04/05/2002

Back to Business (Casual)

Who You Are By What You Wear

 

Fashion:
Favorites vs. Flops

Quotes from Mary Lou Andre, dressingwell.com, about business casual dos and don’ts:

Fashion Favorite: Black is classic. “Everyone looks good in black. It hides what we don’t want the rest of the world to see and complements all the good parts.”

Fashion Flop: Ally McBeal-style of provocative dress. “It’s out and never should have been in.”

Fashion Favorite: Khakis. “You can’t go wrong with khakis. Dress them up. Dress them down. Khakis go with practically everything.”

Fashion Flop: White shoes. “Your grandmother’s advice was right:  ‘Only between Memorial Day and Labor Day.’ Even then, if you can avoid them, do.”

Fashion Favorite: Suits. “If you’re more comfortable in a suit, wear it even on business casual day.”

Fashion Flop: Bon Jovi-style of t-shirts and jeans. “Thankfully, this style fell to the wayside with the crash of the dot-coms.”

In the past 15 years,  corporate America has seen tremendous change in the workplace. Perhaps one of the most notable has been the blurring of the line that separates traditional business attire and classic business casual dress. Ask anyone in the business world what their interpretation of business casual is and the answer you get will be as varied as the taste and personality of the people you ask.

Editor Mary Lou Andre of Needham, MA-based dressingwell.com (www.dressingwell.com) explains that dressing for success has little to do with fashion and everything to do with comfort and a corporate culture that reflects the attitudes, expectations, and performance of a company as much as its furniture, carpet, and washroom facilities. “Professional dress in the marketplace has evolved greatly over the last decade,” she says. “Business casual first entered the marketplace in the early ’90s, during the last recession when folks were doing a lot of lay-offs. The people left behind had more work to do, less benefits, and fewer people to do [the work]. Companies decided to let employees dress more casually as a cost-effective benefit. The trend originated on the West Coast, [but] really overnight crept east and became one of the biggest employee benefits of the ’90s.”

In the late-1990s, the dot-comers drove the business world into thinking that business grunge was the wave of the future: Mixing recess with sloppy dress codes, long hours, and “I need it yesterday” mentalities became formulas for success. Today’s business leaders understand that the dot-com dress down craze was more about monkey business than anything else. As a result, they are instituting tighter guidelines for determining exactly what business casual is.

“It’s a fact that people will judge how serious you are about your job by how professionally you dress. For men, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to wear a suit and tie to work every day. For business meetings, client/customer visits, etc. …, a dress suit and tie are often good choices. Within the office setting, a more casual dress may be the accepted and preferred dress code,” explains Andre, noting a further benefit of business casual:

“Too often in the workplace if a man removes his jacket and tie, he is seen as dedicated. If a woman takes off her jacket, she has just demoted herself. It’s an unspoken double standard that shouldn’t exist in the workplace, and also one that business casual dress codes are eliminating by leveling the playing field.”

Dressing up is always a better choice than dressing down, but being comfortable in what you are wearing is especially paramount to success. “Don’t sacrifice comfort for the sake of trendy,” says Andre. “You will always come across more confident and more capable in clothing that balances your good taste with a conservative sense of style.”

Clara M.W. Vangen (clara.vangen@buildings.com) is technologies editor at Buildings magazine.

 


Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.


Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.


When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality.

Yaskawa drives offer quality performance for air handlers and cooling towers on the roof to secondary chilled water pumps in the basement

Bluebeam® Revu® simplifies digital facilities document management from design review to leveraging as-builts, maintenance manuals and O&Ms submittals.

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.


Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.


Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.


When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality.

Yaskawa drives offer quality performance for air handlers and cooling towers on the roof to secondary chilled water pumps in the basement

Bluebeam® Revu® simplifies digital facilities document management from design review to leveraging as-builts, maintenance manuals and O&Ms submittals.

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.


 
comments powered by Disqus

Related Products

Flooring
Envelope and Structural
HVAC
M50

Sponsored Links