Dress for Success

This month, maddog charts the changing norms in dress code over his lengthy career in the tech industry.

My favorite apparel usually consists of some type of printed T-shirt (not white, please!) and a pair of shorts. This is what I normally wear between the dates of April 1 and November 30. Snow has often been falling before I put on a pair of long pants and a long-sleeved shirt.

Of course, I also dress up for formal occasions, such as when I perform a wedding ceremony or funeral (the latter have, fortunately, been rare), but I have not owned a suit that fits for the past two decades.

This has not always been true. When I was a cooperative education student at Drexel University (the Drexel Co-op provides students with professional employment experiences as part of their degree), I wore a white shirt (with pocket protector), tie, and long pants to work. This was not just because I worked at the Western Electric Company, a very conservative organization, but also because the white shirt, tie, and pocket protector told the people on the manufacturing floor that you were either part of management or an engineer, and both roles held a modicum of respect and power. People in the shop were supposed to listen to you.


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