Thursday, June 19, 2008

Corporate casual sensibilities

Wearing ties to work has been declining steadily for men in the workplace. That doesn't mean there's no place for wearing one (corporate managers, lawyers, bankers still do, of course); however, casual menswear reflects a pragmatism toward comfort.

Dress codes, however formal or informal, have some common denominators on appropriateness (such as, no bikinis or Speedos unless you're job is a lifeguard on the beach). There might be some leeway on wearing shorts on weekends, when it's likely that fewer people are in the office.

The Wall Street Journal, required reading in the business community, should know. Christina Binkley's column breaks down examples of what embodies "business casual."

Denim is quite comfortable to wear when you're in a blue-collar or non-managerial position, but as you move up to management ranks, denim gives way to khakis and ultimately, suits and (yes) ties.

So, when you go into a new job, size up the style of dress that's reflected in the workplace. Then, adapt your style to that environment. It is possible to overdress, such that your coworkers may tease you about interviewing for another employer. That should not discourage you from stepping up your appearance now and then.

Bottom line is, comfort is the goal. Looking good should fall into place in relation to your work environment.

1 comment:

Better Guy X said...

Don't know if you saw the piece in WSJ about 6 weeks back talking about business/corporate casual, but you've hit the nail on the head.