Monday, September 17, 2007

Business Casual (*Rant Warning*)

Maybe I'm just getting old and cranky, but I'm am becoming more and more appalled at the state of business attire that is worn these days. If you work in a professional or office environment and are inclined to wear things that are torn, frayed, show your underwear of parts of your skin that you would be embarassed to show your grandmother you might want to stop reading now.
Now I'm in my forties, I'm a Mom and I'm an Accountant, so I could easily be accused of being "conservative"... Although I'd classify myself as a social liberal. I believe in equality and fairness for everyone no matter what.
Business can be defined as "a person, partnership, or corporation engaged in commerce, manufacturing, or a service; profit-seeking enterprise or concern". Not the nasty profit motive...
Casual can be defined as "appropriate for wear or use on informal occasions; not dressy: casual clothes; casual wear". Informal is fine - it still has to be appropriate considering this definition.
Unfortunately somewhere in the last decade or so, the acceptable norm for business attire became "business casual" which can be defined as "attire that is acceptable for an office but quite casual, varying depending on the type of business and workplace". And the "casual" part has become "seeming or tending to be indifferent to what is happening; apathetic; unconcerned".
I don't care if you wear shoes with open toes or backs (I do, too). I don't care if you don't wear hoisery (its too warm in the summer). But don't complain if you don't wear underwear (and its obvious) or you consistently wear clothing that shows your underwear. I don't want to see anything associated with either or those situations and no - I won't be sympathetic when you're upset because someone has leared at you.
But then again, maybe its none of my business - "something with which a person is rightfully concerned".
All definitions as quoted from here. Give credit where it is due!
(Sorry - its been a rough Monday...)


Lesley said...

I had a real problem with this when I worked in daycare, which is a really inappropriate place to be displaying a thong (staff were doing this, we had no say in what the parents wore).
Actually, I'd really love to see the end of the whole showing yer ass fashion. We were at a store once and a lovely young lady squatted in front of us to look at a bottom shelf, she was totally blocking our progress down the aisle and was displaying her entire butt. Entire butt. I turned to Mr Yes and loudly said "Please take Cam that way, he does not need to see this lady's bum."
She looked at me in disgust and I said "Honey, if you're gonna show it off, you've got to expect commentary. Pull up your pants."
Her friend was laughing hysterically.

Alison said...

Hmm. I think I could probably be accused of taking the idea of business casual too far. I generally wear jeans to work, which many of those older than me don't (I'm not referring to you as old Miss Me, I'm just saying that the generation of librarians ahead of me wouldn't wear jeans to work). However, I can proudly say that I have never intentionally displayed my underwear in public!

Amy said...

This reminds me of something that my Night Unit Manager and I encountered at work the other day. Edie and I had to take a patient to X-Ray, and as we waited in the hallway, this girl walks by us. She's wearing frayed capri denim pants, a shirt that was way too thin, and shiny black high heels. Edie looked at me and made a smart ass comment about the gal's outfit, and I agreed with her. I said I would never let my teenage out of the house looking like that if I had kids. She told me that, that girl wasn't a teenager, she was the ER PM secretary.

So yeah, I'm totally with you on the 'business casual' attire. You're not old fashioned in the least.

Lisa said...

I totally agree with you view. There are just some things that the public shouldn't see, unless you are one of those kind of working gals. I try to wear age appropriate items with a little flair thrown in but I never want to look like I am trying to dress like my daughters. There is a place and a time for every thing .

scappyhappy said...

Way to Say It! I couldn't agree more Miss Me! I am considerably older but not that old. I was in high school when the dress code was dropped. Now that didn't mean we could wear jeans and still had to be nice pants and shirts...but I have seen a steady decline in the way we view how we look. I am certainly of the 60's era and I hated it. Order and disapline is necessary to run any office or agency. When you look sloppy you will act accordingly. I have seem way too many breasts other than my own lately and quite frankly if you have seen one set you have seen them all! Please ladies...a little mystery for our gentlemen is much more preferred than what we are seeing today...and yes I am 55..soon to be 56 and very proud! Oooppps did I just rant on your site?

AJ said...

Oh, I loved being a Veterinary Assistant. You wear scrubs and that's it! No worries about nice clothing, day in and day out.

I do agree that many businesses have become very lax about dress code. Especially the craft stores out here that wire 16, 17, 18 year olds.

Anywhoo, thanks for commenting. I HEART my new oven!

Dorothy said...

I used to teach high school, and I was SHOCKED at what the girls would wear to school - they looked like they were hitting a nightclub.

Crazy. Where are these people's mothers?

Ursula said...

I work in a business casual office and over the years we have had to instill rules because people were showing up in what could be pajamas or yard work clothes. No frays, holes, stains, hats, tanks, flips, etc. and denim only on Friday. Guess what? It's still casual! I guess what I'm saying is that business casual works - you just need rules. It's not a free-for-all.