Originally Posted by Tex
This moaning about having to dress properly for (white collar) jobs will see everyone going to work in onesies and Uggs before long.
Here it's over 90 degrees F and 90 % humidity every day from May to November and I still go to work suited and booted.
I think this whole thread (barring GG's sidebar about shit uniforms) is just yet another thinly veiled example of moaning Brits fucking whingeing again. In all my travels I've never come across a set of collective whining bitches like yooz lot back home. A few days of sunshine after months of rain, sleet, snow and other shit weather and the whingeing has already started. In a couple of days you'll all be fretting that you need some rain for the gardens you sad gits. Like wearing a tie contributes sooo much to being overheated in an air conditioned office.
I see both sides of the argument.
It all depends on the culture and the dress code of the organisation and ultimately of the views of the owner or owners. At the end of the day, it they who pay your wages and if they say shirt and tie (a good American example is Cisco systems - IBM used to be like that, then apart from Sales Staff, changed literally overnight), basically put up and shut up.
However, alot of larger employers have began to relax dress codes over the years and the Americans have to a certain degree led the way here. In my place, the family owners were bought out by an American concern and at that stage, ties became optional. I continued to wear a tie a month after the change to see how people reacted and only stopped when I forgot to take it with me one morning (in the past, I'd have gone back home to collect it). I still wear the dress shirt and trousers, and will wear a tie if I'm instructed to or know the visitor expects the people seeing them to be suited and booted.
The former owner I have to admit doesn't really know how to dress casual and even wears a shirt and tie off duty.
Our Norweigan colleagues don't even know the meaning of dressed up, with top and jeans being sufficient at any time. It varies with other personnel, with some still chosing to wear a tie (my direct manage and office mate still do). One manager has apparetly gone against the American's ruling and still expects his subordinates to wear ties. The entire Engineeing and Sales departments have conversely completely dispensed with them.
We do have a dressdown Friday here now, however, I've not as yet dressed down as I am concious of suppliers and customers visiting us. I don't believe dress down Fridays conveys a professional image.
In a previous place, I continued to wear a tie right until I left (except for very hot weather), even though the tie was also dropped from the dress code as others continued to wear them and expected others to. Old habits die hard I guess.
At other places, there were no signs of a dress code. Unless you're lecturing in academia, there is no dress code. I was research, so didn't bother unless we had a key event or major visit. I would then go suited and booted, say to a conference. The tie would come off as soon as my duties were done, however.
The Health and Civil Service show how quickly things have changed in some organisations, especially for women's dress codes. Up until the early 1990s, a skirt was the expected norm (a trouser suit was unacceptable in alot of places for women up until then). To do otherwise led to a warning. Although never announced, this was relaxed in the early 1990s and as long as you wern't in day-to-day contact with the public you could within reason get away with what you liked. The men were actually slower to change than the women.
I'd love to not have to wear all the gumph, however, the one thing that concerns me is the image it conveys to suppliers and customers about my professionalism and the professionalism of the organisation I work for. I don't think appearance and work ethic are linked in any way whatsoever, however, others do and that can affect their willingness to do business with you. Dress conveys that 'first impression' of professionalism' (like appearance does on a first date) that can make or break a person's opinion of you.
Dress code is basically an imposed social convention, an expectation, and such things can be slow to change even when the basis for them is possibly unfounded.