What are your thoughts on changing dress code?

iBankedUp's picture
iBankedUp - Certified Professional
Rank: Human | banana points 11,751

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 (40)

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."

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 17, 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.

Mar 9, 2017

Agree. An excellent suit looks great, but I'll never understand why people get such a ridiculous hard-on for them. One of the sharpest PM's I have ever known (dead now) wore ridiculous jogging shorts in the afternoon, and probably felt more relaxed and able to think/reflect/focus as a result. All the above people talking about their suit obsession are classic cases of form over substance

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Mar 9, 2017

Right, nobody is arguing against seeing clients in nice clothes, but junior bankers wanting to require the wearing of suits 7 days a week so they can feel more preftigious is laughable. You're sitting in front of a computer all day, wear what you want within reason.

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Mar 9, 2017

Yeah, totally. It makes no practical sense (i.e. doesn't make the company any more profitable) to make someone dress up in their church clothes just to stare at a screen, make spreadsheets, and talk on the phone all day

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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!

Mar 9, 2017

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

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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 10, 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

Fuck you loser.

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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
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Mar 9, 2017