|Courtesy of WSJ.|
The teaser on my Friday Wall Street Journal talked about dress for dining. So, in addition to reading about how gracious dear ole Congress was to find a way to keep us up and running for a few more days, I clicked on over to the Style section of my online subscription. Steve Garbarino apparently has taken up real estate inside my head. In “Jacket (Not) Required,” Garbarino talks about the demise of the expectation and/or dress code for dining out. While dressing in your best and going out to a nice dinner was once an exciting occurrence, in today’s society it has become increasingly more widely accepted to exchange the chic look for the slob look.
Classic fine dining restaurants, once with a strictly “jacket and tie required” policy have laxed their rules to accommodate customers. Whether because of a bust economy or a generation who just doesn’t care, these establishments have loosened their policies just as sure as their customers are loosening their ties.
I think this is a shame. Garbarino rightly asks in a Carrie Bradshaw-esque style,
“Is dressing up the new way to stand out?”
|Love him or hate him, The Donald always looks sharp.|
I remember last year reading Donald Trump’s “The Art of the Deal” for a paper I was working on. One of the most interesting things I found was how dress relates to the economy. In the book, Trump talks about how while the economy is booming, guys would come into his office in tie-less shirts, khakis, more casual shoes. But one of the first things that went with the end of a booming economy was lax dress. People in business need to be taken seriously, and dress is one of the first ways they made that happen in a less than desirable economy.
The weird thing is, however, that I’ve seen that to some extent in this economic climate, but at the same time, as this article suggests, people have stopped caring and expect the world to cater to that.
So while Wall Street might be buttoned up and French-cuffed, the rest of the country is walking into fine dining establishments in shorts and an open collar. Not okay.
Back to Mr. Trump, one of the key things that he points out is that if you want to be successful and distinguish yourself, there is no casual Friday. While the rest of the office, campus, restaurant looks like disheveled slobs, you can stand out in the crowd. Have you ever looked at someone who was sharply dressed and thought, “What were they thinking?” Probably not. I’ve harped on this before, but I really believe that you get a lot more open doors when you look the part.
One of my favorite quotes from the article is from 80-year-old journalist and Virginia-born style icon, Tom Wolfe.
"You'll look terrific, and miles above those slobs. And you'll get more respect. Formal dress really has social impact. You'll be treated with greater deference than the 45-year-old guy dressed like a rock drummer."
So true. Gentlemen, rock that suit and cufflinks, and ladies, put on those heels and pearls. Chances are, there will be someone in the room who wishes they looked as great as you.