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YVRLTN
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Does Dress Code Affect Office Culture?

Sat Apr 25, 2015 2:37 am

You work for a service business with multiple employees where you work from an office and you never meet your customers as part of your day to day job, all interaction is via email and phone, so no one knows what you are wearing or otherwise and your appearance does not affect your brand or image in any way like an external sales person, cashier, F/A etc etc.

Does the office dress code affect the corporate culture in anyway?

If there are two rival companies doing exactly the same thing, one is smart business attire (suits, shirt/tie, dress shoes etc) and the other is casual and jeans, t-shirts & sneakers go (f course any visits with clients or industry functions would require you to dress up), would there be a difference in culture and attitude towards customers, the job at hand, other employees and personal well being between the two?
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bennett123
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RE: Does Dress Code Affect Office Culture?

Sat Apr 25, 2015 6:37 am

IMO, if you dress like you are on the beach, then you attitude will be more casual.

I believe in drawing a clear line between work and non work.
 
opethfan
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RE: Does Dress Code Affect Office Culture?

Sat Apr 25, 2015 7:26 am

I want to work in clothes that get out of my way. If those clothes look fancy schmancy, sure thing. I don't mind. But the second a job becomes more about how many shirt buttons are visible, how close to my Adam's apple my tie needs to be, or that I can't sit in my chair how I want to for hours on end, my work will suffer and I'll start to look into other job choices.

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melpax
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RE: Does Dress Code Affect Office Culture?

Sun Apr 26, 2015 1:22 pm

Quoting bennett123 (Reply 1):
I believe in drawing a clear line between work and non work

Must admit that I've started to become a believer in this as well, must be part of getting older, part of the 'armour' I spose.

Going back a few years, it seemed that most people on the train in the mornings were in business casual, company polo shirt, etc. This has now gone back the other way here, I'm now seeing a lot more people in suits, ties, etc on the train than a few years back. There have been a few big companies here that previously had business casual dress codes & have gone back to a 'professional' dress code.
 
WestJet747
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RE: Does Dress Code Affect Office Culture?

Sun Apr 26, 2015 3:55 pm

Quoting YVRLTN (Thread starter):
Does the office dress code affect the corporate culture in anyway?

I like this question, because it gets talked about a lot but there's never any real consensus.

I've worked in environments where it was totally acceptable to wear a tshirt, shorts and flip-flops, while also having worked in environments where a suit and tie was a must. These places had noticeably different cultures, but in no way was dress a major driving component of that. I would say that dress is the symptom rather than the cause.

Quoting opethfan (Reply 2):
When form takes precedence over function, everyone loses.

A proper fitting suit should give you exceptional levels of both form and function.
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RE: Does Dress Code Affect Office Culture?

Sun Apr 26, 2015 6:55 pm

Quoting bennett123 (Reply 1):
IMO, if you dress like you are on the beach, then you attitude will be more casual.

I disagree, back in NZ I wore a suit or at the very least dress trousers with shirt & tie everyday, here in Norway I wear whatever I like, in summer that often includes shorts and a t-shirt, I don't believe my attitude to work has changed at all. When I do go on business trips I wear suit and tie on every customer visit.
 
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cjg225
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RE: Does Dress Code Affect Office Culture?

Mon Apr 27, 2015 12:21 am

Quoting melpax (Reply 3):
Going back a few years, it seemed that most people on the train in the mornings were in business casual, company polo shirt, etc. This has now gone back the other way here, I'm now seeing a lot more people in suits, ties, etc on the train than a few years back. There have been a few big companies here that previously had business casual dress codes & have gone back to a 'professional' dress code.

My company (a Fortune 100 R&D and manufacturing firm) has gone the opposite way. I am one of the very few who ever wears a tie to work. I spent 8 months last year at one of our manufacturing sites and I was probably the only person there to ever wear a tie.

To my understanding, my company used to have a higher-level dress code, but they've scaled back in recent years. I guess that some areas still dress more "professionally" than others; when I am at the facility where most of our North American marketing folks are based, I see many more ties and even some suits than I see at our manufacturing division HQ, where I am based.
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N328KF
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RE: Does Dress Code Affect Office Culture?

Mon Apr 27, 2015 12:35 am

Quoting bennett123 (Reply 1):

IMO, if you dress like you are on the beach, then you attitude will be more casual.

I believe in drawing a clear line between work and non work.

I think at most places there may some correlation. However, I have seen people in a suit-mandated environment who were completely unprofessional.
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Aesma
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RE: Does Dress Code Affect Office Culture?

Mon Apr 27, 2015 12:55 am

I mostly interact with clients by phone or IM, but I regularly see them face to face to troubleshoot something (I'm in IT). A suit might get in the way if I have to crawl under a desk, but more importantly, I'm not paid enough to afford one ! I recently noticed that there is a line on my salary slip for work clothing (not sure if it's supposed to pay for the clothes, or maybe just to wash them ?), a whole euro and a half per month !

Only my boss wears a suit, but he's old school (and old). I notice sometimes young people go too far in the casual department, like that intern we had who wore a jacket with a skull and bones on it, or another whose pants were hanging way too low, but otherwise I don't think the work we do in my team would improve one bit if we wore suits. I would definitely hate to have an useless piece of fabric hanging from my neck. Now if you double my salary, that could improve my work, and make me wear anything you want !
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StarAC17
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RE: Does Dress Code Affect Office Culture?

Mon Apr 27, 2015 1:06 am

Quoting opethfan (Reply 2):
I want to work in clothes that get out of my way. If those clothes look fancy schmancy, sure thing. I don't mind. But the second a job becomes more about how many shirt buttons are visible, how close to my Adam's apple my tie needs to be, or that I can't sit in my chair how I want to for hours on end, my work will suffer and I'll start to look into other job choices.

I honestly wonder if why the tie is still a thing, I really don't know how it enhances male fashion in any sense (women business attire doesn't have one) because personally I don't care either way if someone has a tie on as long as a they have a jacket and matching pants and a suit. Granted I put value on a nice watch where many people think that is a dead fashion symbol.

Quoting bennett123 (Reply 1):
IMO, if you dress like you are on the beach, then you attitude will be more casual.

I believe in drawing a clear line between work and non work.

That is fine but I don't think that it really affects productivity as who cares if you are casual if you get your job done.

One question I have regarding this is that when I watch sports which is big business I see owners in their private boxes on NFL games in a suit and tie on a Sunday. is that really comfortable?? One of the luxuries of being that rich is you can make the rules and if you were to wear jeans and a t-shirt then is that really that detrimental.

I have my answer in Mark Cuban, he is on the sidelines with the Mavericks in a T-shirt and Jeans and into the sport and even on Shark Tank he never has a tie he has a sport jacket unbuttoned.

If I was a billionaire I would dress like him and dress up when appropriate and if I owned a sports team I act a lot like Cuban and not Jerry Jones or Robert Kraft who wear a suit to watch football.

What are your thoughts on that situation?
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WestJet747
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RE: Does Dress Code Affect Office Culture?

Mon Apr 27, 2015 2:50 am

Quoting Aesma (Reply 8):
A suit might get in the way if I have to crawl under a desk

In what way? I'm genuinely curious, because in my line of work I have to wear a suit while doing physical work and it has never presented any difficulties in my day-to-day.

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 9):
is that really comfortable??

It is if you're wearing a suit that fits properly.
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melpax
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RE: Does Dress Code Affect Office Culture?

Mon Apr 27, 2015 10:48 am

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 9):
One question I have regarding this is that when I watch sports which is big business I see owners in their private boxes on NFL games in a suit and tie on a Sunday. is that really comfortable?? One of the luxuries of being that rich is you can make the rules and if you were to wear jeans and a t-shirt then is that really that detrimental.

Not sure what the situation is over there, but you'll find that most corporate boxes over here have dress codes, also attending a corporate box is effectively a business meeting in front of a game of football, and with booze served.....Even if the box area doesn't have a strict dress code, the occupants might have attended a pre-game lunch or dinner in a members area where there is a dress code.

Case in point, the Long Room in the MCC Members stand at the MCG. Membership to the MCC is highly coveted, one of the hottest club memberships in Melbourne. You can't just front up & pay for a membership, there is a waiting list, currently 18 years. And you must be nominated by 2 FULL members. Not uncommon for children to be nominated for membership at birth by their parents or grandparents.
You are then eligible for 'restricted membership', it's usually another 5 year wait for 'full' membership, at which point you can access the full range of MCC facilities, including the famed Long Room, and also have unlimted access to the full range of events held at the MCG, including the AFL Grand Final.

http://www.mcc.org.au/Membership/Waiting%20List.aspx

The Dress Standards for attending the Long Room are quite strict, no denim, Men must wear a shirt & tie, along with a suit or tailored jacket. Ladies must wear 'similar clothing'

In other areas of the Members area, you can wear denim, but you must wear a collared shirt, and 'proper' shoes, no sneakers/runners.

http://www.mcc.org.au/~/media/Test2/...ss_Standards_Examples_AFL_2014.pdf
 
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einsteinboricua
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RE: Does Dress Code Affect Office Culture?

Mon Apr 27, 2015 11:39 am

I dress fairly casual, but appropriately so: polo, jeans, and tennis shoes.

Bottom line: I'm not meeting with a client, the company doesn't require me to be all dressed up, and our office is, by itself, a casual environment.

When I started, I wore khakis and short sleeved shirts. Then I wondered: why am I dressing up for work? I'll do equally no matter what I'm wearing and my job has zero customer interaction. On the other hand I'm uncomfortable wearing dress shoes and subject to temperature swings due to the room temperature fluctuating.

I do think you want to have some sort of guidelines though. Not too casual, but shirt and tie are not a requirement either.
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ManuCH
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RE: Does Dress Code Affect Office Culture?

Mon Apr 27, 2015 12:46 pm

I work in IT. I dress casual, and our company has no dress code. When meeting with clients, I make sure that I at least wear a polo (as opposed to a t-shirt).

I don't own a suit or a tie, and never did. In our company, the only people you'll ever meet with a suit are from management, and only on days when meeting very important clients.

Yes, the general attitude in our company is pretty relaxed (but very efficient at the same time). I think dress code is the consequence (or the symptom), not the cause.
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bjorn14
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RE: Does Dress Code Affect Office Culture?

Mon Apr 27, 2015 1:09 pm

Currently I wear nice dress slacks and a collared shirt and when meeting clients a suit and tie. In a previous company, there was no dress code and the people who wore jeans and a tshirt were veritable slackers. We would always get memos to dress up the next day because we had important visitors coming and even then some people would ignore the memo. I actually like wearing a suit and tie.
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rfields5421
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RE: Does Dress Code Affect Office Culture?

Mon Apr 27, 2015 11:43 pm

Quoting YVRLTN (Thread starter):
Does the office dress code affect the corporate culture in anyway?

Very definitely.

The 'formal' ness of a dress code drives how a business see's itself in the world.
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kngkyle
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RE: Does Dress Code Affect Office Culture?

Tue Apr 28, 2015 1:32 am

I work at a tech company and wear jeans and t-shirts to work. The only rule is no shorts. I love it and find it to be a nice perk. I don't think it negatively impacts our performance in the slightest.
 
BMI727
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RE: Does Dress Code Affect Office Culture?

Tue Apr 28, 2015 3:11 am

Quoting YVRLTN (Thread starter):
Does Dress Code Affect Office Culture?

...or vice-versa. These days it is at the point where in a lot of ways culture, dress code, and branding are all interwoven.
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einsteinboricua
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RE: Does Dress Code Affect Office Culture?

Tue Apr 28, 2015 12:49 pm

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 15):
The 'formal' ness of a dress code drives how a business see's itself in the world.

I disagree with this, actually. Boeing, for example, is a leading company. Does that mean that because its employees can come to work with jeans and tennis shoes it's a throwback company?

We associate business attire with professionalism and casual with laid-back. This is judging a book by its cover. Sure you want to project a professional image, but what happens behind the scenes has nothing to do with this and does not affect overall productivity. Whoever is hired to work will strive to do a great job whether in a bathing suit and tank top or a tuxedo.
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JAGflyer
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RE: Does Dress Code Affect Office Culture?

Tue Apr 28, 2015 4:54 pm

My belief is that in an office-setting people should be comfortable and dress in a way that is professional but not overly dressy/formal. Clean, pressed pants with a collared shirt is how we dress Monday to Thursday. Friday is a casual day (casual as in jeans/t-shirts, running shoes...no shorts/beachwear). While I completely agree that office workers who do not interact with the public or represent the company externally should not have to wear suits/ties as it is not comfortable work-wear, especially for those who work 12 hour shifts. Who are people trying to impress or convey an image of formality to when you work with and see the same 40 people daily?

A few summers back, I worked in a team of 3 guys in a small office setting. We all wore business-casual attire (polo shirt and khakis). The one guy in the team from the Middle East insisted on wearing a full suit and tie daily. I thought he looked so out of place and tried to explain to him in a friendly way that he doesn't need to wear a suit every day. In his culture/background it is common to wear a suit/tie daily when going to work (even though temperatures in his home country were 40C +). He just didn't seem to want to adopt the NA way of comfortable dress.

[Edited 2015-04-28 10:02:29]
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Flighty
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RE: Does Dress Code Affect Office Culture?

Tue Apr 28, 2015 7:53 pm

Beancounting job, in our office there is probably a code, but people only follow it loosely. I'll wear khakis and a shirt from Saks or something. Some people feel a sense of order and purpose when they go through the wearing of office clothes. Then your personal life becomes more distinct from work. Also, people on the street will know you have a job, which can be good (cops get it, strangers you meet, etc).

It's part of growing older where you eventually are glad you are spending your day at work, because you realize that is a good thing. Then you dont mind wearing the office clothes you actually like. Which is another thing about getting older, you find work clothes that suit you just as well as your other clothes do.
 
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RE: Does Dress Code Affect Office Culture?

Tue Apr 28, 2015 8:47 pm

We have a dress code in the workshop. Flame retardant coveralls, hardhat, safety glasses, safety shoes/boots. The only requirement in the office is no safety shoes.
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Aesma
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RE: Does Dress Code Affect Office Culture?

Tue Apr 28, 2015 9:05 pm

I got safety gear with my job : a hard hat, a hard baseball cap for some variation, safety glasses, gloves, safety shoes. However I only need them when I have to work in the middle of a construction site. Still, the safety shoes are the only thing that could have been useful in the office, when someone dropped a heavy cabinet door the other day and it barely missed my feet thanks to a reflex jump I made. They look like running shoes however, which I find ugly.

Quoting WestJet747 (Reply 10):
In what way? I'm genuinely curious, because in my line of work I have to wear a suit while doing physical work and it has never presented any difficulties in my day-to-day.

I'm not comfortable wearing a suit.
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cpd
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RE: Does Dress Code Affect Office Culture?

Tue Apr 28, 2015 11:47 pm

My dress code is cycling jersey and shorts, cycling shoes and my office is a bicycle. 

I don't think that wearing a suit changes the attitude of some people in work places. There are those who will have the same bad attitude, regardless of attire.
 
usflyer msp
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RE: Does Dress Code Affect Office Culture?

Wed Apr 29, 2015 2:02 am

I once fired a girl for wearing flip-flops to the office. I hate flip flops pathologically. They are not office attire under any circumstances. Just looking professional from the ankles up is not okay IMHO...
 
Ken777
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RE: Does Dress Code Affect Office Culture?

Wed Apr 29, 2015 3:48 am

I spent a lot of time in retailing and marketing to retailers and so I was wearing a suit most of my working years.

To be blunt, I like a good suit for work - or at least the work I was involved in. Either a suit of blazer/sport coat with a reasonably decent pants.

One reason I liked those tailored coats was all the pockets for various bits. Women have a purse for a dozen bits and a pair of guy's jeans only have 4 or 5 pockets. Toss in a t-shirt and your mobile storage is pretty pathetic.

Quoting WestJet747 (Reply 4):
A proper fitting suit should give you exceptional levels of both form and function.



And proper fitting is a big key. The "slim fit" that is popular these days looks to me that someone is wearing their little brother's suit.

An well fitting suit should not bind or pull when standing and continue to be comfortable when sitting.

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 9):
I honestly wonder if why the tie is still a thing,

A tie is a simple decoration that can be pretty effective in letting a guy demonstrate his personality while wearing corporate battle dress. Changing a tie can effectively "change" a suit. And, in my case they have been most effective in catching food that would otherwise fall in my lap - which would leave an even more embarrassing stain.
 
rfields5421
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RE: Does Dress Code Affect Office Culture?

Wed Apr 29, 2015 12:03 pm

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 25):
A tie is a simple decoration that can be pretty effective in letting a guy demonstrate his personality while wearing corporate battle dress. Changing a tie can effectively "change" a suit.

When I had to make presentations to senior management - I wore a subtle shade solid color tie.

Other days I wore a tie with pictures of whales, or classic movie scenes, etc.

A tie lets you go from very formal to casual to whimsical very quickly and for a much smaller cost than a complete outfit.

Quoting einsteinboricua (Reply 18):
Boeing, for example, is a leading company. Does that mean that because its employees can come to work with jeans and tennis shoes it's a throwback company?

I was speaking of impact on the corporate culture - do the employees see themselves in a formal structured environment, or in a casual environment? I've worked from military uniforms to jeans and t-shirt companies to suit and tie companies. The 'uniform' / dress code definitely reflects the culture of a company in my experience.

One thing I would advise anyone - when showing up for the first interview - dress formally. You can be overly formal and it not hurt an interview, but being overly casual will almost always mean no second interview.

[Edited 2015-04-29 05:04:23]
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ams747757
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RE: Does Dress Code Affect Office Culture?

Thu Apr 30, 2015 1:55 pm

It seems a lot of companies in the US are going with business casual, which is rather ambiguous, but in general I wear a button down dress shirt and dress pants, no tie.
Many places have casual Fridays where its common to see jeans and a polo especially during the summer. It also depends on your level of interaction with a client, if you work behind the scenes then you'll have a less formal dress code usually. Although, I interact with suppliers for my company right now, and we usually wear what they do, which is business casual.

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 9):
I have my answer in Mark Cuban, he is on the sidelines with the Mavericks in a T-shirt and Jeans and into the sport and even on Shark Tank he never has a tie he has a sport jacket unbuttoned.

LOL good point. Cuban isn't too fond of dressing up I think. I do like the jacket with no tie look though, for me it is much more comfortable yet still dressier than just a button down with no jacket. I like the look of a tie, but hate wearing it, its not comfortable. Herjavec has been doing the jacket/no tie thing too. With the French cuff shirts and pocket square in the jacket you can dress up that look without needing a tie. Daymond and Kevin dress up more.

Richard Branson also seems to prefer this look. Who wants to wear a tie on a Caribbean island anyway?
 
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RE: Does Dress Code Affect Office Culture?

Thu Apr 30, 2015 2:09 pm

Quoting bennett123 (Reply 1):
I believe in drawing a clear line between work and non work.

As my hobby and my job are to a large part the same I obviously have a different opinion. I dress like I want, one day I wear smart designers clothes, and the other day, of course only in my home office, a bathrobe. What I never wear at home, however, is a track suit. Thats too trashy.

Banks are very keen on dress codes for two reasons: for one they need to appear very serious to their clients so they can easier overreach them, which is the key to their success. Too many clients still think the more serious the dress the more worth is the man. Second it makes it easier for bankers regard themselves as serious and honest if they dress like that.
 
rfields5421
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RE: Does Dress Code Affect Office Culture?

Thu Apr 30, 2015 2:36 pm

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 9):
One question I have regarding this is that when I watch sports which is big business I see owners in their private boxes on NFL games in a suit and tie on a Sunday. is that really comfortable?? One of the luxuries of being that rich is you can make the rules and if you were to wear jeans and a t-shirt then is that really that detrimental.

Most major sports franchise owners are very comfortable in a suit and tie. They had to wear such a 'uniform' to get to the point where they had the hundreds of millions of dollars to become owners. They also use the games as a venue to entertain potential sponsors and political officials. A suit and tie are essential in those relationships. It's a BUSINESS first, and a sport second.

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 9):
I have my answer in Mark Cuban, he is on the sidelines with the Mavericks in a T-shirt and Jeans and into the sport and even on Shark Tank he never has a tie he has a sport jacket unbuttoned.

Basketball suits Cuban for a casual sport - but when dealing with clients, sponsors, advertisers -Cuban is in a suit and tie. You don't see him in his suite in the AAC, but he is there as much as he is courtside. When he was a software salesman, and when he was founding his own business - he was always in a suit and tie. When making the deal which made him a billionaire, he was in a suit and tie. He's often in a suit and tie in the Mavericks office.

Yes, he does apparently prefer a more casual clothing style when in public.

He makes a very clear line between business activities - suit and tie - and fun activities - very casual.
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vikkyvik
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RE: Does Dress Code Affect Office Culture?

Thu Apr 30, 2015 3:24 pm

Currently sitting at my desk in black safety shoes, jeans, and an untucked polo. I would be wearing sneakers, but since we need safety shoes out on the shop floor, it's easier to wear them all day.

We have a certain customer (a certain large company EinsteinBoricua mentioned above) in our building constantly, and I work with them fairly often. Their dress varies from very casual (equivalent to me) to business casual. Pretty rare to see any of the regulars in a suit and tie.

As for my employer, we range from more casual than me up to business casual. Again, rare to see anyone in a suit and tie.

As a few others have noted, I'm not comfortable in a suit. It's not just the fit - I'm really not that comfortable wearing that much clothing, unless it's cold. At work, I would be sweating my balls off.
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