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Alok's Posts / Startup

Will you go to work in your Pyjamas?


So, what’s the BIG FUSS about being ‘appropriately dressed’ for work? 

Did Moses tell us to wear ‘formal’ clothes when working?

I don’t know why clothes have become such a big prestige issue in Corporate life?

Some points to ponder: 

– Does a formally dressed person make a bigger impression on you than an informally dressed person? 

– Do you feel more productive when you are ‘formally’ dressed? ( I just cant understand how someone could work efficiently when they are almost choked by a tight ‘noose’ like tie)? 

Isn’t it just in our MINDS that some people HAVE TO BE DRESSED in a particular way to make you feel comfortable… 

So, if a Priest is dressed in a T-Shirt and Shorts, will he be less noble and sacred?

If your Banker wears a sleeveless T and a jogging track, will she be more careless with your money?

Does a Kurta Pyjama on a Lawyer make him less clever? 





Hell….How dare this CEO wear this on a Monday Morning…. and…what the hell is he smirking about? 

I cant understand this connection of clothes and workplace.

And neither do Steve Jobs and Marc Zuckerberg ( you’ve have heard of them right)?

So – what are you wearing as you read this??




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  1. I am wearing a tight noose around my neck. Started wearing it recently. I am absolutely comfortable in it. No matter what you choose to wear , as long as you can carry it well. Personally , I see the difference in response of people in general since I have started dressing this way. And also  I feel better about myself.

  2. When i was working with my previous company i had a firang (desi turned firang) CD join us and amongst his few weird list of questions, he asked what is the dress code here, can i come like this…he had worn shorts, tshirt, Fedora (Hat) and some jewellery and make up (hes going to kill me)

    I replied…as far as you wear something its fine 😉


    On a serious note, I think its a mind set…in our industry (Internet) being informal and casually dressed is cool and nice and comfortable but some industries require ppl to be in the three piece suit. 


    I agree with Mr. Mody, there is a different response in the way people speak to you and treat you when you are casually dressed as compared to formally dressed. 


    It depends from person to person, but yes if you walk into a digital agency / advertising agency or any other internet based company, Tshirts/ Kurtis and Jeans is the dress code.


    And yes i am wearing the dress code – jeans and tshirt / kurti even though am not at office 😉

  3. Hi Alok,


    As I read this, I am wearing a white shirt with blue checks, much like an Excel spreadsheet, open at the collar, khaki cotton trousers, a brown leather belt and comfortable moccasins.


    Circa 2008, I would have been in a dark worsted wool suit, highly polished black oxfords, a dazzling white shirt, a sober tie and black cuff links. 


    Circa 2002, when we met for the first time, I was wearing an orange T shirt, blue denims, a black Barista Coffee cap, trying to sell coffee to a tea drinking nation.


    The difference is in my avatar :). The crux lies in the context ‘dressed for WORK’. At every place, I was ‘dressed for work’, highly productive, very affable, in the zone…passionately living the experience.


    As an example, if I went trekking, I would be ‘dressed for work’ in an olive shirt, perhaps drab cotton cargo pants with multiple pockets, proper hiking shoes, a soft cap that protects my neck, dark glasses, carrying a Leatherman Surge, at least one survival knife, and a pack of survival essentials in my rucksack, maybe a Maxpedition Versipack too. 


    My belief is that the connection between clothes and the workplace is the connection between ‘where we are’ i.e. our environment and ‘the tools for survival’ i.e. our gear.




  4. Well said Basav. !!

  5. Amen to that.


    As a Doctor I used to dress in a long sleeved shirt and tie and wear shoes (fortunately, I used to operate a lot, and the theater clothes were much more comfortable).


    As an Entreprenur, I wear a T-shirt, jeans and sandals/slippers.


    It all depends on the environment and image you want to present – I wouldn’t want to be seen by a doctor who is not well groomed, while if I see an entrepreneur who is too formally dressed, I’d wonder whether he is focusing too much on his appearance and not on the job.

  6. Thank you sir 🙂

  7. Hi Alok,
    I just love this topic and can actually write a complete thesis on it :P…….I couldn’t agree more with Basav.
    As a teenager i had joined a BPO for a sales process and literally was against the whole concept of formal dressing and continuously argued with the entire senior management on the fact that when there is going to be absolutely NO visual interaction of me with the client, I should be allowed to dress the way I want to as I feel more confident wearing a jeans and a Tee rather than dressing up in a trouser,formal shirt and yes a formal shoe also.
    When I started off my own company and that too a Backpacking company I had the freedom to walk into my office in fishermen pajams and a cool psychedelic tee with crocs 😀 this way my customers too felt I am one of them and it increased customer loyalty too for me :)…..this dress code worked great when I was marketing for our products & Services …….but as soon as it came to sales or business development I preferred to change to formals and tell them that we are very serious about what we are doing and not just a hippie trying to sell something to make some money and have fun.
    Our dress code represents what we are doing…..I am sure you too would not trust a guy who walks into your office wearing a shabby loose jeans and chappals saying he represents a big stock brooking company and could help you triple your money in a week.

  8. For Jobs, Marc and Rodinhood it looks cool , not for the rest out there

  9. Dear Alok


    We’re an executive Search firm and we follow a stringent dress code.


    In  our HR policies Manual there’s  “chapter” on attire, which  also includes the types of colours we have to  wear  which should not be loud J ….&..&…….&…….also tells us the colour of the nail enamels , lipsticks etc we should apply (it’s different  that we may not adhere to this..) …………………….


    But I believe…however one dresses is not more important than being effective and efficient  @ work. Though…having a formal dress code certainly reflects the image and culture of an organization and also it displays professionalism…..hence this topic  is too debatable….I wish I had all the time to debate on this  discussion on rodinhood an entire day………but……….


    Wearing an absolute formal outfit… blue coloured formal shirt and black coudroy trousers. ..nail enamel with a base coat of of wine colour and white nail art……a pink colour matte lipstick…. I hereby conclude this discussion………..Good day to All..!!!! 

  10. For Sure….! That goes without saying.


  11. Anushka you are a exe. serch firm ? can we connect?

  12. Hi Ashwin


    Yep..Will mail you.


  13. Whole-hearted-ly agree with Alok! 🙂


    I believe that your dressing style can (note: NOT necessarily will) make a good (or bad) first impression. Of course, what you say later and how you say it, will either add to the first impression or smash it to bits. This is generally valid when you are meeting somebody (professionally) for the first time. When you start working together, then your dressing should not matter much as long as you are reasonably dressed.


    OF course, this depends on the other person/s too (whom you are meeting) — if they are not given to making impressions just basis your attire, then you can count yourself lucky:)


    For customer facing roles, business casuals or formals should be OK — though one shouldn’t overdo it with neck-ties or blazers/suits! (They are so NOT suited for our local weather!).


    I, for one, cannot fathom the insistence on being formally dressed (even when you are not dealing with any external partners).. And the argument that “being formally dressed makes me want to work (more?) professionally” seems far-fetched to me. I think professionalism is all in the mind.


    BTW, kurta-pyjama on a lawyer will not do, because there’s a strict dress code for them when they are in/around the courtrooms (imposed by The Bar Council of India)…




  14. I should say, there should not be any imposed dress code. Some times I personally more productive in formal shirt and tie and I shall wear it. If I feel more professional in denims and tees, I will wear them only.


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