Hello SOTGC community,
We previously wrote about how the traditional boxy, uncomfortable, drab women’s powersuit is thankfully becoming an anomaly in corporate America. We now have a similar proponent on the men’s side: the brilliant albeit slightly (?) eccentric Richard Branson.
In a recent article on Entrepreneur.com found here, Branson unequivocally negates the relevance of men wearing neckties in the workplace. Branson finds them anachronistic in a society that no longer values form over function: “Suits and ties in an office are just another type of uniform, but in an arena where uniforms no longer serve any useful purpose. At one time they probably showed that the wearer was, at the very least, able to purchase and maintain a fairly expensive piece of fabric. Now, however, in an individualized, interconnected culture, your achievements speak for themselves. The suit and tie is an anachronism.” Further, he was insistent on creating a corporate culture as part of his brand’s identity that was sans suit and tie as he believed a formal dress-code alienated and intimidated consumers.
Branson then notes that politico honchos such as Obama and Blair themselves often make appearances without neckties. He states that in his circles, ties are the exception not the norm anymore and concludes by imploring “those corporate despots who still force their male employees to put nooses around their necks every day: Please think again.”
I love his arguments and hope the rest of the world catches up. Such a modern attitude concurrently eases restrictions on womenswear in the office as well. While I do think a man in a nice suit and tie is beautiful, that shouldn’t be the “uniform” in the workplace. California is generally “business casual” and tieless, but on the East Coast, those in the legal and finance professions, for example, always wear one. Will Branson prove to be a seer or will ties remain the default mode for business?