scientist I am I decided to conduct an experiment - how long would it take until I was not getting comments on my clothes? So, I slowly started "upping" my outfits - first sport coats and nicer shoes, then slowly introducing ties (first informal ties like knitted). It didn't take long - in a few moths I could wear suits without anybody raising an eyebrow.

But here's the kicker - soon after I started noticing that some of my colleagues were also dressing in more formal outfits and now there are a few people that regularly wears suit/SC, shirts and ties. So there seems that there was a "desire" for more people to actually dress better - but the general atmosphere at the department somehow had prevented them for doing this before. I'm not taking full credit for changing this, but the timing of when these things happened agree pretty well. So I think there's a very strong feeling for not being viewed as different when it comes to clothes - even in a university department that probably hosts some of the most individualistic people that I know. So yes, people do definitely register what others are wearing even if they claim not to.
post #94 of 130
I pretty much got used to it. Here anything more than jeans and sneakers is "dressing up" and even perceived as a potential threat. That being said it is also true that the new generation of workers in my office (those between 23 - 25) tend to dress way better than the average guys in my age range (30 - 35). Not to mention those +40...

I personally don't care how other people dress. But I agree with some other comments that seeing someone dressing nice somehow makes me feel good with the world.
post #95 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by bourbonbasted View Post

I don't care how my co-workers dress. Most of them look pretty disheveled and the dudes that do put up an effort just end up looking like misguided hipsters. The one thing that annoys me is that I cannot even wear a SC into the office without people asking if I'm interviewing somewhere. It's become such an annoyance that I've started wearing SCs only when clients are in the office.

I haven't bowed to the wave of "business casual" just yet. I like to think I still dress well, if not casually well. However, at least in my office, formality is more an invite for annoyance than a reflection of ambition or business prowess.

 

 Only one guy dresses in suits here most of the time. He really stands out and maybe not in a good way. Kind of overdressed. IMO

 

 I started wearing the tweed SCs and people were asking me if I was doing interviews. lol8[1].gif

 

 One guy said I was really looking sharp one day. I was wearing a Goodwill tweed jacket, OCBD shirt, jeans and thrifted loafers. 

 

 Maybe that says a lot about the state of workplace dress is.

post #96 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by bourbonbasted View Post

I don't care how my co-workers dress. Most of them look pretty disheveled and the dudes that do put up an effort just end up looking like misguided hipsters. The one thing that annoys me is that I cannot even wear a SC into the office without people asking if I'm interviewing somewhere. It's become such an annoyance that I've started wearing SCs only when clients are in the office.

I haven't bowed to the wave of "business casual" just yet. I like to think I still dress well, if not casually well. However, at least in my office, formality is more an invite for annoyance than a reflection of ambition or business prowess.

This sums it up nicely.

Generally, I don't care too much how my co-workers dress -- until they start harassing me about my own dress. The way I see it, let he who is without sin cast the first stone. If you're going to rib me about wearing wool trousers and a sportcoat, don't be wearing a striped '90s club shirt, oversized Dockers, and black pleather shoes with squared bicycle toes.

I take a live-and-let-live approach to co-workers' dress, but I expect the same courtesy from them. Ironically, though predictably, it seems that the people who least give a shit about their own appearance are the ones who most give a shit about yours.

(Apropos of nothing, I've noticed a strong correlation between social class, educational attainment, and job prestige and better workplace dress. Call this classist if you will, but it seems people and offices that care about success hold themselves to better standards. Exceptions are made, though, in industries like tech and finance, wherein the people at the very top of the food chain tend to dress like crap as a sort of power posturing).

This isn't to say that overdressing is totally fine, and that one should be able to dress a few orders of magnitude above the code and not stand out. But it seems that the standards of "business casual" are lowering and lowering, thus lowering the bar for what is considered overdressing. (I fear we're not too many years from the day when the button-up dress shirt is considered overdressed, and the short sleeved polo is considered the more appropriate choice).
post #97 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by becnal View Post

Dressing well means something, whether we admit it or not. It means we respect ourselves and care enough to present ourselves well, whether it's going to work or going shopping. When going out someplace special, we dress well also to show respect for our companion as well as the other guests present.

It takes no more "effort" to wear nice clothing than sloppy clothing. Lacing up wingtips is no more difficult than lacing up sneakers. Pulling on nice trousers is no more arduous than pulling on sweatpants.

Not dressing well tells the world the wearer is either lazy, or doesn't care. Neither is my goal. If that makes me a snob, so be it. biggrin.gif

exactly. don't get me wrong, I dress down most days (ie.jeans, tennis shoes, button up shirt, etc), but when I need to I dress for the occasion. it's like that line in Seinfeld when George shows up at Jerry's wearing sweatpants:
Quote:
You know the message you're sending out to the world with these sweatpants? You're telling the world, 'I give up. I can't compete in normal society. I'm miserable, so I might as well be comfortable.
post #98 of 130

Every time you dress ugly, God kills a kitten frown.gif
 

post #99 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Texas View Post

(I fear we're not too many years from the day when the button-up dress shirt is considered overdressed, and the short sleeved polo is considered the more appropriate choice).

No - you are wrong. I have seen the future of classic menswear and it does not bother me.

post #100 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greggers View Post

Another issue is the fact that as casualization grows, jacket and tie becomes increasingly marginalized and socially inappropriate. Costume.

And I suppose that's fine with some people. This thread is a litany of "I'm the best dressed guy at my office (and I'm okay with that)," which, because of the decline of formality, may be beginning to edge into "I'm suit-guy oddball at the office." And, alas, some of us may not be okay with that.

 

 

very true! specially amongst young people

post #101 of 130
I work in IT/Finance...my location/site's dress code seems like Tropical Casual...
I dress-up for work not because I like to "dress up" but it is natural thing for me to do so. I was taught that way growing up. I try very hard not to judge people by what clothing they wear. Last year during a holiday lunch event with some Senior folks, the restaurant staff handed me the bill, "looks like you are taking care of this (bill) Sir. Thank You very much" It was a very awkward moment to say the least, especially sitting next to the head honcho, who is a few levels above me. Is it because I was the only person wearing a jacket/wool trouser/decent dress shirt?
I don't think everyone has to dress up with the finest clothing items and to the nines, but at least try to look clean and professional. To each his own I guess
post #102 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slippybee View Post

Just to add one more thought I wonder if saying that how work colleagues dress really has no impact on you.

Isn't the way an organisation's people present themselves internally and externally (including how their staff dress) important in establishing its public and marketplace perception and reputation? If staff dressing well contributes positively to this perception and reputation then that enhances the prestige of working there (to some degree) increases each workers perceived market value if and when they look to move on?


Just a thought.

+1. Absolutely. There's a reason why business casual workplaces still mostly require people to wear suits when having any important meeting with someone outside the firm / company.
post #103 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by becnal View Post

Dressing well means something, whether we admit it or not. It means we respect ourselves and care enough to present ourselves well, whether it's going to work or going shopping. When going out someplace special, we dress well also to show respect for our companion as well as the other guests present.

It takes no more "effort" to wear nice clothing than sloppy clothing. Lacing up wingtips is no more difficult than lacing up sneakers. Pulling on nice trousers is no more arduous than pulling on sweatpants.

Not dressing well tells the world the wearer is either lazy, or doesn't care. Neither is my goal. If that makes me a snob, so be it. biggrin.gif

it doesn't take more effort to dress well, but it makes someone lazy if they don't...
post #104 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by allysan1027 View Post

it doesn't take more effort to dress well, but it makes someone lazy if they don't...

facepalm.gif
post #105 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Texas View Post



(Apropos of nothing, I've noticed a strong correlation between social class, educational attainment, and job prestige and better workplace dress. Call this classist if you will, but it seems people and offices that care about success hold themselves to better standards. Exceptions are made, though, in industries like tech and finance, wherein the people at the very top of the food chain tend to dress like crap as a sort of power posturing).

This isn't to say that overdressing is totally fine, and that one should be able to dress a few orders of magnitude above the code and not stand out. But it seems that the standards of "business casual" are lowering and lowering, thus lowering the bar for what is considered overdressing. (I fear we're not too many years from the day when the button-up dress shirt is considered overdressed, and the short sleeved polo is considered the more appropriate choice).

 

I have noticed a correlation but not a particularly strong one.  As a bike messenger there was a negative correlation - the lesser educated etc. had fancier, well-cared-for bikes and fly threads.  The messengers who had attended a local prominent liberal arts college were the worst dressed.  In the law (working in the Pacific NW) the relationship was inconclusive.  I think that is due to the overall regional aesthetic of looking as though one just got home from a hike.  In academics (social science in the Pac NW) based on what I knew about professors' backgrounds there was a slight positive correlation.  My fellow grad students were all over the map.  In all of these situations, however, women were better dressed than men regardless of the three variables mentioned above.

 

In these discussions I am reminded of what a forum member once said (whose name escapes me - sorry) about the hierarchy of dress based on socioeconomic status.  Best dressed from top down:

The very rich.  

The very poor.

The middle class.  

The destitute.   

 

On original topic:  I don't mind how co-workers dress, but my preference is for better dress.  I find it more pleasing to the eye and it gives me a flash of creativity that can carry over into non-sartorial areas of my life.  Muzak doesn't offend me but my brain is more stimulated by other music.  Having said that, the quality of my co-workers' work has the greatest influence over my productivity (and I suspect vice versa).  As others have mentioned, the overall decline in dress formality bothers me only insofar as I have at times been on the receiving end of criticism for things as small as my shirt being crisply ironed and wearing a sport coat at an academic conference. 

 

Interestingly the criticisms or silly comments have been overwhelmingly from white middle-class guys.  I have rarely, if ever, had negative comments made by women, African Americans, Hispanics, Middle Easterners (though my experience is limited to Turks, Iranians, and Jordanians), or gay men.  There are myriad theories as to why this may be that are best left for other discussions. 

 

From a physical comfort perspective I find jeans very uncomfortable and much prefer wool slacks or chinos and I like the feel and slight structure of a dress shirt over a t-shirt.  I love the variety and feel of fabrics, the proportions, and high arm holes of a well-fitting sportcoat compared to the billowing and loose fit of a hoodie or golf jacket.  Garments that are considered comfortable in the popular culture give me a sensation of being constricted below the waist and unsupported above.  Sneakers are like bits of old mattresses on my feet.  For those comfort reasons I lament the decline in formality.   

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