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The Rise and Rise of Formality in the Office

Posted on: February 26th, 2013 by Drew No Comments


Remember the 90’s?  I do, the Stone Roses, Chris Evans, Tony Blair and the Teletubbies the list goes on.  As these memories fade away into the sad mists of time there’s another peculiar 90’s phenomenon that I’d like to remind you of – Dress Down. 

True enough the remanants of this sad policy still grimly hold on, but now it’s been shoved at the end of the week like an embarrassing, flatulent auntie at a wedding, with more and more people inclined not to bother.  Cast your mind back for a moment to the end of the 20th century, everyone was doing it,  Lehmans (remember them?!) actually went total Dress Down – yes – every day of every week, until people started turning up in Bermuda Shorts.  With such little sense of style and professionalism it is little wonder then that they went under.  Now, I’m not directly attributing the credit crunch to this but….well, yes, I am; )  We arrogantly thought we could do what we wanted, with no thought. 

In those days  Sunshine was just a fledgling London shoeshine company with big ideas, I remember thinking to myself, ‘if this carries on we’ll be bankrupt in 6 months’ and it wasn’t just office shoeshine that suffered, employees particularly male, found themselves not really knowing what to wear, it’s was so bloody fuzzy with no particular guidelines.  Companies found themselves with serious profile/professionalism problems, slack clothes, slack attitudes, slack profile. 

Today over 10 years hence we have happily moved on.  It was like those pesky Tellytubbies, we played with them saw they we’re rubbish and threw them away, suckers for the zeitgeist.  Even now, Friday is my least favourite day, I don’t care if it does herald the weekend.  The next person I see wearing a pair a cargo trousers with a lumberjack shirt, I’ll bury them with the Teletubbies lunch boxes!!


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