What are your thoughts on changing dress code?

iBankedUp's picture
iBankedUp - Certified Professional
Rank: Human | banana points 12,739

Basically, I think this sensationalizing of modernizing workplace attire is just getting corny. It's just like people find the ugliest jeans and sneakers possible, and seem to be competing on who cares the least and who's more laid back than everyone else. And, tech CEOs or others can't even wear interesting clothes, or else it'll look inappropriate.

That means, favorite video game? Can't wear the tee. Like Kiss t-shirts? I don't think so. Like, it's just getting weird. I'm thinking at some point, we'll have to find a line that will officially define workplace attire. I saw a fashion magazine categorize traditional dress codes as 'draconian'. Are we going to move past this trend?

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Comments (46)

Best Response
Feb 16, 2017

I feel you brotha its like what ever happened to traditional values. I for one say we bring back the suspenders.

What concert costs 45 cents? 50 Cent feat. Nickelback.

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Feb 16, 2017

It's not about traditional values. It's about not being weirdos. There's a certain point where your tee and sneakers has its limit without being weird. People that are creative can comfortably wear different shoes, pants, and shirts/ties and don't have to compromise in the spirit of being cool and new age. It's just getting lame IMO.

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Mar 9, 2017
ostrich:

I feel you brotha its like what ever happened to traditional values. I for one say we bring back the suspenders.

With golden dollar signs on red, of course.

GoldenCinderblock: "I keep spending all my money on exotic fish so my armor sucks. Is it possible to romance multiple females? I got with the blue chick so far but I am also interested in the electronic chick and the face mask chick."

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Mar 9, 2017

Definitely miss the suspenders. I still rock them on the now-rare occasion that I am wearing a button-down shirt

Feb 16, 2017

Personally, I like dressing different for work. It is like shedding skin when I get home. However, if a company wants their employees walking around looking like stoned hipsters so be it.

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Funniest
Feb 16, 2017

I hate dressing up but we humble bankers need a way to differentiate ourselves from the peasant plebeians that crawl this earth

What concert costs 45 cents? 50 Cent feat. Nickelback.

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Mar 9, 2017

I agree it's important to have a uniform

You can debate whether that's a logo t-shirt, jumpsuit, or business suit (I prefer the suit!) but that line of demarcation is important

Mar 9, 2017
Joesummer:

I agree it's important to have a uniform

You can debate whether that's a logo t-shirt, jumpsuit, or business suit (I prefer the suit!) but that line of demarcation is important

Right now imagining Qatalyst/BX bankers wearing logo-tshirts to client meetings.

GoldenCinderblock: "I keep spending all my money on exotic fish so my armor sucks. Is it possible to romance multiple females? I got with the blue chick so far but I am also interested in the electronic chick and the face mask chick."

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Feb 18, 2017

I have issues on men wearing skinny jeans :)

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Mar 9, 2017

A good fitted and well made suit is what separate between a man and a boy. We are defined by how we carry and present ourselves to the world. If you can't even bother to make yourself look good past 30s, then there is not much hope left. And I would rather wear a suit every single day. Professional dark navy (during work) and window-panel-dark-navy-pinstripe-double-breasted-gold-button-peak-lapel (after work).

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Mar 9, 2017

Amen to this, +1 SB.

Though being SoCal, a suit everyday is overkill.

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Mar 9, 2017

+1 to naoki
I love suits and try to wear them as often as possible
I would love to see both better dressing and additional formality in the workplace
For those that say a suit in 'x' environment is overkill, you are doing it wrong. There are tropical fabrics and linens that are perfect to be worn year round in southern california. we associate suits with worsted wool and terrible 80's polyester cheap suits, when it doesn't really need to be the case.

Mar 9, 2017

Dunno who MS'ed this, the majority of banks in SoCal don't wear suits at all in the office. People visiting from NYC always get a shock when they rock up on Monday in their fine suit and our Director is wearing biz cas, it's classic.

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Mar 9, 2017

I always put the effort in - I love wearing a suit and tie as I believe it shows respect to those around me. When so much in this world is based on imagery I always want to look professional. To me it is about traditional values too. I think heritage and history is important.

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Oct 16, 2018

I love the suits.

Mar 9, 2017

That's a question for HR departments to decide.

Metal. Music. Life. www.headofmetal.com

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Mar 9, 2017

I wear a business suit every day and I don't mind it until it's hot and I have a slightly sweaty collar of my shirt annoying me all day. Even in linen suits, you can't avoid the collar of your dress shirt getting kind of sweaty. My ideal attire would be where we wear suits 3/4 seasons but allow us polos or at least no tie in the summer.

Mar 9, 2017

I don't care for suits from a comfort standpoint-- If it's tailored, you likely can't reach your arms straight above your head.

That said, a suit or formal dress code is just as much a state of mind as well as an appearance. A well tailored suit makes me/my clients feel like I'm competent and conservative. This is essential if you're running their life savings and trying to portray that you'll be a good steward of their money. I'd feel a lot different closing deals in a flannel or trying to articulate a complex transaction in a t-shirt.

To me it seems that if you don't have the time, money or desire to put on a professional demeanor, what will make people think you'll do the same for their money? Just my .02

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Mar 9, 2017

exactly. can't agree more.

Mar 9, 2017

Tools!

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Mar 9, 2017

Bobby Axelrod wears jeans and Metallica t-shirts and Axe Cap is doing great!

    • 5
Mar 9, 2017

Is business formal still the standard for IBD in New York?

Mar 9, 2017

I fucking hate having to dress up for work. Wish we could dress however the fuck we wanted during the week. Totally fine with wearing suit and tie to client meetings though,

Mar 9, 2017

Did anyone else ever notice that all of the BBs that vanished in the last downturn were the suits only banks? Merrill, Lehman, Bear...business formal. GS, MS, Citi, B of A, CS, JPM....I believe they were all business casual; at least the two I worked at were. Coincidence? I think not.

Mar 9, 2017

Merrill is still around, and MS is and has been suit-only. Bear was acquired by MS. At least in WM, suits are a requirement.

Mar 9, 2017
Xiiixiii:

Merrill is still around, and MS is and has been suit-only. Bear was acquired by MS. At least in WM, suits are a requirement.

Wrong on so many fronts for investment banking. In 2000 MS went business casual. Not sure if/when they reinstated formal dress.

Your definition of "acquisition" and "still around" seem to be somewhat different from mine. Were you actually working in finance during 2007 - 2009?

Mar 9, 2017

Studies have shown that people wearing professional business attire are perceived as more trustworthy than people who dress casually.

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Mar 9, 2017

Yes, and? The question is if the entire office dress code was made more casual whether work would suffer. You certainly wouldn't get those inane "is an Hermes tie too formal for a Summer Analyst?" questions on WSO. I freely admit my bias as a West Coast banker. Also, try walking into a Silicon Valley bake-off with a tie on.

Mar 9, 2017

I'm not saying that I think everyone should wear a suit and tie to work. I wear my fuck-you hoodie.

Mar 9, 2017

I have less of a problem with non-suit culture and more of a problem with people dressing like crap. You can look sharp ASF without a suit on if you know what you're doing. Problem is, "tech" culture is seeping into regular human culture, bringing us humans down to the lowest common physical denominator of the sub-human tech nerd. It's atrocious and should be dealt with by law enforcement.

Mar 9, 2017

John T Molloy has a lot of research proving that dressing well has its benefits. I have clients at some of the largest tech & pharma companies, and the highest performers dress better than wearing band t shirts and crummy sneakers to work. yes, the newer software engineers wear hoodies and flip flops, but the guys making the most money aren't dressing like slobs.

I think I remember @DickFuld saying that Lehman went casual leading up to the tech bubble, but when it burst, the ties came back.

I think at a minimum, you should have a shirt with a collar tucked into non-denim pants and shoes that wouldn't be comfortable to go for a run in. I wear a suit every day, but sometimes I wish I could ditch the tie (most of the time). and for offices where clients never come by plus here in the south where in july, a 30 yard walk to your car will have you sweating like sandusky during cross examination, I don't know that long sleeves are necessary ALL the time.

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Mar 9, 2017
thebrofessor:

I think I remember @DickFuld saying that Lehman went casual leading up to the tech bubble, but when it burst, the ties came back.

I think the ties came back in late 2000 or early 2001, so it was definitely after the peak. We were a somewhat counter cyclical indicator. We were not casual before the top of the market.

However, that didn't save us in 2008. Maybe we should have lost the ties forever.....

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Mar 9, 2017

TLDR - all of the bullshit responses.

How about this?

How about you wear what you are comfortable wearing - and crush your job? Then don't worry about what the next man is wearing?

How bout that?

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Mar 10, 2017

That's too complicated. Who need's you to deliver when your suit is one tone more blue than everyone else, now you're ruining the color palette. the company culture, the blueness that has been set for decades!

You killed the Greece spread goes up, spread goes down, from Wall Street they all play like a freak, Goldman Sachs 'o beat.

Mar 9, 2017

May I suggest something? I think the reason that we wear suits and there is also a general consent on what is considered appropriate - white/blue shirt + navy/gray two buttons suit is that we would like to start from an equal standing.

Assume that we have a meeting in the US and people decide to wear whatever we want. There is this guy from Texas with a cowboy hat, another hipster looking guy from California with a hoodie and gym pant, then there is the guy from New York with a suit. Even before the meeting get started, these three guys will start making wrong assumptions about each other (i.e. Texas - a hillbilly, Cali - a hipster, NY - a square). All of these assumptions are not conducive to a meeting where everyone needs to be on the same page.

Thus a formal professional dress code is introduced where everyone dressed almost the same or sort of a minimum requirement of what is expected. All the nonconstructive assumptions and stereotypes are removed and a proper business meeting can be conducted and people can focus on what truly matter on the table - closing the deal.

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Mar 9, 2017

I'm color blind, so the less work I have to do figuring out what matches, the better. I am about as basic as it comes and my color scheme is white, grey, and black. If I am wearing a suit, I almost always have a white button up on so I don't make any fashion mistakes.

Feb 22, 2019

I was just about to make a post about this. Totally agree with the OP. In my mind, it says something of great insignificance about what you do if how you look doesn't matter.

Feb 22, 2019

Different organizations have very different cultural norms about dress codes and other types of outward conformity. Psychologist Michele Gelfand studies Tight vs. Loose national cultures, but her framework it totally applicable to different business cultures in the US:

"Individuals in Tight nations are constantly aware that their actions are being evaluated, so they are more cautious and dutiful. They also exhibit more impulse control and can better monitor and adjust their own behavior to fit a given situation. Individuals in Loose nations don't need to be so careful because many different behaviors are acceptable within a given situation. They can, if they want, sing or kiss or even curse in a public park or train station."

In professional services hierarchies, would you agree that new hires are "constantly aware that their actions are being evaluated, so they are more cautious and dutiful"?

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/culture-co...

Feb 26, 2019

Totally disagree.

excel is my canvas, and data is my paint - new york - brunch conesseiour - atheist - centrist - ENFP - TCU alum

Feb 22, 2019

Glad that you're working in an unusually laissez faire finance organization ;-)

Feb 26, 2019

Whatever requires the least amount of ironing.

Mar 4, 2019

I don't make my team dress any one way and they are smart enough to know they should dress well for any front facing situations.

For me personally it varies heavy. When meeting execs/bankers it's usually an Eton shirt (easy to take care of), super light sport coat from Isaia or a similar brand where they don't really get hot, and then jeans or chinos. Only have to do this a few times a week so it's fun usually.

When running hardcore ops with a bunch of people making under six figures it's just T shirt and jeans with a nice watch most of the time. There's no fucking way I could sit around a shitty warehouse office working a 15 hour day and wear a nice suit anyways. Would trash it way too fast.

FWIW, it's good to dress like who you're meeting/being around because it makes them more comfortable. When you're working to implement an ERP at a factory with a bunch of $15/h employees you can bet they will think you're a douche if you show up in a suit that runs their yearly salary.

Mar 6, 2019

Pleated, tassels, and a fat dimple