Am I at work or a fashion show?

Is it just me, or is work dress the new big topic everyone seems to be talking about. I’ve seen a number of blogs on LinkedIn about it and they all seem to come from two camps:

  1. Everyone should wear suits at all times – it’s more professional and makes people more productive
  2. Suits are fuddy duddy, everyone should wear ‘dress down’…it makes you more comfortable and creates a culture of fun

Now while I’m probably closer to camp two then camp one, I still think both of them are too prescriptive. In reality what does it matter what I wear to the office as long as I’m fit for the company I work for and feel comfortable?

I work for TfL, a very corporate public sector company, yet I dress more relaxed now than I did when I worked at an agency, and guess what…the world hasn’t ended!

While I do stand out from everyone else as I’m not wearing a tie or suit, my work is the only thing I want to be judged by. If someone wants to comment on the shirt I’m wearing or the colour of my chinos then they can…I genuinely couldn’t care less!

I once received feedback from a job interview that wearing blue chinos meant I wasn’t taking it seriously…a clear sign that the company valued style of substance!

At the end of the day, as long as people are doing a good job, what they wear shouldn’t matter. If you employ the right people, then you don’t need to tell them how to dress…they’ll be clever enough to work out what is right and wrong on their own!

Maybe we should stop employing people by the colour of their tie and maybe employ them by the quality of their work and the passion they have to succeed?


About Steven Murgatroyd

Northern Social Media and Comms enthusiast.
This entry was posted in Business Culture, Culturevist, ResponsiveOrg and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Am I at work or a fashion show?

  1. dcjarvis says:

    Trouble is Steve, a lot of the time, perception IS reality. My advice would be: whatever you’re wearing for work, make sure you’re presenting yourself in the best possible way. Define that how you like.

    • I really want to fight the idea that perception is reality, while I agree that most people think that. For me, perception is reality ends with people getting jobs who don’t deserve it and then being promoted when they haven’t earnt it. I’ve seen far too many people who can say the right things and look the right way progress, and people who are much more talented are left behind.

      I agree on presenting yourself in the best possible way, and if that means chinos to someone and a full suit to someone else then that’s fine for me too!

  2. A guy I worked bucked the trend in a place where a suit was the norm. His view was: if people criticised him because he wasn’t wearing a suit, it said more about them than it did about him. Sometimes he felt more comfortable not in a suit, and other times he would prefer to be in a suit. When he felt more comfortable, he did better work.

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