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Dress codes,. written and otherwise

Manton

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I have been asked to write an article for a business journal about business dress codes. I have a lot of material saved up over many years. But it occured to me that I would be remiss if I did not steal shamelessly ... er, discuss constructively with members of this fine forum.

Any stories people would like to share? Something you wore that got you in trouble with the boss or collegues? Something that made people snicker? Something you did to change the rules at your office? Also, general cogitations on the written/unwritten dress codes of your company/industry/region are most welcome.

I am willing to use, or not use, any material posted here on whatever groundrules the poster suggests. I don't imagine that I would want or need to use anyone's real name. Firm names, maybe -- but if someone has a great story, but does not want to disclose the firm's name, that's fine too. Finally, feel free to PM me if you wish.

Thanks in advance.
 
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Hi Manton

I run a company and am happy to volunteer my company dress code.

"Wear whatever you like and whatever you think you perform best in when no one can see you. Any time a client sees you, you are in a tie - and no excuses for non compliance"

Basically same code for females, subsititute in "business attire"

Some male staff (including me) are most comfortable in jeans, teeshirts and sneakers. I keep trousers, dress shoes, off-white shirt in the office, a couple of ties in a drawer. The other guy who prefers to be casual does the same.

Another guy in my office feels like he works harder in business dress, and is normally in dress shirt and trousers with a tie in his drawer.

The women vary in dress just as much - a couple wear suits regardless of what they are doing, others wear jeans and keep a skirt on hand.

Anyhow - make of that what you will. We are never unprofessionally presented to our clients (although our clients very rarely visit our offices, we almost always travel to theirs)

Make of that what you will, youre welcome to the policies of one little GM at the helm of a public relations agency in a developing country

Matt
 

Manton

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Am I correct in assuming that you do PR for foreign firms that do business in Vietnam?
 
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yes - entirely MNC client base
 

Manton

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Because of the heat, do people typically wear dress shirts and ties without jackets?
 
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yes, 100 + heat and 90+ humidity means that my standard client-facing business attire does not involve a jacket here (in Ho Chi Minh City), happily trade off the dignity of a jacket for the embarrasment of showing up sweating profusely.

If I have a major event for a client, or a visiting VIP coming in from overseas I will wear a jacket to meet him/her. Then, when they start to sweat too heavily in the heat, I will take mine off, which they tend to treat as an invitation to do the same.

When I go to Hanoi, which has an entirely different climate, Im in a suit.
 

alchimiste

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Because of the heat, do people typically wear dress shirts and ties without jackets?
In Singapore I can spend months without seeing anybody wearing a jacket. Where I work people wear Tshirts or short sleeve shirts. Long sleeves are relatively dressy. Sometimes I see visitors with a tie (no jacket, probably short sleeve shirt).
Overall in Singapore people below 25 dress fashionably and people above 25 dress poorly.
 
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Because of the heat, do people typically wear dress shirts and ties without jackets?
In Singapore I can spend months without seeing anybody wearing a jacket. Where I work people wear Tshirts or short sleeve shirts. Long sleeves are relatively dressy. Sometimes I see visitors with a tie (no jacket, probably short sleeve shirt).
yup Id agree with that - in Singapore I worked for a company that required business attire every day, but even then it was trousers, dress shirt, tie only when seeing client and almost never a jacket. I never wore short sleeve shirts though.
 

globetrotter

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as I usually wear pretty conservative dark suits, I used to wear some less conservative ties - I had a nice silk tie with brains on it, a nice tie with chickens on it, and a great tie with gumby on it (all these in the style of a club tie, with a dark background). I went into a meeting with a customer a few years ago, to present a product to the CEO of the company and a few board members, after having gotten one of the senior management on "my side".

I was wearing a dark bespoke wool suit, contrasting collar/cuff shirt and cap toe (pre-prada) black churches, and a dark blue silk tie with gumby on it. my friend from the customer organization said to me something to the effect of "I don't want to explain to my boss that the person who is selling us this multi-million dollar system is wearing a tie with cartoon charactors on it". that made sense to me, and I have given up that part of my tie collection when I am working.



also, as I work with a lot of technical people when I go into sales calls, I have gotten a reputation for holding "inspections" before we go out. On a regular basis I will find people wearing timberland boots with suits, or who have left labels on the sleeves of their suits.
 

johnnynorman3

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On a regular basis I will find people . . . who have left labels on the sleeves of their suits.
So? If I'm flossing a sweet Jones NY suit, I want people to know it.
 

LA Guy

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(globetrotter @ June 10 2005,09:55) On a regular basis I will find people . . . who have left labels on the sleeves of their suits.
So? Â If I'm flossing a sweet Jones NY suit, I want people to know it.
Forget that. If I am, flossin' a "Super 100s Wool" suit, peoples had better be giving me props.
 

dah328

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I work at a firm in the finance industry where the dress code is "don't get arrested for indecency on the way to work" unless clients are in the office in which case it's suits and ties. Everyone except me keeps a shirt and suit hanging in the closet. On the days when clients are coming in, there's a mad rush about 30 minutes beforehand to change out of baggy jeans and slides into a suit and tie. Various atrocities occur as people realize that the dry cleaners have misplaced their shirt and they're forced to borrow one from someone two sizes too big and in a clashing color. 30 minutes after the clients have left, the reverse occurs and baggy jeans are again the rule of the day.

After working here for only five months, days with client visits have already become known as Dan's favorite day. <sigh>

dan
 
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I work for a Fortune 100 insurance company. We have customarily had dress down days on Friday. For the summer, management rolled out a plan where you pay a dollar a day to dress down any time you want. The money will be donated to charity at the end of the season. Having now seen this new program for a couple of weeks, I am pondering an additional fund raising opportunity: I will pay the contribution for people NOT to wear some of the hideous get-ups they have shown up for work in. Some of the poor judgement people display in their attire selection makes me question their powers of discernment in other aspects of their job.
 

imageWIS

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(johnnynorman3 @ June 10 2005,10:02)
Originally Posted by globetrotter,June 10 2005,09:55
On a regular basis I will find people . . . who have left labels on the sleeves of their suits.
So? If I'm flossing a sweet Jones NY suit, I want people to know it.
Forget that. If I am, flossin' a "Super 100s Wool" suit, peoples had better be giving me props.
Wait...so I was supposed to take off the outside label of my Trump suit? Jon.
 

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