Hope you don’t mind but I have to brag a little today. I’m delighted to be quoted in this month’s issue of Real Simple magazine along with friends Jessica Miller-Merrell and Rachelle Falls. The topic: office attire.
While I’m quoted talking about some of the outrageous things I’ve seen people wear to work, I think it raises an important point about attire in the workplace. Our clothing does not define us. Case in point, Wired recently published an article titled, “The White House Gives Up on Making Coders Dress Like Adults”. The title is a bit tongue in cheek. It shares the story of Mikey Dickerson, the former Google engineer selected to lead the U.S. Digital Service, and his attire.
Dickerson was hired because of his skills and abilities, not his wardrobe.
I do understand that certain industries have expectations where attire is concerned. Wall Street is a good example. That doesn’t mean that someone wearing a pair of jeans and Birkenstocks couldn’t come in one day and be wildly successful. A suit does not tell us if a person is smart or capable. Business attire doesn’t tell us if someone is a great leader.
It’s time for organizations to put emphasis where it really matters – performance and results. If employees want to put their money in their Roth IRA instead of buying expensive suits, we should support that. Right?
In turn, employees do need to practice some level of good judgment when it comes to work attire. Clean and neat is always in style.
Trust me when I say that human resources professionals do not want to be the fashion police. We also don’t enjoy writing dress code policies. There are so many other more productive things for us to work on.
[Tweet “Business attire doesn’t tell us if someone is a great leader.”]
When we talk about ditching policies, wouldn’t it be awesome to ditch dress codes? Let people wear attire that they look good in. That’s comfortable. So we could all focus on meeting goals (and making money).
Image courtesy of HR Bartender0