Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Suit & Tie Not For Me

On television and in the media you see people in suits and ties all the time. However, most people these days only wear suits and ties to formal functions, rarely to work environments.

I went to one potential client site a while back and was grateful for NOT wearing a suit and tie – the person who I had the meeting with was wearing a white t-shirt and blue jeans! Not only that, his t-shirt had a fist, with the middle finger extended and the letters “FU” on either side of the “bird” finger. Hardly what I thought was proper in a business environment.

Clearly, some dress styles are just too lax for the office. I’ve worked in offices where people wear blue jeans, and it always seems too comfy to be work. Maybe I’m old fashioned, but blue jeans are only for Fridays, which is commonly called ‘casual Friday.’

Suits and ties are uncomfortable at best. The material is usually quite thin, and provides no protection from the outside elements. Even when you bulk-up with winter overcoats, scarves, mitts and a toque, suits are so drafty that somewhere the cold creeps in, causing no end to grief.

Ties have their own potential wardrobe malfunctions. If you don’t swing your tie up over your shoulder before going to the bathroom, it could easily find itself in the sink, or worse, the toilet. That’s not water on that tie. . .

Ties also can present a choking or a blinding hazard. On windy days, ties blow up and into one’s face. I’ve had my tie blow up and cover my eyes, while crossing major intersections. Definitely a dangerous situation – caused by something as simple as a neck tie. While eating, ties can get stuck in your food, not only making a mess of your meal and tie, but causing great embarrassment to those around you. Occasionally, while sitting outside on a patio enjoying a fine meal, a tie can blow-up into your mouth. Although I have never heard of anyone choking on their tie, it probably has happened somewhere.

I’m glad the dress code for most offices these days is business casual. A nice pair of casual pants, a button-down shirt with a collar, and comfy shoes. That’s my kind of work-wear.

Still there are offices where a suit and tie are the norm. These offices just are too stuck-up for my taste. If I go to a potential client’s site and they are wearing suits and ties, I’ll still be in my cozy and comfy business casuals. Why?

Most people spend most of their lives at work. Think about it – on average people work eight-hours per day, five-days per week. While on weekends you only usually have two whole days to relax. So, you might as well be comfortable while working all those hours and days, otherwise your work may not be to standard.

If you are constantly adjusting your tie, jacket, pants, belt or any of a zillion other things on your person, chances are you are spending more time worrying about trying to get comfortable, than doing your job.

I don’t mind wearing a suit and tie occasionally for special occasions. But in a work environment, I find the constant need to adjust my tie, make sure my jacket is on right, keep the collar tight and other suit and tie “things” a distraction from my job.

So, from now on, when I go to potential work sites I will be in business casual. If the potential client site is all suit and ties, then that worksite is just not for me.

Ahhhh . . . comfortable work clothes at last!

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