Friday, May 30, 2008

Do Clothes Make the Man (or Woman)?

My son was off to his job at the bike shop wearing a t-shirt and shorts. I made the comment that I could almost dress that casual in my new job. It got me thinking about clothes and work.

Before landing at Lombardi Software, I interviewed with few other companies. In a number of cases, they were moving away from business casual back to business formal dress, which meant either a shirt/tie or sport coat. While I like dressing up, and I did my share of it in the Navy, I have to wonder, does it really matter what we wear?

Obviously, anyone can take it to an extreme, and anytime I'm with clients I make sure I am dressed as well as them, but if I'm in the office with my co-workers, does it matter if I'm in jeans?

I think the military had it right, it's about conformity. Some public schools are also going to uniforms for a similar reason. If we're all dressed about the same, no one is going to feel singled out because of what they wear, and ideally, everyone will work better together. I don't need a suit to make me a better worker, I'm fine in my jeans and polo shirt as long as that's what everyone else is wearing.

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