Q&A


1. do you think that suits suppress style, or simplify life?
2. do you think uniforms are restrictive, or equalizers?
3. the idea/reality of a casual/creative work environment - fantastic or frightening?

14 comments:

a. said...

i'm first? whee!

1) life. if i had to wear suits, i could style 'em up, but they are so constricting... glad i don't have to.

2) i love uniforms, when they're well-designed. just wish more of them were comfortable! then again, i have never actually had to wear one, really. but i do sometimes wish i had one in elementary school, because i had very very status-conscious classmates (!) and it sucked.

3) fantastic. i have one and really like it. though in the wrong hands it can be horrid (i used to work with computer programmers who'd wear beer t-shirts to work. ewww. i was so happy when the company (re-)tightened up its clothing policy.)

-h of candid cool said...

1) neither. i love suits.
2) restrictive. i prefer dress codes.
3) fantastic.

Jessica said...

1. Neither. I actually think wearing a suit forces someone to be more creative with their accessories and color combinations. I recently purchased my first suit and I'm in love.

2. In school, I think it's an equalizer because it minimizes the emphasis on social class, particularly whether or not someone can afford a popular brand name. Aside from school, I think it's restrictive.

3. I like the freedom it offers, but it can quickly be taken advantage of. Some sort of parameters need to be set to ensure that the image of your employees are consistent with the image the company wants to project.

fashionaddict said...

1) Suits aren't my thing, so unless interpreted loosely (like cardigan + jeans), it would suppress my style. But not life. It takes a little more than clothing to suppress life.

2) I love uniforms, I do think they're great equalisers. The fun thing is watching people interpret them.

3) Fantastic.

editor said...

HOLY COW - fashionaddict, thank you for bringing my typo to my attention. i meant "simplIFY life" for #1 (i've fixed the mistake now).

Duchesse said...

1. Is not an either/or for me, how about both, as I suspect for most men

2. Equalizers, I love them

3. Again, both- depends on whether getting dressed involves thought

enc said...

Darn it, I think the thing lost my comment.

enc said...

1. I think suits simplify life. But they allow each person to assert his or her style, albeit within limits.

2. Uniforms reduce everyone to a sort of "sameness," but if you look at kids with their schoolies, they are a great example of how style finds a way.

3. Fantastic. I wish all the offices I worked in doing "creative" work had allowed me to dress "creatively." They always required office clothes.

Alexandra said...

1: simplify. I don't wear them because I don't have to but I am sure happy my male friends can put on a suit and know they look good and appropriate. Left to their own devices, they would be in pain and misery.

2: hate uniforms. Wore one for 12 years. Hate it! Hate it! Did I mention I hate it?

3: Fantastic! That's what I have always had and I love it!

Iheartfashion said...

1. I sometimes love suits, but would hate to have to wear one every day.
2. Hate uniforms!
3. I've always had a job that allowed me to dress creatively, and I can't imagine it any other way. I could never join the military for this reason (among many others).

greying pixie said...

1. I think I would find them suppressing - I don't actually own a suit, ie. jacket and skirt/trousers. Interesting knitwear simplifies my life.

2. Uniforms! Well the British have a lot to say about them! We wear them from the age of 11. I agree with enc, they really force one to be creative within the restrictions. I hated mine when at school but looking back on it now I feel quite fond of it, especially the summer dresses and gym slips.

3. Not sure what you mean by this question. I work in a very creative environment (teach fashion design at a University) and can wear whatever I want. Many of my colleagues wear jeans and casual, but I always make an effort to dress up for work - it puts me in the right frame of mind and, I hope, inspires my students. When doing academic work at home I wear knitted cashmere trousers and sweaters (to stop me doing the cleaning and keep me focussed on the job in hand!). I could never dress really casually for work, although I have been known to stay up late writing in my dressing gown.

fashionaddict said...

Hahahaha, glad to be of service, inadvertently.

GenX Theorist said...

Popping up from the 6th dimension here: ((:)

1. Suits are, these days, able to be tweaked in rebellious ways, so I'd actually add choice c. add another tool for expression to one's choices.

2. I've only worn a uniform once in my life: music summer camp, 1986. Button down blue shirt, dark blue cordoroy knickers, knee socks (color varied on what age you were), red cardigan. (Anyone who has been to this camp will know what I'm talking about).

I hated it. Worst summer of my life. Everything that was important to me: individuality, expression, creativity, seemed washed away.

3. To me, creative and casual are two different work environments. I've been in a creative work environment: San Francisco c. 2001. Everyone wore the most wonderful getups to work, from nouveau techno to retro rockabilly. We discussed outfits. Admired. It was awesome.

Casual - that's what I'm in today. Deal with "semi-professional" m-t, wear jeans on Friday. Look suspiciously at anyone's getups that diverge from accepted uniform, I mean, "casual professional".

Meh.... come on humans, we can do better than this.

dreamecho said...

Except for the bulk of #3, these answers apply only to my own wearing of the clothes in question, not what I think of what they do for groups of people. I also see that you haven't specified the either/or restriction, so I'm going to answer this as I see fit.

1. Suits are empowering. I enjoy wearing suits, preferably pantsuits; they streamline my thoughts and help me focus! However, suits also have the abilities to both suppress me AND simplify my life. (But not at the same time.) If I were forced to wear a suit day in and day out, I'd eventually feel oppressed. On the other hand, worn infrequently, suits make life easier. I know ahead of time when I'll be wearing a suit, so that's that much less time I need to spend making up an outfit.

2. Uniforms are...also empowering! Wow, I surprised myself with that answer. It's true, though. I used to have to wear a uniform at my old job, and I've worn uniforms as part of various athletic teams and musical/dance performances. I like that uniforms allow the customer or the spectator to see the group as one, as various forces coming together to create something cohesive and bigger than themselves. As much as I am for independence and individuality, I have also always been empowered by that collective energy, pushing towards a clear and common goal.

3. Fantastic. I don't want to get too much into this, except that I am aware of the negative aspects of a casual workplace. As others noted there obviously there exists room for abuse with extreme sloppiness and the like. However, in such instances, the problem is far deeper than simply dress code or not. It's an issue of personal pride. And not just in a superficial way...but in a way touches upon the essence of who we are and how we measure up to our own personal standards...and that's a much bigger issue than can be controlled by The Man.