Monday, 4 April 2011

A more formal City?

I spend quite a lot of time walking in the City of London from meeting to meeting or to my office. In the last few months, I'm much more aware of men wearing ties than I was before. My feeling is that, as times have been tough, City workers are turning to more formal dress in the office - and that fewer men are going with the 'suit and no tie' combination (that seems to be the consultants' uniform).

Looking to see if I could find evidence of this, I could only find some 'research' from 2008. I am wary of the term research because all of the statistics seemed to come from garment sellers. Remembering that caveat, however, Moss Bros reported (as reported in the Independent) that tie sales were rising at their fastest rate for five years.

The same report used the phrase "scruffy people are the first to be sacked...". While I doubt there is any science in that statement at all, I can see the sense of it. A scruffy employee gives the impression that he or she does not care - and it is that, rather than any concerns about their dress sense, that will get them to the front of the redundancy list.

So - to return to my survey of City people. I do believe that the City is a little smarter than it was. I have more clients now who wear ties than I did last year (although that, of course, might well be a reflection on a slightly changing client base). Personally I welcome it. I like to see smartly dressed people as I walk in The City. Perhaps, however, I'm just getting old...

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