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Nothing uglier than a twisted smile
January 6, 2011 7:28 AM   Subscribe

UBS Style Guide. A 43 page manual on style circulated around one of the world's biggest banks doesn't concern language but personal dress and grooming, including advice on neckerchiefs, make-up, and choices in underwear and alliums. Maybe they're taking advice from American Apparel.
posted by mippy (146 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
All this is reminiscent of two things:

1) a 1980s Color Me Beautiful book on 'dressing for the workplace' carried by Manchester Central Library in the mid-00s, which suggested that 'for women, the earrings are as important as the tie is to a man;
2) the temp agency interview I went to where they felt the need to explain to me in detail what constituted 'business wear', despite a few years of office work under my belt. 'You must wear heels'. Find me some in a size US11 that aren't designed for female impersonators and I will do, then. And then suggest you become a personal shopper.

In my office, our dress code says simply 'Don't wear anything that might offend others'. We're expected to draw from our common sense on what to wear if we have an external meeting.
posted by mippy at 7:34 AM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Eh, it seems nothing at all like the American Apparel thing.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:34 AM on January 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


I hate to break it to you, but almost every blue chip company that faces clients will have a dress code manual like this. It's usually written by a third party firm and given on day 1, and very rarely (if ever) referenced. Most people (in these kinds of jobs) know what appropriate dress looks like.
posted by dearsina at 7:36 AM on January 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


I hate to break it to you, but almost every blue chip company that faces clients will have a dress code manual like this. It's usually written by a third party firm and given on day 1, and very rarely (if ever) referenced. Most people (in these kinds of jobs) know what appropriate dress looks like.

I work for a Very Large company with tons of client-facing activity. I've got a dress code. It does not, however, include underwear.
posted by Tomorrowful at 7:37 AM on January 6, 2011 [9 favorites]


[Typo fixed, storm of doubled comments removed. Carry on.]
posted by cortex at 7:38 AM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


dearsina - if that's the case, why is this one in the news? Are others more circumspect about such things?

Most people (in these kinds of jobs) know what appropriate dress looks like.
Well, yes, that's what I thought. It seems patronising, and somewhat on the offensive side in the case of underwear.
posted by mippy at 7:38 AM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


I work for a Very Large company with tons of client-facing activity. I've got a dress code. It does not, however, include underwear.

You work for Spearmint Rhino?
posted by Horace Rumpole at 7:40 AM on January 6, 2011 [10 favorites]


> It does not, however, include underwear.

Well, they don't say you can't wear a sexy leather thong with Barney the Dinosaur painted on the crotch. They just don't want it poking out of clothes. That's really not so terrible, given that it's a bank and traditionally bank workers wear very conservative attire.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:41 AM on January 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Seriously, though, who needs to be told these things?

I work in a casual office. We don't have 'business casual' in this country: If I went to work for a different dirm that did have such a thing, I'd take it upon myself to find out what it meant. If I was told 'formal businesswear', I would never consider that turning up in a mini and my cleavage hanging out was an option.
posted by mippy at 7:46 AM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


The dress code advises that "women should not wear shoes that are too tight-fitting as there is nothing worse than a strained smile".

I'm sorry... is this a joke from the 1950s?
posted by schmod at 7:48 AM on January 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


I've worked at places that had a dress code that felt the need to spell out that, no, you can't have underwear visible. I suspect it's because they've had problems with it, and unless it's spelled out in a written policy, you'd get people whining that they weren't told that low-rise jeans and a sparkly thong, or sagging pants with boxers hanging out, aren't acceptable workwear, and contesting their inevitable termination-with-cause on that basis.

It may be indicative of a culture of rules-lawyering at UBS, or that they work in jurisdictions that err on the side of employees unless the rules are explicitly stated in writing.
posted by Kadin2048 at 7:50 AM on January 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Great, another Mad Men post.
posted by gimonca at 7:50 AM on January 6, 2011 [9 favorites]


Note this is for retail staff, not office staff. WSJ plays a little loose with the term "banking employees".
posted by smackfu at 7:51 AM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Do not wash, nor ever iron your shirts yourself."
posted by mippy at 7:58 AM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


“Never wear shoes that are too small for you: There’s nothing worse than a twisted smile.”

When you see stuff like this, the whole banking crisis thing really starts to make sense.
posted by three blind mice at 7:59 AM on January 6, 2011 [7 favorites]


Well, they don't say you can't wear a sexy leather thong with Barney the Dinosaur painted on the crotch. They just don't want it poking out of clothes.

Actually, according to the article, they say that men should wear underwear that is "easily washable", which is perhaps the oddest thing I've ever read in a dress code. Is this a subtle way of suggesting that they expect the market to cause, um, gastric distress?
posted by The Bellman at 8:00 AM on January 6, 2011 [6 favorites]


I work in finance, and I really, really want to find a copy of this guide. my googling efforts have failed, though. anyone have a link?

(I say all this while sitting at my desk in jeans, cowboy boots and a work shirt. I guess I missed the memo.)
posted by EricGjerde at 8:02 AM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Seriously, though, who needs to be told these things?

I worked for a Fortune 100 company in the mid-90s. The answer to your question is "damn near everybody". It was kind of hard to believe what some people thought would pass as "business professional dress", and I was in a fairly conservative city at the time.

And when they instituted "casual Fridays"? Utter mayhem. And oh man, when "summer casual" was instituted in our hot desert city? Lord have mercy. People were showing up wearing things I wouldn't wear to wash my car.

Now, this was my first grownup job after many years working at a punk rock record store where you were kind of overdressed if your jeans didn't have any holes, but I was able to grasp the concept of "you must wear socks or hose", and what "no more than three inches above the knee" meant in terms of skirts. But so few other people were that I am fairly sure my meteoric rise through the ranks at Big Company had little to do with my actual skill set and almost everything to do with being one of the only people who could follow simple directions. Unfortunately this put me in the position of having to explain to people why their filthy old gym shoes were different from my clean Chuck Taylors, and so I could wear mine on a Friday (so long as I wore socks!) but they could not.

I can only assume it's even worse now, as more and more companies have gone completely casual. When my husband worked in Silicon Valley he would get teased for wearing "fancy shorts", i.e. non-cargo shorts, and for wearing shirts with buttons ("What, you got a job interview later?").
posted by padraigin at 8:03 AM on January 6, 2011 [8 favorites]


EricGjerde,

Here you go (pdf).
posted by lukemeister at 8:06 AM on January 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


Fortunately, tomorrow is still casual Friday at MetaFilter.
posted by lukemeister at 8:07 AM on January 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


I've got a dress code. It does not, however, include underwear.

My dress code specifically prohibits underwear.
posted by DU at 8:09 AM on January 6, 2011 [5 favorites]


I couldn't work there as my underpants are often visible. But then, if you put them on your head, how are you supposed to hide them exactly? Answer me that UBS style fascists.
posted by MuffinMan at 8:09 AM on January 6, 2011 [7 favorites]


I work for a fortune 100 company. I got a talking to for wearing a polo shirt and a cashmere sweater on a friday instead of a dress shirt. These documents are for people like me who will always try to push the envelope, they can haul out the doc and show me exactly where it says "no polo shirts".
posted by Ad hominem at 8:11 AM on January 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


I note that this is targeted at the people who are in the "public face" retail areas -- the bank tellers and consultants for the public, say. It may be a bit more relaxed for the guy who works in the copy center or the assistant to someone in Human Resources or something.

I've had, and frequently have, real-world experience with working at this specific entity. Let's just put it that way.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:12 AM on January 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Good to know the people who screwed up our economy have straightened out their priorities.
posted by londonmark at 8:13 AM on January 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


It may be a bit more relaxed for the guy who works in the copy center or the assistant to someone in Human Resources or something.

I once worked at a bank and the tellers obviously had a dress code. So did I, an IT grunt in the back office. I had to wear a *tie* even though I spent a lot of the day crawling under desks and lifting heavy items.
posted by DU at 8:14 AM on January 6, 2011


I work in finance, and I really, really want to find a copy of this guide. my googling efforts have failed, though. anyone have a link?

It's in French since UBS is Swiss.
posted by smackfu at 8:15 AM on January 6, 2011


Was this document released by OuiQuiLeaks?
posted by chavenet at 8:15 AM on January 6, 2011 [12 favorites]


When my husband worked in Silicon Valley he would get teased for wearing "fancy shorts", i.e. non-cargo shorts, and for wearing shirts with buttons ("What, you got a job interview later?").

Most places I've worked have been like this. I think it is part of a tech company cartel plan to render us all unemployable in any other field.
posted by enn at 8:17 AM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


I first read this as "USB style guide" and was very intrigued.
posted by Evernix at 8:18 AM on January 6, 2011 [7 favorites]


Seriously, though, who needs to be told these things?

The HR Assistant at my office wears a black pleather miniskirt pretty often. So, yeah.
posted by something something at 8:18 AM on January 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Virginia Postrel writes about the pressure to be sloppy and what retrosexual and metrosexual men have in common (spoiler: they dress like grownups).

If you are a young person working in an organization, you can't dress too conservatively. There is no such thing as business casual. Don't get suckered into trying to "get away" with anything in terms of dress. If your tie feels too tight and your collar is uncomfortable, you're probably putting on weight. If your shirttail keeps coming untucked, you're wearing a cheap shirt, and you're also probably overweight. Get rid of the weight. A slender figure looks more formal and businesslike. Polish your shoes. "Dress like a bourgeoise. Think like an artist."
posted by Faze at 8:19 AM on January 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


I once worked at a bank and the tellers obviously had a dress code. So did I, an IT grunt in the back office. I had to wear a *tie* even though I spent a lot of the day crawling under desks and lifting heavy items.

I can attest the guys who came by from IT on Monday weren't wearing ties, and no one blinked at that. This may be a regional thing.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:19 AM on January 6, 2011


I couldn't work there as my underpants are often visible. But then, if you put them on your head, how are you supposed to hide them exactly? Answer me that UBS style fascists.

Maybe that's why they want the underwear to be easily washable.

Also, note that the underwear shouldn't be too tight: if there's anything worse than a forced smile, it's passing out from constricted blood flow to the head.
posted by steambadger at 8:19 AM on January 6, 2011 [5 favorites]


Fortunately, tomorrow is still casual Friday at MetaFilter.

I'm still waiting for Matt to announce Casual Sex Fridays.
posted by briank at 8:19 AM on January 6, 2011 [5 favorites]


(underwear optional)
posted by briank at 8:20 AM on January 6, 2011


I currently work for what used to be a startup-ish tech company that got bought a few years ago by a large financial company that's still doing a lot of COBOL work. There was a lot of confusion and awareness of cultural differences around our office when a large-division-wide email went out that explained that as we hit the busy time for $PROJECT (which had nothing to do with us), as a morale booster, staff were free to wear jeans on Fridays!
posted by rmd1023 at 8:21 AM on January 6, 2011


Oh, I temped somewhere that offered Casual Friday, but only if we donated money to a charity of the company's choosing. It wasn't customer-facing.
posted by mippy at 8:22 AM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


I note that this is targeted at the people who are in the "public face" retail areas

At least where I work, facilities and desktop support can wear company supplied polo shirts. Even though I also work in technology but never have to crawl under desk or anything they claim that some client, maybe from UBS, might wander past my cubicle and since I am rocking a brooks brothers polo shirt on a friday decide that I don't take my job seriously.
posted by Ad hominem at 8:23 AM on January 6, 2011


This is where I'm so happy that I'm a software engineer. There is so not a dress code where I work; basically if you can get to work without getting arrested for indecency, you're good.

I used to work for a very large and blue computer company that in the past had a reputation for suits and ties. By the time that I worked for them, they'd thrown all that out. While I was working for them, we moved our offices across town to a building that was mostly populated by law offices. We moved in on July 1 and all showed up at our fancy new downtown offices in wearing shorts, t-shirts and sandals. I got more than one hairy eyeball from a suited lawyer while riding the elevator.
posted by octothorpe at 8:25 AM on January 6, 2011


Oh, I temped somewhere that offered Casual Friday, but only if we donated money to a charity of the company's choosing. It wasn't customer-facing.

Oh yes, we have demin fridays once a month if you donate. Nobody comes in to the office on friday though.
posted by Ad hominem at 8:25 AM on January 6, 2011


"women should not wear shoes that are too tight-fitting as there is nothing worse than a strained smile"

I must admit that I would rather use a bank where the women had strained smiles because of their tight shoes than one where I had a credible risk of being raped to death by Reavers.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:25 AM on January 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


Seriously, though, who needs to be told these things?

About half the interns and law clerks I've had come through my various offices and about one-third of the attorneys, I've worked with need to be told things like "no boob hanging out of your blouse" or "wear a tie with your suit" or "no t-shirts with slogans on them". Or what paidraigin says, lots of people facing their first office job in a historically conservative field.
posted by crush-onastick at 8:25 AM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


There appears to be an English translation of the manual here but when I tried to actually download it, Scribd said it wanted to post stuff to my Facebook wall and send me e-mails. If anyone is able to get this document off of there and into the wild, that would be swell.
posted by crapmatic at 8:28 AM on January 6, 2011


I think corporate dresa videa are offensive and a violation of people's personal rights. I geneally cover more than is the social norm, as im I wear a sarf. I also refuse to wear heels as I have ankle instability. I don't do nylons as they are a complete rip off. Also heels and nylons are very uncomfortable. I don't carry purses. I insist on having at least a few pockets, for my bi-focals, my mobile phones and my emergency money. I either use a vest or a money belt.
I have noticed that business attire for women is MALE dictated.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 8:29 AM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


God damn, I love having a union.
posted by Stagger Lee at 8:38 AM on January 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


This is where I'm so happy that I'm a software engineer.

This is where I'm not. It's depressing to work in a field where grown men and women think it's totally fine to wear shorts, running shoes, and sandals when not at the beach or gym.
posted by ripley_ at 8:39 AM on January 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


Seriously, though, who needs to be told these things?

First of all, pretty much everyone I know in an office has at least one story of a recent graduate who really needed to hear "You need to not show so much skin" or "dude, shorts are not okay." Not everyone is that great at picking up on cues; not everyone picks up all the details quickly; and very, very few student jobs or classes require or even encourage students to dress in anything but the most casual clothing. So how would they learn?

Second of all, a lot of us work in environments where the dress code is extremely lax. For a long time I worked with a guy who showed up in Crocs every day. I did, and still do, wear jeans and an untucked shirt on a daily basis. If I got a job as, say, a back-end code monkey at a big bank, it's easy to imagine an alternate version of myself who'd wouldn't think "I need to dress differently even through my job is the same." For example, I'm always caught a little off-guard at anyone being required to wear a tie, especially if they're not also in a suit. I mean, I know this is a real part of some dress codes, but it always strikes me as weird and alien and, left to my own devices, I'd never wear a tie to the office if I wasn't otherwise fully suited-up.

That there's a dress code for a big, conservative company like a major bank is in no way surprising or noteworthy. The newsworthiness of this is 100% in the degree to which it dictates even the minutia of an outfit, where most dress codes are happy to leave things relatively broad ("Neat dress shirt with collar, and a necktie for management") and only point out specific things that have been controversial or problematic ("Open-toed shoes are fine, but flip-flops are not.")
posted by Tomorrowful at 8:39 AM on January 6, 2011 [3 favorites]



This is where I'm not. It's depressing to work in a field where grown men and women think it's totally fine to wear shorts, running shoes, and sandals when not at the beach or gym.

I work with software engineers and academics.
The bar is rather low.

But again, I'm glad I have a union. If my job chastised me for eating garlic before work I would be so out of there.

/spoiled
posted by Stagger Lee at 8:43 AM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's in French since UBS is Swiss.

I will be offended if it's not also available in German, Italian, and Romansh
posted by Copronymus at 8:45 AM on January 6, 2011 [5 favorites]


I used to work for a very large and blue computer company that in the past had a reputation for suits and ties. By the time that I worked for them, they'd thrown all that out. While I was working for them, we moved our offices across town to a building that was mostly populated by law offices. We moved in on July 1 and all showed up at our fancy new downtown offices in wearing shorts, t-shirts and sandals. I got more than one hairy eyeball from a suited lawyer while riding the elevator.

One of my old friends who works for that Blue company says that they'll actually mark down a job candidate if they come to the interview in a suit, which to me is just as idiotic as requiring suits. Trust me, when I wear a suit to an interview, it's not because I actually like wearing suits.
posted by kmz at 8:49 AM on January 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


You know what ties are for? Wiping the blood from their fangs.
posted by dbiedny at 8:50 AM on January 6, 2011 [6 favorites]


After looking at the American Apparel guide I for one think it would be great if UBS and AA swapped style guides.
posted by Ad hominem at 8:51 AM on January 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


"mono en seda, mono queda".
posted by dbiedny at 8:51 AM on January 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


I worked at an office where metallic shoes were banned by the dress code. I worked as the administrative assistant to one of the Assistant VPs. The admin assistant to the CEO wore metallic shoes all time and proclaimed to me, "bronze shoes are a neutral and you can wear them with anything!"

At another job, my favorite coworkers one day wore a very traditional dress (specific to her culture/ethnicity) which would have been very work appropriate if it were not TOTALLY SHEER. Thankfully, her undies were of the "full coverage" variety.

Of course, a sheer blouse worn with a full coverage camisole worn under a blazer could be perfectly fine and some metallic heels are not meant for office wear! (unless it's a bar called The Office.)
posted by vespabelle at 8:53 AM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


If you are a young person working in an organization, you can't dress too conservatively.

I think that this is a little bit of an overstatement. It is certainly possible for a young person to dress above their station, and this can get them in trouble. Dress standards in business situations can be complicated.
posted by Quonab at 8:55 AM on January 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


This is where I'm glad I'm on disability.

and yes at my last job I had to be told exactly what "business casual" was and why I had to follow it when I never interacted with customers or employees from other offices and spent 80% of my work day with the entire floor of the building to myself.

"For morale."

posted by jtron at 8:58 AM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


I know some people that work in IT that successfully argued that because they had to go under desks and into dusty storage rooms and such that they are exempt from the office dress code. So while most of the office is in suits the IT staff look like slobs.
posted by bobo123 at 8:58 AM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


One of my old friends who works for that Blue company says that they'll actually mark down a job candidate if they come to the interview in a suit

I once refused to hire somebody after he showed up wearing a suit but had not removed the sewn on label on the sleeve.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:00 AM on January 6, 2011 [5 favorites]


I am a young person working in an organization. I don't own a suit, and if I wore one into work, people would ask me what I had planned for the day. Having said that, my senior sometimes attends work functions in full drag and would argue vociferously that it is his right to do so if he was told otherwise.

USians - what is 'business casual'? Not suit-and-tie but no jeans/trainers etc?
posted by mippy at 9:01 AM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


My favorite dress code is this: Are you making the company money and don't interact with customers? Where whatever the fuck you want.
posted by josher71 at 9:01 AM on January 6, 2011 [7 favorites]


Of course it would be spelled correctly. SIGH.
posted by josher71 at 9:02 AM on January 6, 2011


Link to translated version, on my mediafire, no registration required although it is in the spoooooooooooooky PDF format that some of y'all can't stomach :p

There's also a complete run of Soupy Norman in that folder, enjoy

posted by jtron at 9:05 AM on January 6, 2011


*sits back in his government supplied cubicle while wearing a hoodie, jeans, and shabby looking but comfy shoes*

Good times.
posted by utsutsu at 9:06 AM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


I work for Big Ad Agency, where "DO YOU HAVE AN INTERVIEW TODAY, YUK YUK" is common. (Currently wearing my Tretorn sneaks and a t-shirt/jeans.)

I've been trying to get my co-workers on board for Formal Fridays. Just... because it would be fun! We could pretend we're real Mad Men! And I feel like a respectable grown-up when wearing heels! Which is also fun! Because it's not true!
posted by functionequalsform at 9:07 AM on January 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


mippy: that's the problem. "Business casual" is open to wide interpretation in the U.S. Add into the differences in weather and culture between, for instance, New England, the Midwest, Texas and the Pacific Northwest--not to mention differences in business culture--and the only answer you get is "no-one really knows." Thus, dress codes because they make it easier for bosses to send you home to change without raising charges of discrimination.
posted by crush-onastick at 9:09 AM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think of business casual as kind of like rich guy picnic wear, they aren't wearing a suit but they still look a polished.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:11 AM on January 6, 2011 [5 favorites]


Female employees at UBS are also cautioned against wearing patent leather shoes, and enjoined to "leave some space for the Holy Ghost" when slow dancing.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 9:13 AM on January 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


One of my old friends who works for that Blue company says that they'll actually mark down a job candidate if they come to the interview in a suit

I wouldn't discount someone totally if they showed up for an engineering job interview in a suit but I'd find it a lot harder to take him/her seriously.
posted by octothorpe at 9:17 AM on January 6, 2011


My main association with 'business casual' is 'ugly, ill-fitting pants that blouse terribly in front, sold under the trademark Dockers.'
posted by jtron at 9:19 AM on January 6, 2011 [3 favorites]



I've been trying to get my co-workers on board for Formal Fridays. Just... because it would be fun! We could pretend we're real Mad Men! And I feel like a respectable grown-up when wearing heels! Which is also fun! Because it's not true!


I keep this cartoon hanging on the wall beside my desk.
posted by thivaia at 9:20 AM on January 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


I wouldn't discount someone totally if they showed up for an engineering job interview in a suit but I'd find it a lot harder to take him/her seriously.

See, this is why I hate, hate, hate the casual-ness of so many engineering/software environments. I know people at a broad range of tech jobs and there's a nearly even split between "Wearing a suit to interview with me is a black mark that shows they Don't Get It," and "Of course you wear a suit to an interview, regardless of how casual the work environment is - failing to do so is a sign that an interviewee Doesn't Get It."
posted by Tomorrowful at 9:22 AM on January 6, 2011 [10 favorites]


Don't mind me - I'm just remembering a previous job and my counterpart in the graphics department. The peak of insanely inappropriate clothing was an very short leather skirt and nothing on her top half but a backless waistcoat...
posted by sodium lights the horizon at 9:24 AM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


I got more than one hairy eyeball from a suited lawyer while riding the elevator.

When I worked in our Austin offices, we shared the building with another tech company. I ended up on the elevator one day with a guy from the other company who DEFINITELY did not like my choice of attire (t-shirt, shorts, Birkenstocks). After a minute he demanded to know who my manager was.

I flipped my ID badge around so that he could see the logo on it, said "I work for $OTHERCOMPANY. Have a nice day!" and stepped off the elevator as it arrived on my floor. It was quite entertaining to see him go from puffed-up indignancy to looking like a fool in four seconds flat.
posted by mrbill at 9:28 AM on January 6, 2011 [5 favorites]


This discussion moved me to confirm my impression of what defines a polo shirt (which I'm more used to calling a golf shirt).

Today I learned that it was invented by a guy named Lacoste (of course), who was a champion tennis player in the 1920's, and nicknamed the Crocodile.
posted by not_that_epiphanius at 9:48 AM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


See, this is why I hate, hate, hate the casual-ness of so many engineering/software environments. I know people at a broad range of tech jobs and there's a nearly even split between "Wearing a suit to interview with me is a black mark that shows they Don't Get It," and "Of course you wear a suit to an interview, regardless of how casual the work environment is - failing to do so is a sign that an interviewee Doesn't Get It."

This. Look, I hate wearing suits and I would loathe working in a place where I had to wear anything more formal than polo shirts, but I'm still going to wear a suit to the damn interview.
posted by kmz at 9:50 AM on January 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


Dress codes?

Fuck that shit!
posted by Relay at 9:51 AM on January 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


I once refused to hire somebody after he showed up wearing a suit but had not removed the sewn on label on the sleeve.

I've seen a lot of this on the train lately (more with overcoats than suits). Also, people leaving the vent(s) sewn shut. There should really be some kind of remedial suit-wearing taught in schools for we hapless progeny of sloppy Boomers.

I know people at a broad range of tech jobs and there's a nearly even split between "Wearing a suit to interview with me is a black mark that shows they Don't Get It," and "Of course you wear a suit to an interview, regardless of how casual the work environment is - failing to do so is a sign that an interviewee Doesn't Get It."

It is extremely frustrating as an interviewee to try to guess which kind of person the interviewer is going to be. This industry really annoys me sometimes. Bah.
posted by enn at 9:56 AM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm just remembering a previous job and my counterpart in the graphics department. The peak of insanely inappropriate clothing was an very short leather skirt and nothing on her top half but a backless waistcoat...

Dear Sir or Madam: Please consider me an enthusiastic candidate for a position in your graphics department...
posted by steambadger at 10:10 AM on January 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


Virginia Postrel writes ever-so seriously about "retrosexual" and "metrosexual?" So she's stuck in 2006, is what you're telling me?
posted by raysmj at 10:10 AM on January 6, 2011


Dress codes?

Fuck that shit!


PABST. BLUE. RIBBON

...case worn as pants.
posted by griphus at 10:18 AM on January 6, 2011 [6 favorites]


If you are a young person working in an organization, you can't dress too conservatively.

Sure you can. If you're hired by a place where other workers value a casual workplace and you keep showing up in a suit without any hint of irony or it's-just-what-I-like-you're-fine-too about it, you're marking yourself as somebody who doesn't fit in with the company culture.

It's depressing to work in a field where grown men and women think it's totally fine to wear shorts, running shoes, and sandals when not at the beach or gym.

Even more depressing to be unable to understand that it actually is totally fine, or that what they wear is at a deep and fundamental level not any of your business.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:23 AM on January 6, 2011 [10 favorites]


It's depressing to work in a field where grown men and women think it's totally fine to wear shorts, running shoes, and sandals when not at the beach or gym.

They hired me for my skill in finding bugs in distributed file systems, not my ability to tie a perfectly symmetrical four-in-hand.
posted by octothorpe at 10:52 AM on January 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


When I was in college I worked at a small engineering firm, doing programming. I worked second shift because the computers were in use during the day by the engineers (most of whom were pretty cool, but there were a couple of old farts). I'd come to work in jeans and a button-front shirt. One day my boss stayed late to ask me if I'd mind wearing a tie and slacks, as he'd received a complaint from one of the engineer's who'd been working late. I went to Goodwill and bought the most obnoxious tie I could find, and started wearing that in to work. About a week later my boss left me a note saying that the engineers had decided I could go back to my old attire.
posted by Runes at 11:01 AM on January 6, 2011 [6 favorites]


Even more depressing to be unable to understand that it actually is totally fine, or that what they wear is at a deep and fundamental level not any of your business.

It’s fine if you want to look like a man-child (or woman-child, but that seems less common).

I know it’s not any of my business. I’d still rather work with people who dress like grown-ups, but that's rare in this industry.
posted by ripley_ at 11:05 AM on January 6, 2011


> I know it’s not any of my business. I’d still rather work with people who dress like grown-ups, but that's rare in this industry.

Whatever, you retrosexual oppressor! This is the Post Modern age and what anyone else wears is completely irrelevant to comportment. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to attend the staff meeting wearing nothing but a cock ring and a keffiyeh.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:09 AM on January 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


They hired me for my skill in finding bugs in distributed file systems, not my ability to tie a perfectly symmetrical four-in-hand.

Nobody has ever been hired for any job based for their ability to tie a tie and put on a suit. Yet most jobs maintain dress codes of one sort or another. Do you really think these serve no purpose? Or that engineering/software/IT field is singularly unique in the lack of purpose they serve there?

The pride taken in being able to wear sweat pants and Adidas flip-flops to work among engineering types strikes me as pretty adolescent.
posted by decoherence at 11:13 AM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've accepted there are dress codes, both implicit and explicit, but it's hard to believe there are people who defend them for non customer-facing jobs. Dressing like a "man-child" or "grownups"? Really?
posted by smackfu at 11:19 AM on January 6, 2011


(I work at home and can wear whatever I want to "work".)
posted by smackfu at 11:20 AM on January 6, 2011


If it ain't a double windsor, it ain't right. Seriously, though. I hate wearing ties. Jeans and polos are my uniform when I actually have to go into one of those strange places people call an "office." You can get away with a lot if you're a miracle-working IT person.

Not that I have a problem with wearing a suit without a tie. It's just easier to wear jeans and a polo.
posted by wierdo at 11:20 AM on January 6, 2011


It’s fine if you want to look like a man-child

This sort of attitude is just factually incorrect, though. How do you know what grownups look like? By observing grownups. If you see lots of grownups wearing shorts and t-shirts, then that is, factually, what grownups look like. Or, at minimum, one of the things grownups look like.

The argument that someone looks like something other than a grownup while wearing clothes that are empirically verifiable to be common to grownups is laughable on its face.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:35 AM on January 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


Nobody has ever been hired for any job based for their ability to tie a tie and put on a suit

You have clearly never worked in sales.
posted by MuffinMan at 11:35 AM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was a web dev / IT guy at this company that had a dress code for everyone. I lost a bonus one year because I accumulated 3 notices for having my shirt untucked. That was the slowest moving least productive and most depressing place I've worked at. It is struggling to make ends meet.

I worked as a web dev / programmer at another company with no dress code, where we had a nap room and boxes full of t-shirts in case someone needed to change. It grew from an $8 million company to a $250 million company in 4 years. It was full of creative people loving their jobs.

Now I work as a programmer at another company where the dress code is "do not offend your coworkers". It has revenue of several million dollars per employee. Most people are very happy to work here.

So yeah, anytime someone tells me that a dress code for technical people somehow increases productivity or improves morale.

And if what makes you a man/woman instead of a man/woman-child is what you wear, you are doing maturity wrong.
posted by Dr. Curare at 11:38 AM on January 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


This sort of attitude is just factually incorrect, though. How do you know what grownups look like? By observing grownups. If you see lots of grownups wearing shorts and t-shirts, then that is, factually, what grownups look like. Or, at minimum, one of the things grownups look like.

It's the "one of the things" that people seem to have so much trouble with. I don't give a fuck how you dress or indeed if you dress at all, cock-ring and keffiyeh are fine by me, so please do not give me endless amounts of shit because sometimes I like wearing a tie or indeed a jacket, thank you.
posted by enn at 11:44 AM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Do you really think these serve no purpose?

Yes.
posted by josher71 at 11:46 AM on January 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


I think my personal rebellion against the whole suit-and-tie thing began when I was watching one of the ~qatsi films and the video montage was of people in business dress getting off of escalators juxtaposed with footage of sausages being stuffed into casings and lobsters being processed for shipping.
posted by hippybear at 12:00 PM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Do not wash, nor ever iron your shirts yourself."

That's actually a pretty good suggestion. Most people suck at it, and it's only $1 to have a shirt laundered and pressed.
posted by electroboy at 12:01 PM on January 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


It’s fine if you want to look like a man-child

In gay bars, we call that "mutton dressed as lamb".
posted by hippybear at 12:01 PM on January 6, 2011


Don't dress your cat in an apron
Just 'cause he's learning to bake.
Don't put your horse on a nightgown
Just 'cause he can't stay awake.
Don't dress your snake in a mau-mau
Just 'cause he's off on a cruise.
Don't dress your whale in galoshes
If she really prefers overshoes.

A person should wear what they want to
And not just what other folks say.
A person should wear what she likes to
A person's a person that way.

- Dan Greenburg
posted by mrgrimm at 12:04 PM on January 6, 2011


Being a stay at home parent, I'm just happy if my clothes don't acquire a mysterious stain before lunchtime.

ProTip: Most shirts from t-shirt hell are not appropriate for playgroup.
posted by madajb at 12:09 PM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


That's actually a pretty good suggestion. Most people suck at it, and it's only $1 to have a shirt laundered and pressed.

It's actually $2.25 for me but it is worth it to have nice creases on the sleeves and not have back and cuff pleats that look like a dog gnawed on them
posted by Ad hominem at 12:22 PM on January 6, 2011


At my last full time job, ILM, folks would have looked at you as a mutant, if you wore something other than whatever you wanted. You can play dressup, or get some fucking work done. Pick one.
posted by dbiedny at 12:39 PM on January 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


It sounds like you mean "something other than whatever they wanted."
posted by enn at 12:43 PM on January 6, 2011


You can play dressup, or get some fucking work done

I forgot the 99% of the population that cannot come in to work wearing shorts and flip flops don't actually do any work.

Now I work as a programmer at another company where the dress code is "do not offend your coworkers". It has revenue of several million dollars per employee. Most people are very happy to work here.

The company I work for made over 10 billion in revenue in 2010. We probably have 1000 times the employees though. It gets hard to run an operation with 60,000 employees where everyone does whatever they want. only 1 employee out of 100 can even function in an environment like that. A large corporation has bullshit rules for the same reason the military does.

Its great you guys get to wear what you want. But some of us who are not so lucky work our ass off and still manage to put on suits in the morning.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:49 PM on January 6, 2011


I personally love suits. I love well made fabrics cleverly formed and steamed and layered and sown into comfortable and sharp looking suits. Crisp cotton shirts, well made shoes, oh yes!
I love these things for the same reason that I love a nice clean algorithm (or a clever hack), an elegant theorem, and a good piece of furniture. Beauty is important to me.

and for all that I love suits, I hate to see them worn by those who are forced into it. No suit has ever hung well on unwilling shoulders.

If you are a young person working in an organization, you can't dress too conservatively.

Sure you can. If you're hired by a place where other workers value a casual workplace and you keep showing up in a suit without any hint of irony or it's-just-what-I-like-you're-fine-too about it, you're marking yourself as somebody who doesn't fit in with the company culture.


Exactly, there's a way to do it, and a way not to. If you're in an environment where all the other employees are wearing sandals and shorts, don't wear a perfectly pressed military cut pinstripe suit. Meet them halfway.

Wear linen, seersucker, wear butcher stripe English shirts rather than conservative white American ones, bright yellow socks. On casual days wear cords and no tie. Through these things you cue your co-workers that you're not just wearing a suit because you secretly long to be an accountant, while still dressing in a way that I personally (ymmv) find more aesthetically pleasing. Of course, don't do these things (Except the English shirts) in a formal office where everyone else wears three piece suits every day.

Don't tell your colleagues how to dress, don't even think it, and they'll most likely return the favour.

Even more depressing to be unable to understand that it actually is totally fine, or that what they wear is at a deep and fundamental level not any of your business.

ROU_Xenophobe is quite correct. Never, ever, tell a gentleman how to dress.
posted by atrazine at 12:56 PM on January 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


If this is correct, the directive may be a response to an Americanization of Switzerland.

I think corporate dresa videa are offensive and a violation of people's personal rights.

Employers make lots of demands on workers, this one isn't to my mind all that egregious. Fact is, this kind of business would quickly go out of business if dress were anything other than formal. Which may not be right or moral or perhaps even sensible, but I have to say, if I ever become financially interesting enough to warrant a Swiss bank, all things being equal, my money is on the one where they wear quiet suits and black leather shoes over the one where they wear polo shirts and muumuus and crocs. In a bank, you'd need to be seriously talented to get away with the latter, and by and large all I really want is just plain serious. I expect their customers tend to feel the same way.

Fact also is, the code is in large part for the benefit and convenience of the employees. Like school uniforms (which I heartily endorse, by the way, for several reasons). So no one has to over-think what to wear. Or wear anything overly stupid. Which, as we see above, many people are quite liable to do. Which is why Casual Friday is for many a rather awkward day of the week. It puts them on the spot. Not a place they always want to be.

Lastly, fact finally is, formal wear generally makes even those of inelegant body types look better. Or at least gives them a better shot at it. A fat man in a well tailored suit is always going to look better than a fat man in a polo shirt. And in general, it is better for all concerned that we all look as good as we can. The Swiss may be slipping but the French, the Italians, they understand these things. Americans - not so much.
posted by IndigoJones at 1:01 PM on January 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Alliums? Garlicky oniony things?

I looked it up and I CTRL-F'd it and I'm still confused.
posted by fiercecupcake at 1:10 PM on January 6, 2011


Oh damn, there it is. Against eating those things. Damn.
posted by fiercecupcake at 1:11 PM on January 6, 2011


Smelly bulbs.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:11 PM on January 6, 2011


It's a Swiss bank. The most anal county in Europe. Why is anyone remotely surprised?
posted by Ideefixe at 1:21 PM on January 6, 2011


Part of my problem with having to dress up for work is the added cost of dry cleaning and getting nice clothes so people don't sneer at you for having a cheap suit.
posted by josher71 at 1:24 PM on January 6, 2011


It's a Swiss bank. The most anal county in Europe.

I refer you to my first link. (Anyone with closer connections to Switzerland able to verify or refute?)
posted by IndigoJones at 1:36 PM on January 6, 2011


It has revenue of several million dollars per employee. Most people are very happy to work here.

The company I work for made over 10 billion in revenue in 2010. We probably have 1000 times the employees though.

The company I work for has over 70 quintillion employees, and rules the planet with an iron fist. I am required to wear gold lame jodhpurs, ruby nipple rings, and a necklace made from the skulls of my enemies. Except not on Casual Fridays.

Do I win the thread?
posted by steambadger at 1:42 PM on January 6, 2011 [17 favorites]


Do I win the thread?

Yes.

I am interested in your organization, I would like to subscribe to your newsletter.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:57 PM on January 6, 2011 [5 favorites]


You can subscribe at Darkseid@Apokolips.com.
posted by josher71 at 2:00 PM on January 6, 2011


Years ago, we hired a kid just out of high school as a gopher. (You know, go fer this, go fer that, an errand boy).

He showed up at our architectural office the first day, wearing a white shirt with a black tie. He looked like a copier repair man. I told him that we certainly appreciate the effort, but he didn't need to dress quite so formally for his position.

I shit you not, the next day he showed up in wife-beater and flip flops.
posted by Xoebe at 2:21 PM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Dammit steambadger, I can't follow up your comment with my crappy story about the office gopher. You had me in tears.
posted by Xoebe at 2:26 PM on January 6, 2011


Seriously, though, who needs to be told these things?

The HR Assistant at my office wears a black pleather miniskirt pretty often. So, yeah.


Does this affect his/her job performance? If not, then who cares?

When I made $3.85 per hour I had a strict dress code. Now I make good money and can wear what I please. I was surprised when I read about the UBS thing a few months back -- I thought dress codes were for the McDonald's set. I guess that's a side effect of working with a bunch of people with tenure.
posted by coolguymichael at 2:28 PM on January 6, 2011


> Does this affect his/her job performance? If not, then who cares?

It may sound fiendishly old fashioned, but it could affect other people's job performance.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:37 PM on January 6, 2011


What is a "sovereign" in the context of that American Apparel dress code thingy (which seems pretty obviously for the UK American Apparel stores)? I find this unGoogleable because, you know, sovereigns.
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:51 PM on January 6, 2011


The company I work for has over 70 quintillion employees, and rules the planet with an iron fist. I am required to wear gold lame jodhpurs, ruby nipple rings, and a necklace made from the skulls of my enemies. Except not on Casual Fridays.

Can I interest you in some toner?
posted by madajb at 2:52 PM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


On casual Fridays, it's silver lame jodphurs. Encourages people to loosen up.
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:52 PM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


It may sound fiendishly old fashioned, but it could affect other people's job performance.

How so? I'm not trying to be a jerk. I'm just curious.
posted by josher71 at 3:04 PM on January 6, 2011


There are some external costs associated with traditional dry cleaning, fwiw.

How so? I'm not trying to be a jerk. I'm just curious.

I suppose someone might contend that a man or woman wearing revealing clothing (see-through blouses, hot pants, etc.) could distract members of the opposite or same sex who are attracted to him or her.

That's a total bullshit reason for a dress code, imo. (Personally, I'm more attracted to the women in traditional business attire, but maybe I'm just kinky that way.)

A dress code for customer-facing positions makes sense to me, though. It's not much different than a baseball uniform or an actor's costume. It's your monkey suit; get used to it.
posted by mrgrimm at 3:10 PM on January 6, 2011


What is a "sovereign" in the context of that American Apparel dress code thingy (which seems pretty obviously for the UK American Apparel stores)? I find this unGoogleable because, you know, sovereigns.

Not read the dress code, but guessing it means the ever-classy sovereign ring.
posted by reynir at 3:12 PM on January 6, 2011


Wow, reynir, that's kind of ugly. Yikes! What kind of social connotations does it carry in the UK?
posted by Sidhedevil at 3:14 PM on January 6, 2011


(In the dress code, it just says "No sovereigns." Which I assume isn't a statement of anti-monarchist fervor, but a reference that is lost on my US eyes; the ring reynir linked certainly looks like a potential culprit.)
posted by Sidhedevil at 3:16 PM on January 6, 2011


Sovereigns, I think, were an old-skool working class status symbol - something that would have been handed down from your dad or granddad, perhaps - and now are taken to mean 'chav' - as in, something worn by the brasher members of the working class in a 'bling' kind of way. Where I grew up the chav style reigns, and as a teenager my friend had a sovereign for each finger.

Oddly enough, chunky gold creoles fall into this category, one of the items that, IIRC, UBS don't mind.
posted by mippy at 3:29 PM on January 6, 2011


Lady Sovereign. Who is, apparently, lesbian, which I did not know.
posted by mippy at 3:30 PM on January 6, 2011


i didn't think that AA style guide was for the UK market, as 'Sperry topsiders' are pretty unknown here, and 'Russell and Bromley' isn't a type of shoe but a chain that does tons of different styles. so I have no idea what that means.
posted by mippy at 3:35 PM on January 6, 2011


I've got a dress code. It does not, however, include underwear.

When I was a teenager, I attended a private (fee-paying) British school that theoretically had uniform underwear. I can tell you that they didn't check, though, because I was out of uniform.

Having worked in a customer-facing legal position that required suits and as a tech writer in a cool no-dress-code software company, I'm here to tell you that the dress code in software is just as firm as in the legal profession, it's just enforced differently. The UBS manual may seem annoying and pedantic but at least they're telling you what they want instead of leaving you to guess the way the suit/no-suit software brigade does (ladies: you can solve this with a creative jacket with a pair of trousers or skirt that splits the difference).
posted by immlass at 3:48 PM on January 6, 2011


I went to a state school, albeit one run by the Church, which had a dress code that extended to the laces on shoes and colour of hair bobbles.

I have a maxim that few clubs that have a dress code are the kind of clubs I'd be likely to have a great night in. One in my home town did not allow Rockport boots, or jumpers over shirts (apparently knives could be hidden in there) - but they let me in in a pair of steel-toed DM boots.
posted by mippy at 3:55 PM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


I worked for a Fortune 100 company in the mid-90s... ...Now, this was my first grownup job after many years working at a punk rock record store where you were kind of overdressed if your jeans didn't have any holes...

once a punk, always a punk.
posted by rainperimeter at 4:02 PM on January 6, 2011


i didn't think that AA style guide was for the UK market, as 'Sperry topsiders' are pretty unknown here, and 'Russell and Bromley' isn't a type of shoe but a chain that does tons of different styles. so I have no idea what that means.

It has UK spellings, and things like "sovereign" and "Russell and Bromley" that are completely meaningless to US me. Perhaps it's a badly done localization of a US original?
posted by Sidhedevil at 4:24 PM on January 6, 2011


It's a Swiss bank. The most anal county [sic] in Europe.

Reminiscent of Sarah Palin not knowing Africa is a continent.
posted by ericb at 5:05 PM on January 6, 2011


> How do you know what grownups look like? By observing grownups.
> posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 2:35 PM on January 6 [2 favorites +]

Grownups come in so many flavors and packages though, you can't dress like all of them at once. Since you therefore must exercise some selectivity, you might as well go whole hog and observe with a discriminating eye.


> formal wear generally makes even those of inelegant body types look better.
> posted by IndigoJones at 4:01 PM on January 6 [2 favorites +] [!]

Especially those. (imagines Nero Wolfe in a thong. *shivers*)
posted by jfuller at 5:22 PM on January 6, 2011


I thought this was gonna be some kind of handbook for the style of television programs on the fictional Union Broadcasting System from the movie Network.
posted by LiteOpera at 6:36 PM on January 6, 2011


It’s fine if you want to look like a man-child

Definitions of what's appropriately mature behaviour change. Some decades ago, it was accepted that by the time you were in your early 20s, you put all childish things behind you, put on a grey suit or other uniform and put your shoulder to the grindstone. From then on, until you got your retirement pension, the concept of "play" was alien to you; the only time you might engage in anything fitting this description would be in the course of parental duties, when teaching Junior to kick a football or assemble a train set, and then it was still framed as a matter of duty. Chains of duty defined the fabric of a well-ordered and well-run society.

Now things are different. More of the economy is engaged in creative activities, and there is less demand for obedience and conformity and more for imagination and play. Meanwhile, the economy runs on consumerism, which often includes play. (Look at the over-30s purchasing video game consoles or similar, for example.) The effects of this have flowed through to other areas, such as dress codes. Even in many offices where jeans and T-shirts are forbidden, you seldom see people wearing ties at their desks (unless they've just come back from a client meeting). (There are exceptions, of course: some time ago, I interviewed at a commodities trading firm who were building new IT projects. The fact that the two coders they brought in to talk to me were both wearing ties was one of the factors that dissuaded me from pursuing the process any further. But that's in the conservative bastions of finance and trading.)
posted by acb at 6:41 PM on January 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


I personally love suits. I love well made fabrics cleverly formed and steamed and layered and sown into comfortable and sharp looking suits. Crisp cotton shirts, well made shoes, oh yes!

There is pleasure in dressing finely, when done at your own behest, not as submission to a vast, impersonal machine.

If you're a high-flying lawyer or corporate dealmaker, a crisp suit and well-knotted tie might make you feel hella sharp. If you sit in front of a PC in a bullpen from 9 to 6 punching Excel spreadsheets, not so much.
posted by acb at 6:45 PM on January 6, 2011


Back in the day, I once worked for EDS; when EDS's dress code made IBM look like a bunch a blue suited hippies. I was working with supercomputers, which meant that there were going to be times when I needed to shimmy behind things and climb over water cooling pipes, to reach the behemoths buried under nuke proof shelters. (Sure, we may all glow like chernobyl fireflies, but your credit card transactions will be fine.)

Somewhere in my files, I still have the memo that reminded me that I was supposed to be attired in a skirt of a certain length, pantyhose, heels between the height of X and Y, and on and on. I laughed and then resigned.

Dress codes tend to divide people into sharp lines, much like drug testing. There are some people for whom drug testing is no big deal, and there are others who wouldn't even consider working for a company which required that sort of indignity.

Suits denote a significantly more "buttoned up" environment. There will be no friday zombie nerf gun wars in a suited office. And the very idea of said nerf gun war at the office horrifies the traditional business person, because it seems a slap at everything they've worked to accomplish.

Suits, at least in the American business culture I've observed, are meant to denote respectability, security, trustworthiness. But to the t-shirt crowd, what it often denotes is hucksterism, that sales guy that won't go away, MBAs with no common sense...in other words, someone wearing a suit is someone who is trying to pull a con.

Two cultures. Radically distinct, separate tribes.
posted by dejah420 at 6:57 PM on January 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


Wait, wait, "retrosexual" doesn't mean "attracted to old folks"? Man I have been misusing that word. At least I'm still using "hobosexual" correctly!
posted by drinkyclown at 7:32 PM on January 6, 2011


I'm interviewing people for a page job (part-time, seven bucks an hour, shelving books all day) at my library this week.

The laid-off banker was by far the best-dressed candidate.
posted by box at 7:40 PM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


I opened the translation, and on the first page "garment as a vector" jumped out at me.

Whew. They do get kinda germy.
posted by jgirl at 4:50 AM on January 7, 2011


In my gov't DoD workplace, if a man wears a suit to work he gets "funeral or interview?"
posted by fixedgear at 6:10 AM on January 7, 2011


Nobody has ever been hired for any job based for their ability to tie a tie and put on a suit. Yet most jobs maintain dress codes of one sort or another. Do you really think these serve no purpose? Or that engineering/software/IT field is singularly unique in the lack of purpose they serve there?

There's a massive amount of competition for engineering talent. My little company has to fight Google and NetApp for every hire. How many good computer scientists do you think that we could recruit if we told them that they'd have to start wearing dockers and golf shirts everyday? We'd be turning off the lights and locking the doors in six months.
posted by octothorpe at 6:16 AM on January 7, 2011


An organization that big spends a lot of time on standardization, I can see where they'd have whole departments on tossing out these sorts of publications.
posted by quantumhowl at 2:32 PM on January 8, 2011


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