A few weeks ago, we ran a poll about professional uniforms. Not the company issued kind, but the idea of wearing the same thing every day (i.e. black turtleneck and jeans a la Steve Jobs). We asked you to weigh in and here’s what you said:
I must admit that I’m surprised so many people would entertain the idea. I thought people might be hesitant to commit to the same thing every day. It could get boring. But the comments were very honest, mostly about the pressure we’re under when it comes to our attire.
“I hate the stress that comes with trying to dress professionally, yet comfortably.”
“Let’s face it, we’re a society of people who either consciously or subconsciously make snap judgments about others based on how they look.”
“I want to be known for my abilities, my talents, and not for what I’m wearing.”
Some comments did equate wearing a suit with wearing a uniform. As someone who spent the majority of my corporate career wearing a suit, I find myself rebelling against that now that I’m a consultant. I guess if the corporate culture leans toward a dark suit and a solid shirt…then sure, that could be a uniform of sorts. As one person pointed out, it does mean that employees have to find ways to tastefully standout in a crowd. Maybe that’s a pair of eye catching socks, a bold tie, or a piece of statement jewelry.
One thing is clear, people want to be evaluated based upon what they do – not what they wear.