Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Corporate A-Tired

Heh. What's up with the bad puns lately? Sorry about that (Look, it's a non-Jericho post!).

I have been living in the corporate world for a while now, and I am not a fan. Being one of those seemingly rare individuals who isn't really motivated by money, I find the whole thing full of stinky, preposterous wind.

Let's take The Uniform. Men: Dress pants, dress shirt (usually either white, blue or pink) and a tie (boring, monochromatic or duo-chromatic stripey aberrations). There are very few I find this look intriguing on. Jack Bauer and Fox Mulder come to mind, but they both look great in a t-shirt and jeans, so maybe that's not a fair comparison. The point is, it's boring and dull and all it reminds me of is lemmings, not successful, powerful businessmen.

Women: Slacks of some sort (black, brown and gray), knit top or female version of the dress shirt, closed-toe shoe, occasional skirt. To be fair, the women get a little more leeway with their clothing options, and we don't have to deal with the ridiculousness of the tie, but we are expected to be in some sort of heel, which means for a lot of women, carrying some kind of flat shoe to actually walk home in, and the ridiculous, but not nearly as common, pantyhose (even at the most conservative of places, I see women shunning the evil pantyhose more and more, regardless of what the Official Dress Code is).

I come from a background of casualness. I have spent a good part of my life wearing jeans (nice ones) and t-shirts (good ones) to work. Even after a good year or more of working in this conservative type world, I am still regularly flummoxed as to what exactly is appropriate. And although it is nice to have more options because I am a woman, sometimes the idea of the pants/shirt/tie combo sounds easy and virtuous.

But here's the thing. I have never in my life been impressed by someone simply because they are wearing some semblance of a suit. In fact, my bias tends to lean the other way, as I have found the suit wearing public to be judgemental and snooty in a way that completely turns me off. Just because you look nice does not mean you are in any way smart, cunning or reliable. Some of the brainiest, most interesting and loyal types that I have known probably look like homeless people to the suit crowd. Mean, incompetent jerkwads come in all manner of clothing. Genius does not (necessarily) wear Armani.

I'm not saying that we should all become a nation of sweatpants wearing slobs. But the idea that only a suit, instead of a well put together jean and top ensemble means that a person is more worthy or more capable than the other is simply ridiculous and beyond what is really important in this world. Being comfortable, causal and well put together do not make a person less, just like a frackin tie doesn't necessarily make you someone I should be doing business with.


deanna said...

most designers I have met in my career [at least the ones worth their salt] wear jeans...

GirlFran said...

"... a nation of sweatpants wearing slobs..." nice. LOL. I think I speak for both coasts when I say that the middle part of the US LOVES their sweats. Oh right. I am wearing htem right now.......DON'T YOU JUDGE ME!