“Dress For Success”-by Dress, I mean T-shirt!

I recently read great article about Mark Zuckerberg on New York Times. He is a truly successfull entrepreneur. In his young age, he’s already accomplish many things. From all those definition of success, i see him as successfull young man for breaking the old law of dress for work. Let me try to break it down for you.

He run billions dollar company on his jeans & hoodie-daily. While like rest of us (most people), we have to dress the formal way. Once you work, you should ditch your old jeans & sneakers from college and have to live 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, in your Father-black-pants and shirt that seems chocked you all day. Maybe 50 years ago it is your normal pattern for working, but now, i think it is time to redefine dress for success.

I don’t see any relevance on how we dress with formal code, to how we create business profit. Let’s take example from me. I work in finance department, i deal with customer via phone, which mean, i never meet them face to face. I basicly work from my PC. But still, i have to dress formal from Monday to Thursday and can only wear jeans on Friday-with one clearly rule, no t-shirt allowed.

There are 5 reasons why i think we should be allowed to wear shirt, jeans, converse, or even shorts as office uniforms:

  1. Those formal uniforms make us look older & too serious. Except for very important meetings, events, or $1 million project, where’s the fun part of working?
  2. Suit & company don’t give us enough space to feel comfort. Any idea how our company’s sales fall 10% every year? They say it’s economy condition, but i blame 48 hours per week in that tight/chocking outfit.
  3. I keep can’t saving enough. Why? Because instead of wearing my old sneakers (saving), i have to spend Rp.300.000,- ($35) on shirt that even too boring to wear.
  4. Too much formal’s rules won’t make any good for health. I read & have seen people gain 40 kg of fat, being bald, more stressfull, and had heart attack because working in so called “prestigious company” a.k.a have-to-wear-formal-dress.
  5. This is the most important reason. When i wear those outfit, i feel i’m not myself anymore. I feel more like a robot. I deeply miss my t-shirt and Wrangler jeans.

I’m not complaining (well, maybe a little) to Indonesia’s company or especially to my employer. But the trend for favourite company to work has slowy change the last couple years. If you analyse carefully, many and many fresh graduates are apply for big  free-be-yourself successfull company like Google, Youtube, Apple, or Facebook.  Citibank What? Most of them are the smartest in their class. Then what’s gonna left for the serious company? 

What i’m trying to say is, we should loosen up a little bit and be more open minded. I know that for some companies, there is reason why its employee should dress in certain way. To keep the culture of 100 years company alive or to make its employee behave to achieve company’s goals. But once again, what is the definiton of dress for success these days? 

Company should rethink of its priority. What is the most important thing for company? Profit or rule for formal dress? Great employee or robot in suit? T-shirt and jeans not only for those who work in art industry anymore, but also relavant for other industry. If Mark could wear hoodie  and still manages successfull company, why can’t we? Happy employee makes happy company.