The Rules of Accoutrement

by owner

What pray tell could we be considering here? We are all faced with this prospect our entire lives, from the time we are young kids learning to match our socks to teenagers coming to terms with what mom and dad are going to allow us to wear (and in m

any cases how to get around it) and it goes on through adulthood and comes full circle as we become parents ourselves and start the process over with our children, in a now more-modern environment. A cyclical process that has challenges the whole way because all the while, there are rules, most of the time they are unwritten rules, some of which we set ourselves, some of which others set for us often by example and sometimes by mandate. Either way it is important to be cognizant that regardless of the environment there should always be rules, yours or theirs.

Your work environment, in this day and age, can be somewhat capricious in that some companies have official dress codes and some have semi-official and some have no formal dress policy in place at all, yet still require the appropriate business attire. The term appropriate business attire is, in its essence pretty clear. It’s relatively easy for management to employ a dress code without having an official policy readily available to refer to. That being said there can be a huge management problem when a company implements, the much sought after, “Business Casual” Friday. Business casual, tends to be a boomerang policy for many companies since there is such a broad spectrum of what is considered to be, business casual. After all, the very idea of ‘business casual’ was destined to fail; the reality is that the term, in and of itself, is an oxymoron. I know I can speak for many business owners when I say; nothing about the operation of my business is casual. I don’t want to inject that type of thought process in to my office environment in any capacity, the reason that we are all here is to work. When I leave the house in the morning I don’t kiss my wife and say, “I’m going to casual”. No, I say, “I am going to work” and we should be dressed for such. All too often the good intention of incorporating a Casual Friday in the work week, although a very simple concept, frequently gets blurred. The reason that this blurring can occur is due to when management loosens the policies regarding dress codes and there are no definitive rules, it becomes subjective and that facilitates a work environment that mirrors that of a social gathering. Sure, in the early stages, it appears that people are happier and productivity remains on task. However, the boomerang will quickly return and smack management right in the kisser. And that fat lip that you are now sporting is just another eyesore for your clients as they walk in the front door and see your employees dressed like they are going to a happy hour or a ball game rather than where they are, and to refresh your memory, you are at work! And by the way, it’s not just on Fridays now! It’s a fact that employees historically have taken liberties on the Monday thru Thursday dress codes whenever and wherever a ‘Casual Friday’ is introduced.

So what’s the answer? Well, Dagley Insurance and Financial Services in Katy, Texas has coined a new term, a term that will more than likely spread through the executive level management email chain around the country as quickly the ‘Charlie bit my finger’ video spread through everyone else’s. “Successful Casual” attire. This term is being used to introduce a new program that is designed to both increase employee morale, by allowing employees to enjoy a more relaxed atmosphere on Fridays but even more importantly to implement an attire mandate that effectively creates parameters by introducing a middle ground between, “Formal Business Attire” and the ever problematic term, “Business Casual”. By the way, for Dagley employees the opportunity to participate in the Successful Casual Friday campaign is earned on a weekly basis by departments hitting goals, not lofty ones just good targets for each week.

So what is Successful Casual…?

Successful Casual is defined by dressing in comfortable clothes that show off how you envision yourself in a semi-casual environment at your best. Cost is not relative as you do not have to have expensive clothes to be able to dress, Successful Casual. Just smart pairings of what you already have.

For example, there is no tolerance for tennis shoes or old ripped jeans but a nice pair of pressed designer type jeans and casual comfortable shoes, is fine. There should be no mini-skirts or provocative dress but comfortable appropriate skirts and slacks of a variety of fabrics are great. It’s really simple, express yourself successfully!

It’s a program that exemplifies the Dagley Insurance & Financial Services innovative ways. You’ll be hearing this term and seeing the policy implemented in an office near you soon. Because when you have to earn privileges you protect them.

5 Responses to “The Rules of Accoutrement”

  1. Will Penny says:

    Taking pride in one’s appearance is so important. The way you dress sends a message that is read by everyone you encounter.

  2. Leigh says:

    What an awesome way to show your corporate culture and improve office morale. It’s amazing how something as simple as a dress code can help people feel a greater sense of camaraderie while improving productivity with goals attached.

    Thanks for sharing this, guess I’ll need to head out for a “successful casual wardrobe” shopping trip.

  3. Marc Duffy says:

    Excellent article Nathan. It’s amazing how simple terminology can change one’s mindset. I thought the article was very well written.

  4. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by PatAlexander and Alyson Del Paggio, Nicholas Brown. Nicholas Brown said: Business casual is so 2009, follow new rules and dress "Successful Casual" like @DagleyInsurance http://bit.ly/bg8ybG […]

  5. Chris says:

    Yes, definitely no mini-skirts because we don’t want to see a man’s hairy legs in the office.

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