September 1, 2016

Business Casual: Jackets Required?

My law firm went all business casual for the summer (yeah, I know – everybody else did this 10 years ago & doesn’t do it anymore – gimme a break, we’re from Ohio).  Anyway, as part of that process, firm management sent around the obligatory dress code memo.  Most of it was non-controversial – and it looked a lot like the version posted on “Above the Law” a few years ago.

That being said, the policy did have its idiosyncrasies.  For example, the clear expectation was that men shouldn’t wear short sleeve golf shirts, except maybe sometimes, and then only with a sport coat.  Seriously? I mean – unless you’ve just won “The Masters” – who would think wearing a golf shirt with a sport coat is a good look?

While the blazer with golf shirt rule was spelled out in detail, the policy remained maddeningly unclear when it came to expectations about the role of the sport coat in other settings.  To its credit, the policy posted on “Above the Law” made no bones about it: in a law firm, business casual means a coat.

Yeah, well, the problem is that not all of us are built like Steve Jobs – and those of us who look like Norm from “Cheers” look like… well … “Norm from Cheers” when we put on a sport coat. If it is to mean anything at all, business casual must mean that fat guys like me don’t have to wear a sport coat. So, when it comes to mandatory jackets on business casual days – I vote “no.”

Poll: Business Casual – Are Jackets Required?

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John Jenkins