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Dress Code
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The new dress code at work is causing consternation in the ranks, and the biggest source of the upset is due to two factors:

1. Definitions of certain words in the world of clothing and fashion are vague and shifting.

2. Our counterparts on the other side of the employment fence who are in constant contact with large groups of customers are often to be seen dressed in jeans (ragged and otherwise), tee shirts and sandals.

The first confusion arises in the definition of a tee shirt. When is a tee shirt an undershirt, or a knockabout shirt, or a well-made knit top (short-sleeved) and therefore acceptable? I wear knit tops from Lands' End and consider them to be in line with the dress code; others say not. I've taken to wearing coordinated layered tops: tank or tee with big shirt or jacket over it. Looks nice, I think.

The second point above is a sore point with many of us. Far from looking professional and setting an example for the people they work with (and for) the counterparts I mentioned are often sloppy in the extreme; not only jeans and tees, but what I would call housedresses as well. Clothing that I would never even consider wearing to work. The difference? They have a stronger, more militant union.

So the bottom line is that I have had to buy a few clothes and retire a few favorites and pay far more attention to my wardrobe than I really care to. In my book, if I'm clean, comfortable and reasonably presentable, I'm happy. But my boss asked me to be more "spiffy" and I've done it, I hope to his satisfaction. I respect him and always watch his back--I would not want him criticized for something I had done (or not done), especially something so easily remedied.

We are a visual species and what we see through our primary sense is important to us. [This dress code business has been the source for a whole series of anonymous tattling phone calls to the head man.] So we get a multi-page memo on the dress code for "business casual" and nothing on issues that I would deem of greater importance (like ethics and work standards and gossip). Appearance vs. substance. As my father always said: Ah, well, ma cherie. C'est la vie.

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