Friday, August 30, 2013
I disapprove of "casual dress" in business because I think it fosters a casual attitude about work. (CLICK HERE to see the excellent article from Marie Claire.)
Several years ago a young woman I know had applied to be a substitute teacher and she was interviewed and was given her first assignment. She had asked for my advice about what to wear for the interview and I told her to wear "the uniform": navy suit, white blouse, heels, and to carry a nice handbag; fortunately, she had a navy suit and she borrowed navy pumps from a friend; I loaned my Coach navy briefcase for her to use. When she told me she was having her first assignment, I asked her what she was going to be wearing. When she showed me the outfit I asked if there were a dress code. She said that her interviewer had told her that she was supposed to "dress professionally". I told her bluntly that I thought her outfit was not professional. The outfit had a short skirt and the top was too low-cut for daytime wear. I said, "It looks more like a party dress." She said, "It's trendy." I said, "I think they want conservative." She said, "Well, they know I'm young." I said, "Did you have a tour; did you notice what any of the other women were wearing at school?" She said she hadn't paid attention. I thought of using Giuliani Rancic's term to describe the outfit: "hoochie mama"; but decided against voicing that opinion, especially after I had already told her I thought it was not professional.
She was never called to substitute again. Of course, I don't know if the apparel was the reason for her not being recalled or the fact that she had no background in the subject of the teacher she replaced.