Worst Dressed

There’s a long thread on Slashdot about article run in the Syndney Morning Herald saying that IT workers have been dubbed the worst dressed corporate employees. If you want to spend a few minutes thinking about something else for a change, this is an amusing diversion. Cranky IT nerds duke it out over “style” and what is and isn’t IT and where the girls are. Get yer stereotypes here!

A few excerpts:

Fashion critique: The most disconcerting thing, though, is the growing presence of fat guys in kilts.

How to get dressed: If I could get office-appropriate wrinkle resistant shirts A-F, and pants 1-3, and consult a simple n-dimensional style-matching matrix on the website, I might finally get to talk to a girl. …and the website should have an easy to query API for style-match checking.

Social commentary: I see a jackass in a suit and they are still a jackass. I see a king in rags and they are still a king.

Oh, it’s a total time waster, this thread is. Sometimes funny, sometimes bitter, unraveling into a slugfest here and there as indignent nerds fight about the value of IT and getting dressed for work.

Disclaimer: Lately, I hardly ever go to client sites. I’m at home more and more because my clients are repeat business – I don’t have to suit up and go make an impression. I do get cleaned up now and then to go to meetings, but mostly, I’m home in flannel jammies. Not office appropriate, but I think they’re pretty cute. These guys probably wouldn’t consider me IT, though.

5 thoughts on “Worst Dressed”

  1. You know, I find this very disconcerting. Men as a rule have to worry about 4 items of clothing maximum – shoes, pants, belt and shirt. Honestly, with stores like Nordstrom Rack and Ross how hard could it be to look decent for a modest amount of $? These are people who are responsible for the information infrastructure of a company and they can’t figure out how to get dressed in khakis, slip-ons and a shirt with a matching belt? What’s up with that?

    As a female marketing professional (who believes she has a decent sense of style), I would like to submit that a single visit to the men’s department in Nordstrom with the guidance of an experienced sales person and a budget of about $700 would see them dressed well for an entire year. Incremental visits at about $200 every three months to replace shirts or other items that are finished due to accidents and/or wear & tear. So, all told they are looking at an annual work clothing budget of around $1500. Once they have the hang of it they can abandon the friendly and helpful people at Nordy’s for a serious price reduction at the Rack or Ross.

    Honestly, if you can manage and support corporate information projects and infrastructure I think you can manage to look good doing it. Sheesh

  2. “What’s up with that” is right. You’d think they could figure it out. And some of them do – there’s a guy who says something like, “Hello, get some khakis and a polo shirt and you’re done, okay? What’s the big deal, moron?”

    But when you see how some of these guys get bogged down in other things, it’s a wonder they can get dressed at all.

    Also, I think there might be something around the whole “cult of the eccentric” with this particular corporate culture.

    Jammies or no, I know enough to not wear mine to a client site. But I SWEAR I saw a guy in the halls of Redmond in the old flannel pj pants and a long sleeved t-shirt. I thought I was in a dorm.

  3. “Cult of the eccentric” works if you are a genius driving value for an entire industry by truly innovating. If you are the guy who fixes my computer or manages the database, you need to be dressed to the same standards as anyone else in your workplace. Mr. IT Guy is not a special snowflake. And if it takes him Garanimals to kook presentable, so be it!

  4. I had teacher in high school named Angus McIntyre that wore the exact same thing everyday. Khakis, brown loafers, brown belt, light-blue button down shirt and an undershirt. The undershirt color corresponded to the day of the week. His reason, he didn’t have time to worry about what he was going to wear.
    Let’s not forget that most of these guys can’t remember to sleep or eat, much less how to dress.

    Being a “Nick Burns” myself, I keep with the polo and slacks philosophy and I follow 3 simple rules…
    Rule 1: khaki colored slacks go with everything except khaki colored shirts.
    Rule 2: the darker the shirt, the less a stain shows up.
    Rule 3: belt and shoes must match each other.

    Maybe I’ll try the Nordstrom’s idea Terry threw out. Terry, you wanna go with?

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