TO SUIT, or NOT TO SUIT?
Over time, office attire has become somewhat formulaic. A uniform, even. The idea behind such attire is entrenched in the basic instinct of human nature: the desire to fit in. Within various professional conglomerates – each with their own image to uphold – diverging from the norm by expressing individual style opens up the employees of said company to potential scrutiny. In short, the clothing we choose to wear within well-established businesses (and those that are on the cusp of establishing themselves) could impede the way we are seen, addressed, or handled at work, in turn affecting the overall image of the company. That’s not to say, though, that the universally accepted, professional ‘uniform’ of suit, shirt, and tie is the only way to uphold a trustworthy, professional image.
Of course, there are roles that require a type of uniform – chefs, mechanics, scientists, medical workers, shop floor employees, to name but a few – due to health and safety concerns or the need for employees to be easily spotted amongst laymen. If this is not the case, however, then employees should be asked to identify appropriate attire that everyone can be on board with.
Wearing a suit doesn't make you a team player, nor does it warrant diligence. It is, again, a façade that the services you provide are reinforced by the clothes on your back. Yet, as team players, we should be reminded the importance of working from the same rule book to uphold the image of a company in the same way, to the same standard. An important aspect of this is ensuring that there is freedom for self-expression and comfortable practicality in work attire: a selection of clothing set aside for work, adapted for both personal style and with profession in mind. Although an overused description, it is true that fashion extends beyond image – through the personal choices you make, it becomes a visual representation of personal taste, culture, society, time, and practicality.