As an “Internet Marketing Consultant”, I never wear a tie when meeting clients or networking. Part of it has to do with the fact that I hate wearing ties. But the other part of it, at least for me, is that I don’t want to come off as being too much of a “sales guy”.
This used to be a classic battle I had with an old boss of mine named Doug. This was, of course, a few years ago before I started Samson Media. As far as he was concerned, clothes made the man where I was firmly from the camp that a man’s (or woman’s) words, actions and ideas were vastly more important.
As a not-so-subtle bit of passive resistance, I used to wear the rattiest tie around the office to prove my point. And stunningly enough, that was OK. Didn’t matter that the tie looked like it had been lifted from the trash. As long as it was a tie my boss was happy.
Having the freedom NOT to wear a tie has always seemed the purview of either the self-employed or the creative. So I like to cast myself into that group rather than the corporate, button-down type.
Now don’t get me wrong. I always dress up a notch from “business casual” because I believe that a professional should look exactly that: professional. It not only builds credibility but it creates a comfort level. And of course, clothing doesn’t mean squat if the work you do is shoddy or subpar.
But why all this talk about ties and dressing up?
It’s mainly because of an interesting item I read in the New York Times that cited a recent Gallup poll that tabulated the following results:
- 6% dress in “formal business clothes”
- 52% dress “business casual”
- 25% dress “casual street clothes”
- 15% wear a uniform.
I was happy to hear that 67% of men said they never wore a tie to work. And only 20% said they did occasionally.
Doug, eat your heart out wherever you are!