Skip to main content

Dress for success?

Why is it that we're so obsessed with "dressing to impress"? I've gone through numerous reasons in my head countless times, and none of them hold up to scrutiny of any kind. Below are some things that I've heard, read, or thought of when trying to rationalize this ridiculous idea of dress codes:
  1. "It presents a professional image to our clients." -- If your clients aren't impressed with your track record, then it's time to re-evaluate your performance. If your performance is sound, and proven, then maybe it's time to decide if this client is worth dressing up for. The client probably is worth it, but if he/she values your services enough, should it matter how you look? Nope.
  2. "It fosters a professional work environment." -- Bullshit. I work for a company where we are required to dress "business casual". Not a day goes by when an expletive is not uttered by one of the members of senior management, in earshot of everyone else in the office. Sort of blows the professional work environment idea right out of the water, doesn't it?
  3. "We are the public face of the company, it's important to present a good image." -- Meanwhile, back at headquarters, employees are disgruntled, underpaid, overworked, and your company is headed for bankruptcy. But, by golly, you look great when you're out to lunch with coworkers wearing a dress shirt and tie!
  4. "In order to be taken seriously, you need to dress like you mean business." -- I take my work very seriously, probably more so than most who come to work dressed flashy, and I've earned the respect of my co-workers. I don't dress up. In fact, I get away with as much as I can without actually violating the corporate dress code. If someone passes me up because of my appearance, that really is their flaw, not mine.

Notice how -- at least in my twisted world -- none of these common reasons justify the need for dress codes. Maybe instead of an "appearance-first" society, it's time for us to think about becoming a "character-first" society. I'm sure you can come up with other justifications that you've heard or thought of. I've just listed a few of the most common ones here.

I may sound overly idealistic, even a bit naive here, but I really do think we are a county who puts too much value on appearance. If you're a supervisor, relax your departmental dress code a little; you'll see happier, more upbeat employees. I'm not a supervisor, but I've seen this first hand. If you're an employee forced to dress up a certain way every day, get away with as much as you can without actually violating dress code guidelines. Start a revolution! Maybe before you know it, you'll have a casual dress code. Oh, if you do this and get fired, I accept no responsibility!


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Unmasking My Mask Problem

I like to think of myself as a caring person, and attempt to behave compassionately towards others. Sometimes I fall short in that effort, but failing is what humans do, and successful humans learn from failure. I'd like to discuss what I believe is one of my more recent failures, and what I've come to learn about what's behind it. When the masking guidance and mandates first dropped, it short-circuited me. I reacted in disbelief, anger, and refusal to enter places that required masks. Masking was a simple act that was both scientifically and morally justified. I wondered if I really was a decent person, or if this reflexive pushback was just uncovering undiagnosed sociopathic tendencies. I started to wonder if my outward behaviors of positivity and kindness were just facades that I'd constructed around a dark psyche. Given the rhetoric surrounding mask-wearing, which can — as far as I understand — be reduced to “you're a monster if you don't do this,” it was ha

Meditation

At the end of 2019, I began casually practicing mindfulness meditation. Just over a year later, it's become a nearly essential part of my routine; it provides me an off-ramp to ease back into my personal life after an eight-hour (often longer) workday. Some folks have expressed interest in hearing more about this routine, so I thought it would be helpful to chronicle my experiences: the good, the bad, and the frustrating. Buddhism has been an interest of mine for several years now, and I have a particular affinity for the simplicity of Zen Buddhism. It strips away a lot of the religious/spiritual elements more common in forms of Buddhism found in Tibet, for example. I sometimes use the term Zen meditation , when it is probably more accurate to refer to it as mindfulness meditation. This type of meditation focuses on being aware and present for each passing moment. Contrary to popular belief, it's not about emptying the mind or teleporting to some sort of astral plane. It's

Insurrection

The criminals who invaded the capital on January 6th, 2021 are not patriots. There is nothing noble or heroic about violently storming the capitol building and disrupting a legal proceeding that is outlined in the constitution of the United States . Those who took part in — or even endorsed — such actions are seditious goons with an axe to grind because the election results didn't favor them. The events yesterday were a culmination of unhinged ramblings and lies from the occupant of the White House, and years of disinformation emanating from the dark recesses of the web. Finally, there is simply no room for whataboutism here. The events of the summer do not hold a candle to the actual sedition that we witnessed yesterday. The demonstrations — and yes, violence — from this summer were to protest hundreds of years of oppression and marginalization of Black people. To equate those protests to yesterday's domestic terrorism is fallacious and ignorant.