Business Dress Code – Your Undershirt is Showing

Office Etiquette

I received a lot of feedback from young workers this week about our recent video “Lunch with the Boss.” Apparently many young guys have very strong opinions about business dress code, especially the pros and cons of wearing an undershirt. I didn’t realize it was such a hot-button issue. The young anti-undershirt guys claim that:

1. it’s expensive to stock up on packs of Hanes.

2. It’s gets too hot to wear another layer.

3. I’m not a smelly, hairy old guy.

I’m afraid I am militantly pro-undershirt, even if I weren’t a smelly, hairy old guy. Here’s why:

1. Contrary to what you think an undershirt keeps you cooler in the summer.

2. Most people don’t want to see though your shirt to see your body topiary status.

3. No one wants to see big wet rings under your arms–or the crusty yellow stains that are left at 5 PM.

Some of the young professional women I heard from, however, agree on what to and what not to wear. Some of their comments about business dress code:

1. Sleeveless tops may be inappropriate even if you have Michelle Obama arms.

2. Skirts should adequately cover knees when you’re sitting.

3. Guys without undershirts are gross.

One last point to remember: everything, including what you wear, communicates. Do you want to be remembered as the guy who wears those low-slung pants or the woman who wears very short skirts? Or would you prefer to be remembered as the person who adds value to the company?

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