I can’t remember how this came up. I think it might be because I mentioned I had applied for a public service job. One of us probably made some flippant remark that that would require losing the t-shirt and jeans and wearing a suit.
Q: Would that be a deal breaker for you?
No, not exactly. I think, for a professional, t shirts and jeans very easily become taking the piss. I have stepped over that line, regularly, and have had to get a hold of myself. What I find objectionable, however, is the notion that you can measure a person’s professionalness as a direct correlation of the formality of their attire. There are plenty of fools out there wearing suits. I’m quite sure that no one would accuse Steve Jobs of being unserious because of his uniform of high quality jeans and turtleneck.
So suits are not a deal breaker, but an attitude that demands suits, or even just ties, would be. I find it difficult to imagine a culture that has that attitude and does not also have all the other staid, mid-twentieth-century ideas that the Suit is emblematic of.