Monday, August 20, 2007

Is Business Too Casual?

For ten years I served on Active Duty in the Navy. One of the best parts of the job was not having to decide what to wear to work. They literally tell you what the ‘Uniform of the Day’ is and I had very few options (Hmm, shall I wear khaki, khaki, khaki, or oh, maybe blues/whites). When I came home to Ohio recently and began working in the private sector, the issue of my wardrobe (or lack thereof was a stressful one.

You can not imagine how much shopping I had to do. I like shopping to a point, but I tend to buy a lot of the same of everything so I guess I am not good at it. I knew I should own a few suits, a lot of slacks and shirts, shirts, shirts. I remember that the day before I started at my new job a few months back, my supervisor made a point to me that I should NOT wear a suit. She said, “We dress casual but for business.”

On a daily basis I wear a button down shirt, slacks of some kind and nice shoes. On Friday I wear jeans (expensive trendy ones) and some sort of shirt (cue the dramatic music) untucked.

Recently I had lunch with a friend of mine who is a lawyer at a very prestigious and traditional law firm in Ohio. He bragged about how they were cutting edge because they went “Business casual.” Now, for them, that simply meant no ties.

I work at an Advertising and PR agency. We have people who work in the Creative Department that don’t even own ties. However, they do own and wear a lot of t-shirts.

It seems that suits and ties (And the equivalent for woman) is a dying norm in business these days. Is this good? Is this bad? I don’t know.

My question is this: At your place of business, is it “Business Casual” and if so, what does that mean at your company and do you think business has become too casual?

1 comment:

nickfinity said...

Good or bad, I don't know, but I work for a software company and right now I'm wearing shorts and a t-shirt that says "As government grows, liberty decreases. - Thomas Jefferson"