Hi, interns:

Once, I was talking to my dissertation advisor, many years ago, and I mentioned a colleague of ours who always wears suits. Whereas suits make perfect sense in some realms, ethnomusicologists tend not to wear them. Ever. Once, I saw my diss. advisor in a tie, and just to protest the need to wear one, he affixed it to his shirt with a paper clip in lieu of a proper tie-clip. And, in keeping with his (and my) dress-code, my diss. advisor, grizzled hippie and messy dresser that he is, replied, “Suits? He wears SUITS? Why would he do that? I chose this field specifically so that I would NEVER have to wear suits!” In short, we’re all slobs in my field.

Now, this might seem superficial, but I think somehow that the way you like to look influences the career direction you take. All the clothes-horses I knew in high school and college are now in law, business, fashion, or some similar high-paying gig; all the slobs (myself included) are teachers, artists, musicians, journalists, and other comparatively low-paying gigs. So I ask you: how do people dress in your work-place, and how do you fit in? And does that make a difference to you, or not at all?

Just wondering…

Slobbily yours,

Prof. Wollman

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Dress-codes

  1. Demitri Kesoglides says:

    This is a VERY interesting topic of discussion. You’re right that the stereotypes of musicians or those in the music field tend to dress “slobbily” as you say.

    And in my situation, you are right. Even at Warner Music Group, one of the four biggest record labels, people all around the office dress-down and hardly ever even wear collared shirts. I’ll admit that during the first week or so, I dressed with a shirt, tie, slacks, and shoes. I also never wore any of my piercings (I have 5-two on each of my ears and one on my eyebrow).

    However, after the first week after I saw everyone dressed down more and more, I became more comfortable. I would still wear shoes & slacks, but sometimes I wore a hat to match my tie and kept all of my piercings on. Even my advisor had baggy jeans with a metal chain and a tattoo on her forearm.

    With all this being said, I think it really doesn’t make a difference in terms of work performance, but I think it definitely makes a difference in bringing together a comfortable work atmosphere. I’ll admit that if I was working at a fortune 500 financial company, I would be intimidated for a while because of everyone walking around in fully-dressed, sharp business suit.

    The working environment is definitely one of the positives of working at Atlantic Records, for sure.

  2. Yatkei Fung says:

    In Cherry Lane Music, there is no dress code specified. Everyone can dress what they want. Some dressed in T-shirt, jeans, and others can be a little more formal. It is all about comfortability, I think. In some way, I think dressing causally can make people feel less distanced. Even with my supervisor, we chat on all kinds of things.

    I dressed in business attire because I have an other job after the internship. It doesn’t really make a difference though, people treat each other the same, whether they dress causally or formally. The working environment there is one of the things I love.

  3. limia says:

    I’m at Red Entertainment and there is no dress code. In fact, if I came in dressed formally just for them, I would probably receive some awkward glares. There is one person who wears slacks on a daily basis but everyone else, including the owner of the company, is in jeans and a T-shirt.

    I’m much more comfortable in a place with a casual dress code. Along with this internship, I had to take one for my other major, journalism, and I opted for the casual places, instead of say Dow Jones News Wire, where a more formal attire is preferred.

    In general, I don’t think the dress code matters in terms of job performance as long as your comfortable with it. For me, I’d rather not have to wear a suit every day.

  4. John Baran says:

    The dress code is really relaxed. Some people dress business casual in khakis and sweaters, but most wear something more casual like jeans and a t-shirt. I try to wear something in between like jeans and a collared shirt.

    Considering I have a shaved head, piercings, and I am covered in tattoos, I really feel comfortable in this more relaxed setting. Some people have crazy hair styles or interesting fashion accessories.

    I think that in some areas of employment, a suit may be useful when you are trying to appear successful and professional, or to impress to business clients. I find it funny actually, there are tons of surly, lazy and unprofessional people who wear suits every day, the suit is just a disguise. However, I feel that in other areas, a more relaxed dress code can promote a more relaxed setting and can help improve productivity.

    I hate wearing suits. They are uncomfortable, they’re expensive, you have to take them to the dry cleaners, I feel hot in the summer and cold in the winter. What the heck is a tie anyway? I hope I never have a job where I have to wear a suit everyday.

  5. Professor Wollman says:

    I think it’s interesting that all four posters thus far are greatly in favor of a relaxed dress-code…is there anyone in the internship program this semester who prefers to dress up instead of down? If so, it would be interesting to hear from another perspective!

  6. Mike Marceante says:

    Before I started my internship, I asked my supervisor what the dress code was like and he replied it was a relaxed casual dress code. I figured that meant I wasn’t required to wear a suit and tie. As I was on the subway on my way to my first day at Warp, I started second guessing my attire and wondered if it was really going to be appropriate. I thought maybe i was too dressed down and they would have thought less of me. Of course, upon entering the team of t-shirt and jeans wearing crew, I realized they might have thought i was actually too over dressed. Even though jeans and t-shirts are pretty much the dress code, I still tend to dress up. I dig the relaxed environment, but I don’t disagree with dressing in suits. I find any opportunity to dress up a good change of pace. It’s different than my usual attire of throwing on whatever I find waking up 10 min before catching the train.

  7. Emily Hall says:

    Things are casual in the environments Ive been working in. Im constantly running around from studio sessions all over the city and to different meetings in all the boroughs mainly brooklyn, manhattan and harlem. As a woman I have to try and dress somewhat conservative because Im mainly around all men and I want them to respect me and take me seriously. I used to dress urban chic and colorful and wear lots of jewelry (my personal style) becasue I was approaching the situations as a songwriter/recording artist, but now since Im in more professional situations I usually wear a button up shirt with jeans and boots … cant go wrong with the simple conservative look! I think it is very important for women to make sure they are not sending the wrong message by the clothes they wear in professional situations…especially in the entertainment industry!!!

  8. Evelyn Yan says:

    The dress code here is also very casual. I came into work the first few days dressed up and no one bothered to tell me that it wasn’t necesary. So eventually I just went in in jeans and no one said anything.

Comments are closed.