Kill dress codes

If there is one key takeaway that I have from spending the past half-dozen years living in downtown Cincinnati and Over-the-Rhine, it’s that it gets hotter than hell in this town. I don’t know what it is, I guess the concrete and the reflective buildings and all the women in workout shorts, but I sweat an absurd amount when I’m on the street.

Fred Astaire would wear this even with no dress code. Source: Flickr

I am not lying when I tell you that I wear a white tank top (what the mansplainers call a ‘beater’) under every shirt, including t-shirts. If I don’t, I show up to work in the morning looking like I got caught in the crossfire of a middle-school water balloon fight. If I don’t wear shorts, I look like I sat in a puddle of water. I suppose in a way I did.

That brings me to my point: Get rid of dress codes

My job, which I call engineering but really mean ‘aggressively googling python errors,’ can be done in many different ways. Sitting, standing, laying, at home, at work, at the coffee shop, on vacation, ostensibly in a submarine, etc. I do not need a uniform to complete my work. I do not need a name badge or a polo shirt or shoes that are shiny. I certainly do not need a jacket, a tie, a bolo, pleats, or any kind of goddamned hat.

And neither do you.

If you work in any kind of an office setting and do any kind of work that involves filing, writing, copying, typing, calling via old-fashioned telephone, you do not need to wear long pants. Or long sleeves.

But, but, but Clients!

Okay, this one I can sort of empathize with. You need to, sartorially, meet the client where they are. If you are a banker and your client comes in wearing that JoS A Banks and shit, you can’t be flossing a tank top. Do people still say flossing? But if you work AT the bank, and you crunch numbers or use Excel for a living… what does having a shirt that has to be dry-cleaned improve about you work ethic?

Another reason you might need a uniform is safety. If you are the guy in the shiny silver suit with the long spoon thing pouring liquid molten steel into molds, then you probably shouldn’t wear flip-flops on the factory floor. If you cut meat for a living, you probably should wear something to keep blood and bovine feces off your Levis.

Other than that, quit it with dress codes. They are archaic, pointless, and lack creativity. Let your people express themselves. There are so many studies I won’t bother to look up a single one of them that state that diversity of people and ideas is good for business.

Be the bro tank you want to see in the world.