If I Was Running A Company…Business Attire

I’m going to begin a new series called “If I Was Running A Company…”  It will be mostly HR topics on any subject that ticks.  For the record, this is the second edition, the first one was last week, but I’ll call it the lost post.

First, before going into the meat of the topic, here’s a list of events people should wear suit:

  • Weddings
  • Court proceedings
  • Funerals
  • Award shows
  • An event that you have the very UTMOST respect.

Notice I never mention business in any of it.  I consider business optional depending on the company culture.  I’m in the minority and this would stun some people, but I’m not a fan of business suits.

I understand a business suit represents presence, taste, maturity, and professionalism from the outside.  However, to me, it’s a person wearing the business suit.   To follow up on my post on the interviewing process:  the business suits, the interviews, the applications; the thank you letters, the follow-ups lead to one answer why they hire you:  you can follow directions. 

Most businesses would not care of your ideas or what you do; they would look at you that you’re clean, you have no distractions, you memorize your lines, and you said the best lines.  The important thing most of the managers look at is what they are wearing.  It will tell that the person is serious for the job, but in reality, you passed the evening gown edition of the pageant. 

If I were running a company, I would setup guidelines of business attire.  To me, here are my guidelines:

Chapter XX: Business Attire

There is a relaxed dress code; you can wear any clothing attire that you want.  There are a few exceptions:

·         No tank tops; no strap outfits; no bra showing; no midriffs; no see-throughs; pants, shorts, skirts must be at knee length.

·         No corporate or competing logos, except ours.

·         No foul language or explicit actions (i.e., a picture of a gun, picture of person in blood, sex euphuisms, and others) on your attire.

·         If the attire is deemed “controversial”, the attire will be put up for a vote.  To pass, it must have two-thirds majority of the employees.

·         If you are doing business at their place, please follow their business attire guidelines. 

What I’m showing here is the President, CEO, or Owner creating the company culture.  If the President prefers business suits, people should wear business suits if they want to work there.  If the President wants a relaxed nature, then the person creates that culture.  The top person should set a culture that people have responsibilities but at the same time are comfortable under their skin.

What this boils down to is the mentality of what the president wants to present to customers, potential employees, and vendors.   I would want people to work and not worry about their appearance.  I personally do not like a business suit because I look at it as typical, uncomfortable, and a little bit of kissing up.  I never felt comfortable about wearing a business suit.  I’m a t-shirt and jeans guy, but I do wear “business casual” attire because I’m following the company’s guidelines.  What the president needs to know to setup their company is who they are, what the others want to view him/her, and what can you bring.  These three will attract employees to work because they get a sense of the comapny and most importantly, who you want.

 If you want to know if you got the right person; look at the personality, mannerisms, and tone of the person.  Does the person have great posture?  Is the person excited for the job?  Is the person humble, confident, or cocky about his/her skills?  Does this person have great ideas to share?  Can the person do the job?  Does this person share my mission and values of what I’m doing?  All these questions should interest the applicant if they want to come to work for your company.  This is why people are going into social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to see if their applicant’s personality and skills meet their qualifications to fit in with the company.  You don’t need a business suit for that (although showing pictures of doing stupid things won’t help your cause).  I would rather have my president resemble their culture and be comfortable who they are instead of trying to read a book of starting a business.

Remember,”The clothes don’t make the man, the mind and heart makes up the majority of the man.”

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