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No more business wear.

post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 

I work for, one of the Big 4 accounting Firms, in the US. Recently, there's been a market survey and the majority of the office has voted in favor of having jeans "everyday".  It's looking like it will be firm-wide soon, and us "millennials" will be sporting jeans and polos 100% of the time. (average age of the firm is 28)

 

Another large national firm has already put this into place, and for me, it's a little sad seeing business wear completely go out the window.  I likely will still dress it up when I'm in the office, and we would still have to dress it up when client-facing, but I'm a little bummed.

 

Has anyone else had this happen? Do you still menswear it to work everyday? Have people gone too far with the casual atmosphere? I'm interested in anyones input/perspective/stories.

post #2 of 42
Sorry to hear it. One of the great advantages of the lounge coat and the lounge suit is that they're democratic. Every man looks better in a tailored coat than he does naked, or in a bathrobe. Sadly, this is not true of shirts, sweaters, sweatshirts, T-shirts, etc. For each, there is some significant group of men who'd look better naked or in a robe than they do wearing one. This holds especially true of fat men, for whom tailored coats are a godsend.

I'd take this change in the dress code as a sign of the times in this, the New Gilded Age, with its war on fat people.
post #3 of 42

And to think, back in the day the lounge suit was seen the same way as jeans and T-shirt today: a looser-fitting, less fussy alternative to the more exacting body coats. So I guess the desire for dressing down at the cost of poorer aesthetics is nothing new. Also, in every age there's the small minority of men who put thought into their attire, and the great majority of men who don't.

post #4 of 42
"(average age of the firm is 28)"

They'll feel differently in 12 years time or so.
post #5 of 42
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by quabbs View Post

"(average age of the firm is 28)"

They'll feel differently in 12 years time or so.

I don't think they will, if it's the norm, why would people revert back to dress wear?

post #6 of 42
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Testudo_Aubreii View Post

Sorry to hear it. One of the great advantages of the lounge coat and the lounge suit is that they're democratic. Every man looks better in a tailored coat than he does naked, or in a bathrobe. Sadly, this is not true of shirts, sweaters, sweatshirts, T-shirts, etc. For each, there is some significant group of men who'd look better naked or in a robe than they do wearing one. This holds especially true of fat men, for whom tailored coats are a godsend.

I'd take this change in the dress code as a sign of the times in this, the New Gilded Age, with its war on fat people.

Can you show me the difference between a lounge suit (to me, I'm assuming this is what I know to be a regular suit/business suit) versus the higher version of dress wear you're saying it's a step down from? I'm interested.

post #7 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by dohare View Post

I don't think they will, if it's the norm, why would people revert back to dress wear?

There usually comes a time when a man looks at a pair of jeans and thinks: those years are past.

The difference these days is, I suspect, that company policy can be influenced by the 28 year olds (not in itself a bad thing). Also I doubt the average twentysomething, desperately juggling the need to save for a house with the need for a social life, would look kindly on having to maintain two wardrobes as well. But as I said, those priorities change.
post #8 of 42
I'm 45 and, as such, went through the business (suit/tie) to business casual reform in the US business world a while back. The problem with full business suit attire now is supply/demand. Not much demand, so prices have skyrocketed and overall quality has gone down. Your firm recognizes that there is no longer an 'image' that is necessary to be maintained by wearing business attire unless client facing. For the average worker, that's a good thing. Forcing people to invest in that wardrobe just isn't necessary anymore. From a business standpoint, it makes great sense. Now, let me say this as well - there are people who dress well in jeans and people who dress poorly in a suit. You don't need a suit to present yourself in a stylish way.

I will say though that my wardrobe over the last 6 years for work has definitely turned back upscale - I'm back to wearing dress shirts and wool slacks every day at work. It definitely looks better than the docker / polo group at work. Generally speaking, the rest of the management team at my company is similar (i.e. wearing dress shirts/trousers vs. polos/khakis). We have casual Fridays and it is sad to see how some people dress on those days - the same people that go to a great restaurant wearing tennis shoes and a sweat shirt. So, what's my point? There is a middle ground if you don't like jeans that offers you some opportunity to dress stylish without wearing the suit/tie. And, again, even with jeans, a well dressed man still looks good
post #9 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by dohare View Post

Can you show me the difference between a lounge suit (to me, I'm assuming this is what I know to be a regular suit/business suit) versus the higher version of dress wear you're saying it's a step down from? I'm interested.

Sure.

Lounge suit:


Higher version of dress wear (morning coat):



Practically naked:
post #10 of 42
The focus has pushed toward more casual clothing. I'm fine with it. While my wool slacks are rather comfortable to wear, I've been able to select jeans that are also comfortable to be in for a full day's work. For now, we're Casual Fridays with those occasional runs of bonus casual days/weeks/months as management sees fit.

Of course, I work in IT. There's hardly a reason for us to have much of a dress code and, being in California, we're somewhat of an oddity in not being fully casual. Still, if i'm going to have business casual attire, I might as well have some good attire.
post #11 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by starro View Post

And to think, back in the day the lounge suit was seen the same way as jeans and T-shirt today: a looser-fitting, less fussy alternative to the more exacting body coats. So I guess the desire for dressing down at the cost of poorer aesthetics is nothing new. Also, in every age there's the small minority of men who put thought into their attire, and the great majority of men who don't.

Agreed, BUT: the thing about the lounge coat being democratic is that practically everybody can get one, and get a decent fit in one. That's not true of body coats. They're far more expensive to make than a lounge coat. and much harder to get a decent fit in. For most men, then, a decent-fitting body coat is out of reach; but a decent-fitting lounge coat is not. That's why the lounge is the garment of democracy. That's why the first leader of the UK Labour party, Keir Hardy, refused to wear body coats when he entered Parliament, that why Lenin refused to wear them, etc., etc.
post #12 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by johng70 View Post

And, again, even with jeans, a well dressed man still looks good

I'd agree with this, but jeans can never be as flattering to a man as tailored trousers can. Especially if he can't wear a tailored coat with the jeans.
post #13 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Testudo_Aubreii View Post

Agreed, BUT: the thing about the lounge coat being democratic is that practically everybody can get one, and get a decent fit in one. That's not true of body coats. They're far more expensive to make than a lounge coat. and much harder to get a decent fit in. For most men, then, a decent-fitting body coat is out of reach; but a decent-fitting lounge coat is not. That's why the lounge is the garment of democracy. That's why the first leader of the UK Labour party, Keir Hardy, refused to wear body coats when he entered Parliament, that why Lenin refused to wear them, etc., etc.

This is one of the best explanations of the ascendance of the lounge suit I have heard.

The lounge may have very democratic roots, but unfortunately nowadays it is viewed as an aristocratic garment by the masses. Even a country suit or sport coat will get you funny looks in large parts of the country.

Just a part of development whereby casual clothes replace formal clothes and formal clothing faces obsolescence.
post #14 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by starro View Post

This is one of the best explanations of the ascendance of the lounge suit I have heard.

The lounge may have very democratic roots, but unfortunately nowadays it is viewed as an aristocratic garment by the masses. Even a country suit or sport coat will get you funny looks in large parts of the country.

Just a part of development whereby casual clothes replace formal clothes and formal clothing faces obsolescence.

Quite true. In Southern California, there is a shrinking need to wear any type of suit. Restaurants have a tendency toward casual and even those where people dress up are often still a semi-casual attire. Interviews have become less formal and work attire has shifted to casual and even very casual in some cases, where shorts and sandals are accepted.
post #15 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by starro View Post

This is one of the best explanations of the ascendance of the lounge suit I have heard.

The lounge may have very democratic roots, but unfortunately nowadays it is viewed as an aristocratic garment by the masses. Even a country suit or sport coat will get you funny looks in large parts of the country.

Just a part of development whereby casual clothes replace formal clothes and formal clothing faces obsolescence.

I fear that what you say about how the lounge is now viewed is true. It does shake one's confidence in democracy: as I argued above, the masses never had it so good, clothes-wise, as when the lounge was the male uniform. Now they cast it aside, so that they can make fun of how bad looking in shirtsleeves or sweatsuits are the fat or those who don't have the time or resources to go the gym.

I agree that all this is part of the formal-to-casual mechanism. It's true that progression has reigned since time immemorial. But I think that the dominance of the lounge is unique in the history of Western dress since 1350. 1350 is about the point when Western men started to give up wearing gowns and started to wear buttoned coats. The glory years of the lounge, in my view, represent the first era since 1350 that the reigning garment was one in which all men look better, and in which all could get a decent fit. This is not true of the new dominant garments: shirts, sweaters, t-shirts, sweatshirts, polos...
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