--> divine angst: dress for success

Thursday, September 09, 2004

dress for success

I have always been a firm believer that a dress code is a good thing.

I might be slightly biased—my high school had a rigidly strict dress code forbidding short, jeans, and skirts above the knee, to name a few items. My undergrad institution had a "dress tradition"—men in coat and tie, women in dresses or skirts. Nothing there was ever enforced, but I'd venture to guess that a small majority of students took the tradition into account when dressing in the morning. I know I rarely wore t-shirts or shorts to class (though I wore jeans fairly often); many men on campus wore khaki shorts with a button-down and tie. People tended to take care in their appearance. And that's a good thing. I've found that I concentrate better when I've had to make an effort to look nice in the morning.

I, too, am one of those people who think there are certain events EVERYONE should dress for—church, the theatre, appearances in court. Even in the workplace, make sure your clothes reflect the image you want them to. After all, consider this:
"That was the case for Erika Mangrum, owner of the Iatria Spa and Health Center in Raleigh, North Carolina. She recalls sending one employee home to change after she came to work wearing a cropped Playboy T-shirt that showed her stomach and a navel ring."

I have only one question for that employee: is this EVER acceptable?

Business and schools are implementing dress codes? Good for them. If schools are hiring teachers, and companies hiring employees, who are showing up in inappropriate attire, well, why were they hired in the first place? Teachers, realize that you are the adults students interact with the most. Dress accordingly. Employees, recognize that a sloppy or trashy look is not appealing to customers. Buy an iron and hide your tattoos. Take pride in your appearance.