Mayor Dan Rivera of Lawrence, Mass.
Recently, Dan Rivera, the newly elected Mayor of Lawrence Massachusetts, has instituted a dress code for City Hall employees. Read the story here.
Basically, he's only asking grown-ups who work in an office to dress like grown-ups who work in an office, which of course has some of those same grown-ups in a lather. He's banned jeans, sweatpants, spandex, and pyjamas. To me, the only thing shocking here is that we need to have rules in place to get people to do this. Adults used to just know these things.
The rule that seems to have garnered the most negative reaction is the one requiring men to wear a tie. It's been called everything from sexist to elitist. A lot of guys are citing the cost of these clothes as their primary complaint. I'm sure you all can guess how I feel about that. Of the more than one hundred ties currently in my own collection, I'm sure none of them cost more that five dollars at thrift shops.
Lawrence has been known for years as something of a "rough town", one of poverty and crime. Mayor Rivera is trying to clean up the city's image, and he believes that City Hall, effectively his own back yard, is the place to start. I for one would like to show my support of his efforts. As such, I'd like to take up a collection of ties and donate them to the Mayor to give out to his male employees. An Affordable Wardrobe will be donating a dozen or so of its own ties to this cause. I'm sure many of you have at least one tie you don't really need. Find that tie, and send it to me by the end of the week. I'll drive them up to Mayor Rivera's office myself with support on behalf of all the readers of this blog. I guarantee that after a week of wearing ties regularly, most of the complainers will begin to feel better about themselves in the morning.
Let's get behind Mayor Rivera. This really is one point we can chalk up for the good guys.
You can send your ties here:
An Affordable Wardrobe
249 Elm Street 2nd Floor
Somerville, MA, 02144
p.s. the last time I visited a thrift shop in Lawrence, I came away with half a dozen shirts from the Andover Shop. Penury is not an excuse.
Good on ya!
There's a young gal in my office who just finished her Masters degree, but has never worked in an office environment before. We do have a dress code, but since most people follow it, it's never mentioned or pushed. This gal has worn, several times, a t-shirt with her college's athletic department in it... you know, like one of those gym shirts. We have had to speak with her and tell her that t-shirts with writing on them are not appropriate for an office environment.. and neither are Uggs. ugg.
Hallelujah and Amen! Someone out there gets it. Good. Maybe there is a faint glimmer of hope for our society yet.
Heinz-Ulrich von B.
I'd be honored to contribute with a few perfectly wearable ties that I simply don't wear often, but sending them from Italy would be unreasonably expensive (and you may be required to pay something to U. S. Customs to collect them).
I'm on your side anyway.
Stefano L. Alberti
I used to work with "The Public", and most of them WANT the person they're dealing with to look more squared away than some aging adolescent at the laptop coffee shop. And, as a sort of aside, the ones who fight "dressing up" the most usually claim "It's my skills, not my appearance that count", and their skills are often as lacking as their dress.
Those same people tend to forget that presenting oneself in a proffessional manner is itslef a skill
Same thing in SF Superior Court recently:
I work in an environment where there is no dress code. I choose to wear a tie, or bow tie, every day. I feel good and,I hope, look good. I do worry that forcing people into clothes in which they feel uncomfortable is counter productive.
I have a colleague who looks much better turned out in his well chosen (crisp) jeans and T shirt than some of our managers in their appalling polyester shirts and ties.
Love the blog
Is it possible,
The reasons people are uncomfortable in proper clothes are simple: one, they are unaccustomed to them, and two, they probably don't fit. We can add three, they are of low quality.
If people can be educated in proper fit, and then be convinced to pay a little more for something that will wear well and look good, then the problem is all but solved.
I should hope that any organization seeking to establish a dress code would provide the guidance that is so lacking in society at large.
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