Business Attire

July 19th, 2007


A woman can get away with wearing what amounts to t-shirts and open-neck shirts in a formal office environment. In fact, over the years, I’ve seen some female colleagues dress better on dress-down days! Here are some examples of the kinds of things I’ve seen female professionals wearing in the office:
T-shirt Halter Top  Straps Cardigan
Suit Whereas here is what men can get away with.

I’m all for dressing to impress when there is someone to impress, for example, at interviews, presentations to customers, etc., but in the normal course of one’s daily work, whom does this outdated and excessively warm and sweaty mode of dress actually impress?

I think the Italians have got it right, although they are coming from the point of view of reducing the use of air-conditioning.

The Iranians have a similar approach, although theirs has more to do with the fact that they consider the tie a symbol of Western culture.

Still, it’s my opinion that a man can dress smartly without choking himself and reducing himself to a puddle of sweat (see right).

Jeremy Paxman wrote a witty piece on this subject. Well worth reading.

Addendum (2nd August 2007):

I’m at the office and I’m just about to start work. It’s warm and sweaty and there isn’t much ventilation. I’m wearing a shirt and tie and I feel very uncomfortable and it’s only 9 AM. My female colleague, however, is sitting opposite me wearing a vest. That’s right, one of those on the right.

Now, I don’t want to come to work in a vest. In fact, I wouldn’t walk down the street in one unless I was going to the beach. But there is definitely something askew when it’s considered acceptable for a woman to wear beach clothes as office wear, while men have to choke themselves.

And don’t get on to me saying that I’m just whining. I’m not whining. I’m ranting.

2 Responses to “Business Attire”

  1. Godon 29 Sep 2007 at

    Looking at the pictures of your colleagues, it seems likely that you work at a mail-order catalogue.

  2. Declan Chellaron 29 Sep 2007 at

    That probably explains why some of them only go round in their underwear.

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