This past Thursday, The Wall Street Journal published a great article highlighting the growing trend of once again throwing on a coat and tie before heading off to the office.
The article, penned by Style columnist Christina Binkley, profiles Bickel & Brewer, a high powered law firm with offices in New York and Dallas. Perhaps an extreme case – even the mailroom clerks wear suits and ties – the firm is now seen as riding the wave of professional office wear.
Writes Binkley, “Even six months ago, that kind of talk might have sounded as outmoded as John Molloy, who penned ‘Dress For Success,’ the 1980s bible of corporate style. Casual clothing has long been seen as a sign of a modern attitude and has become an important job perk. In a 2007 column I wrote, a number of young lawyers defended working in Ugg boots, jeans and clingy T-shirts, arguing that they needed to be comfortable at work. They felt entitled.”
Not anymore. With the potential for layoffs very real, even in white shoe firms, lawyers (and many other professions) see dressing well at work as both a symbol of their professionalism and a form of career preservation.
I asked Binkley if she thought that, after researching her story, dressing up for work again was on the upswing across the board. “Yes” she said, but where a coat and tie makes sense. “I don’t think most offices are asking their mail room staff to wear suits. But in the same way that people are taking less time off work – because they don’t want to be away from the office with layoffs happening – they are also choosing to look more conservative and professional if they work in professions where that is expected.”
To real the full article, please CLICK HERE.