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Posted Friday, January 09, 2009 1:08 AM
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The feeling here definitely matches that of Steve and I would instinctively agree, but there is another valid side.

I’m now almost entirely office-based and apart from when we have a client visiting, everyone is casually-dressed, and generally not particularly smartly.

But if a client or potential client visits, or we visit them, the people involved will dress formally. Now if we didn’t dress up and that client or potential client takes a dislike to our “unprofessional” appearance, then it may affect their decision to do business with us. So however anal you may think that is, not being suited-up can cost the company money, in which case it’s entirely reasonable to expect us to dress formally in these occasions. And the same conflict could arise between different departments in the same company.

On a slight tangent, I think it’s similar with written work. If a letter\document is badly written with poor grammar, I think that it creates a bad impression. I’m amazed at the number of people, including senior managers that don’t seem to know the difference between “their” and “there”. Now you can call me anal if you wish! Some (including my boss!) will say that it doesn’t matter as long as the meaning is still conveyed. I accept this up to a point, but it creates an impression of a lack of attention to detail, which in our area of work can be disastrous.

I’m now waiting for people to pick me up on any poor grammar above…….
Post #633150
Posted Friday, January 09, 2009 1:47 AM


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If you're on your own, it's fairly obvious that what you wear and how you act make no tangible difference. However, when you have to interact with other people, what you do and how you act do make a difference, and what you wear is a part of that.

If I was invited round to a friend's house for a take-away pizza and a natter, it'd be counterproductive if I insisted on a plate, cutlery, napkin and a place at a table to eat the pizza. Ditto if, when invited to a black-tie dinner, I asked for my soup in a mug and a couple of slices of bread to make the Chateaubriand into a steak sandwich. Same thing with what I wear, since it can help or hinder what I'm trying to achieve.

If there are no expectations either way, my preference is for jeans. However, I'm not arrogant enough to wear what I want and believe everyone else should accept me as I am. As several previous posters have said, I'll wear what is appropriate for a given situation in the same way I'll adapt other areas of my behaviour to suit. And if an HR person believes Steve's T-shirt is inappropriate within the context of a relaxed, technology-focussed web site like SSC, they might find it useful to have another read through the textbooks related to their HR qualification; there are numerous references to how allowing people certain liberties can be used to achieve a given result (usually increasing productivity.


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Post #633163
Posted Friday, January 09, 2009 1:59 AM
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I work for a consulting firm out of London. Office attire is casual unless, as SQLSimon points out, a customer or potential customer is going to be paying a visit. Should this happen, a communication is sent out and the dress code becomes smart casual.
When out on a gig I always wear a suit on the first day after which I 'blend in' by following the dress code of the customer. If the customer is a bank or a lawyers firm, then I'm donned in a suit. I've done gigs at media / advertising firms and worn smart casual clothes. Either way, I have yet to hear a complaint laid against my name for shoddy workmanship.
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Post #633169
Posted Friday, January 09, 2009 2:27 AM
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My 2p worth.

The image you present is important, sure, but only to the audience you're interacting with.

Also, it depends om what message you're trying to put forward to that audience.

As people have said, if you are working at home dialled-in to your office, work naked if that's comfortable. (As long as you don't have a web cam, of course!)

If you are presenting a technical subject to technical people, you might dress in jeans and T - "I'm a techie just like you"

And so on.
The age of company dress codes must be on the way out, really.


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Post #633180
Posted Friday, January 09, 2009 2:32 AM
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I am surprised at several posts here which admit that they "dress-up" when they, or their boss, deem the situation requires it. This to me is disingenuous. Your presentation, including attire, do make impressions, and the impression given here is false.

I know that most companies have some kind of dress code, and that employees are expected to follow it. Thus the attire of employees indicates something about the company (as opposed to the individual).

For example, Steve's T-Shirt wearing faux-pas (as the HR person would believe) does say something about Steve's company (and as Steve is the boss, it says something directly about him!). And given Steve's background, and his audience, his dress seems entirely appropriate.

What I object to is the idea that a company deliberately dresses differently when meeting with external clients. This, to me, is a sham. You are either comfortable with formal attire, and thus wear it every day, or you are not and should not wear it.

Andy
Post #633184
Posted Friday, January 09, 2009 2:33 AM
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As an aside, what does it say on Steve's t-shirt? Maybe it's because I don't watch the videos, but it's unreadable on the picture.

Paul

Post #633186
Posted Friday, January 09, 2009 2:37 AM
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Yeah, I'm still trying to work out why an HR Manager would be looking at this site anyway? Anyway, although I have a good stock of vitriol for their idiotic nit picking I'll leave that aside.

As far as your editorials are concerned I don't see the need to create barriers, so dressing inoffensively is surely the order of the day. This site is surely a community for people who actually do real stuff, what you wear is completely immaterial (sorry), if I'm listening to a guy in a suit I immediately question everything they say as I assume they're trying to sell me something, thus I think you wearing one would make you less effective.

Me, I'm "smart casual" whatever that means, although I actually prefer to wear suits, you don't have to think about it - buy a couple then forget about it until you need a new one. Also since going "smart casual" I find I don't bother getting changed when I get home, which is a shame because taking your suit off is almost like taking work off, if that makes any sense.
Post #633188
Posted Friday, January 09, 2009 2:46 AM
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I understand what AndyD says above, about dressing up for particular situations being a sham, but the point is that some clients expect it. And if you don’t meet those expectations, however shallow you may think they are, you’re risking losing the client. And your job.

I know I’d rather wear the occasional suit & tie and my employer staying in business, then me getting my P45 and visiting the job centre.
Post #633190
Posted Friday, January 09, 2009 2:55 AM


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Steve's T-Shirt logo = No More Underdog :D

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Post #633199
Posted Friday, January 09, 2009 2:58 AM


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AndyD (1/9/2009)
I am surprised at several posts here which admit that they "dress-up" when they, or their boss, deem the situation requires it. This to me is disingenuous. Your presentation, including attire, do make impressions, and the impression given here is false.


I understand what you're saying, Andy, but in this case I disagree. The impression I would be trying to put across is that I'm aware enough to notice when change is appropriate, adaptable enough to make those changes and respectful enough to believe those being "impressed" are worth the effort.

Everyone has to break wind. When I'm on my own, I find it more comfortable to simply fart when I need to. Is it disingenuous of me to modify this behaviour when I'm in company? Certainly the impression could be misinterpreted as suggesting I'm never flatulent....


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Post #633202
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