Sunday, August 26, 2007

Attire Specification

If you are an 8 to 6, sit-at-your-desk-and-work-in-a-cubicle kind of person, you would probably have come across this term. It's called the 'Dress Code'. Organizations these days seem to go to great lengths in specifying what exactly the company dress code is. For men it would be something like this: A pair of dark colored trousers worn with a light colored, full sleeved and collared shirt. The trousers and shirt can be plain or pin-striped. This has to be matched with clean, black or dark tan leather shoes worn with a matching dark colored pair of socks. A black or dark tan belt can be worn, with a conservative buckle. A tie can be worn based on the occasion and ...blah ..blah ..blah... and so on and so forth. As for the ladies, everyone and their favorite pet already knows that they have a much wider range to choose from when it comes to their wardrobe. So I am not even venturing to attempt listing what their dress code specification would look like.

The point I am trying to make is this. What started as "Your attire should be formal when you come for work" has now grown to be a couple of pages long and lays down, in the minutest detail, exactly how we are supposed to appear at work. The only difference I find between this and the uniform prescribed in an army is that the corporate dress code lets you choose the colors you want to wear. To an extent. But I guess it's just a matter of time before they realize this gap in the dress code and move to close it!

The one tiny ray of hope in the above depressingly starched and pressed scenario is what is increasingly being referred to as Friday Dressing, which lots of organizations are adopting. This is basically a dress-down day allowed for the employees. This is when they are finally allowed to get rid of the stuffy collars and unbending creases and give rein to their inner fashionista. (Ok, Friday Dressing may be not exactly mean one can go the ‘fashionista’ route but I just wanted to show the contrast)

But you know what I think? I think some bright spark in management came up with this Friday Dressing thing too. And not out of the goodness of heart. He/She/It probably realized that employee resentment at the formal dress code was reaching a boiling point and convinced the stuffy shirts at the top to throw out this tit-bit. Voila!! Employees are happy to get out of the stuffy clothes at least once a week. Management is very happy they don't have to deal with resentful employees. Bright spark is extremely happy with the bonus, the car and the corner office he/she/it got.

Now let’s just wait till the Friday Dress code grows to be a couple of pages long!!

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