Are Uniforms / Smart Office Wear on the Way Out?

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whhistle

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Remembering a documentry about Indian Railways reminded me how the drivers just seem to wear whatever.
Which then led me to think about office people wearing suits to work.

Are they on the way out?
Many call centres allow people to wear whatever as "customers" don't see the people anyway. I wouldn't care if a ticket seller was wearing whatever they wanted, so long as it wasn't offensive writing or really low cut tops, short skirts or similar. Obviously there's a line. But if they'rer wearing jeans and a t-shirt, I wouldn't see it any different to if they were wearing a uniform.

Train Drivers would need appropriate shoes but would anyone care if they wore jeans and a jumper? Hell, some freight drivers do anyway!

Yes, it's good in some instances for identification of staff and I guess it promotes that the person has some skill and knowledge but are uniforms and smart dress wear for work on the way out?
 
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deltic1989

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I used to work in a contact centre that sorted out transport for the rail industry (put down the tomatos at the back :D ).
Our office dress was required to be smart casual. In this company's veiw this meant black smart trousers, and a shirt, or polo shirt with no branding (collar and tie was to be worn if customers were in the building). That was Monday to Thursday. At the weekend anything went as long as it wasn't offensive.
Behind the wheel of a truck I tend to wear what I like, jeans and a t-shirt are not uncommon. As long as I have my boots and a hi-vis on my gaffer doesn't really mind.

I still like to see people in authority in smart dress, or a uniform. To me it shows that that person can be trusted with the responsibility that they have been given. If they take care of thier appearance, they can take care of me, that sort of thing. That may sound old fashioned, however my parents always taught me that if I was in bother look for someone in uniform.
 

trash80

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I've found from bitter experience the smarter someone looks the bigger idiot they often turn out to be, as long as someone is recognisable i do not care.
 

greyman42

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I think the Police leave a lot to be desired with their modern scruffy uniforms, tattoos and beards. I am not criticising the job they do.
 

bramling

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I've found from bitter experience the smarter someone looks the bigger idiot they often turn out to be
Must say my experience is rather similar. The ones who are slightly, but not excessively, scruffy are those who are most likely to be capable of delivering the goods when the sh*t hits the fan. I wouldn't say polished boots and ironed seams says anything apart from that the person has a greater than average amount of time on their hands.
 

TheNewNo2

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I wear smart trousers and a short-sleeved button shirt (no tie, top button undone, untucked) and trainers to my office job. No one cares much, the only issues I've had uniform-wise was when I was wearing my lanyard in a pub and the head of department asked me to put it away.

This is actually one of those odd things where the gender norms work against men. Men are generally expected to wear a suit as smart, but there's no uniform equivalent for women so there's more room for creativity there. Though those suits do mean that we keep our offices artificially cold and thus freeze female workers...
 

The_Engineer

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I think it is slowly changing with each generation. Notice how top hats, and then bowler hats have died out....

I had to wear a uniform for secondary school. When I left 6th form for a degree course at a Polytechnic I just naturally wore a jacket, shirt and tie. As a qualified Chartered Engineer I continued to do so for all my career until I retired a few years ago. Through that time virtually all my colleagues of my generation did likewise and it's only been of the last 15 years before I retired that going "tieless" and casual seems to have arrived in the engineering offices I worked in.

For me, to dress formally for work just seemed a natural thing to do as a professional. It's certainly not part of my "culture" - I am the son of a manual worker, born and raised on a council estate and proud of it! It just seemed right.....
 

Bromley boy

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Are they on the way out?
Many call centres allow people to wear whatever as "customers" don't see the people anyway. I wouldn't care if a ticket seller was wearing whatever they wanted, so long as it wasn't offensive writing or really low cut tops, short skirts or similar. Obviously there's a line. But if they'rer wearing jeans and a t-shirt, I wouldn't see it any different to if they were wearing a uniform.
Having spent a few years in a prof services type office environment, standard office attire in recent years would be “smart casual” chinos/shirt/jumper combo. Full suit and tie was reserved for client meetings and, even then, not always necessary if clients were well known.

The tradition of always wearing a dark suit, pressed white shirt and tie even when sitting at one’s desk would be considered a little old fashioned in many offices today and perhaps a little low rent - it smacks of an estate agent or car salesman!

So the suit and tie combo isn’t necessarily “on the way out”, but certainly isn’t as ubiquitous as it once was.

Train Drivers would need appropriate shoes but would anyone care if they wore jeans and a jumper? Hell, some freight drivers do anyway!
I would rather wear no uniform(!) but I can see the logic of it for DOO operations. If you need to walk through the train or address passengers they need to be able to instantly identify you as a member of staff.

I believe French TGV drivers don’t have an official uniform and I regularly see freight drivers in jeans and comfortable clothes, stout work boots/shoes. By far the most appropriate attire for the job they do.
 
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Tom B

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Recently, I noticed a skip on fire and called for fire brigade. The designated driver, who remains with the appliance, was wearing a band t shirt! (The firemen actually putting the flames out were fully uniformed).

I don't go for OTT smartness, especially amongst people who have jobs requiring them to be active, where practicality is important. I wear a shirt without a tie, but will wear a polo shirt if I expect I will be doing lots of running around or especially mucky jobs.
Look at how many uniformed people were required to wear shirt, tie, epaulettes and a peaked cap in say the 80s!
 

Class 172 Fan

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In my job working in an office, I'm expected to wear at minimum either a unbuttoned shirt of a plain polo shirt.

Some of my male colleagues who work in the same department are expected to wear a provided uniform under law whilst doing their duties but not office based like myself.

Footwear in my office is smart shoes/walking shoes/walking boots for men along with either jeans or trousers and a belt/braces unless uniform is provided which must be worn correct at all times
 

STEVIEBOY1

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I think the Police leave a lot to be desired with their modern scruffy uniforms, tattoos and beards. I am not criticising the job they do.
I agree with you, the police do a great job, but their modern uniform is not that great. They used to look so smart in their tunics, although perhaps that was not practical, then they still kept their navy blue slacks and wore the Heavy Ribbed Vee Neck Woolly Pully Sweaters which still looked good, then they seemed to downgrade that to a cheaper looking plain jumper. I suppose what they wear now is practical, but just does not look smart.

When I am in my office, I wear slacks, white shirt & tie and a Vee or sometimes a Crew Neck Pullover. I don't keep my suit jacket on there. I am similarly dressed when I am in Church. In my shop, I tend to wear smart slacks and a pullover. When going out, I may wear a Fedora.

I much prefer wool pullovers/jumpers to Sweatshirts or fleeces, but that is just a personal thing.
 

Lucan

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I've found from bitter experience the smarter someone looks the bigger idiot they often turn out to be
Then I'm at least a bit of an idiot as I wear a suit and tie to work, as do most of the guys I work with, even though there is no rule. Some are brilliant people though, I can assure you. In that sort of environment (an HQ of a heavy engineering company) it would be the unconventional dresser who looked the idiot, as they would seem to be (and probably would be) deliberately drawing attention to themselves as a "personality". But "look-at-me-I'm-a-personality!" does not go down particularly well in the world of heavy engineering. .

.. as long as someone is recognisable i do not care.
But that's exactly why rail staff (and others) dealing with the public need to wear a uniform, so they are recognisable.
 

underbank

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I've found from bitter experience the smarter someone looks the bigger idiot they often turn out to be, as long as someone is recognisable i do not care.
Sadly, have to agree. I've always worked in chartered accountancy practices. 2 of the most useless partners I've worked for were the old 3 piece suit brigade - they may have looked the part, but one was grossly incompetent (eventually struck off), the other was a criminal who stole client money (and eventually struck off after serving a prison sentence). But to Joe Pubic, I'm sure they commanded respect.

It's a joke really. It's one of the reasons that people get conned. A con man can buy a cheap suit and suddenly the gullible public give him their money - the same people who'd not give the time of day to the same bloke if he turned up in trainers and a t shirt. When people can buy suits very cheaply in supermarkets, I just can't fathom why the gullible don't realise that criminals don't all wear stripped shirts with a swag bag over their shoulder.

Of course, uniforms are different, i.e. proper uniforms with logos etc where people can immediately see that someone is a proper employee in a public place, such as a shop, railway station, football match, etc., where it's important to be able to quickly recognise who works there and who doesn't.

Nowadays, I run my own accountancy practice. Some days, I wear suit & tie, other days I wear shorts and a t-shirt. I'll happily have a client meeting wearing shorts & t shirt on a warm day. When I go on training courses, I'd say about half the other accountants wear a suit/tie, half wear casual.
 

Intermodal

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I think the Police leave a lot to be desired with their modern scruffy uniforms, tattoos and beards. I am not criticising the job they do.
I agree with you, the police do a great job,
Well, if they are doing a great job, who cares if they did not iron their shirt or had the audacity to get a tattoo! Clearly the extra rest they are able to get each night from not having to needlessly get creases out of a uniform for zero practical benefit is paying off. :)
 

Intermodal

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A name badge would suffice
Indeed - many, many retail outlets do without an 'official' uniform and just have a dress code for staff nowadays, and I very rarely have any trouble identifying staff. Usually they are the ones with the miserable look on their face and a name tag! :D
 

AlterEgo

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Well, if they are doing a great job, who cares if they did not iron their shirt or had the audacity to get a tattoo! Clearly the extra rest they are able to get each night from not having to needlessly get creases out of a uniform for zero practical benefit is paying off. :)
I don’t think it’s a lot to ask that the police force looks presentable. There are a lot of police officers with tattoos, and scruffy beards. The tendency for more forces to dress their officers completely in black is also strange.
 

Intermodal

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I don’t think it’s a lot to ask that the police force looks presentable. There are a lot of police officers with tattoos, and scruffy beards. The tendency for more forces to dress their officers completely in black is also strange.
Indeed I agree with the base point - however 'presentable' is an subjective matter, and I cannot ever recall having considered a police officer unpresentable. However, I am 23, and I would not find tattoos, beards or an unironed shirt unpresentable.
 

AlterEgo

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Indeed I agree with the base point - however 'presentable' is an subjective matter, and I cannot ever recall having considered a police officer unpresentable. However, I am 23, and I would not find tattoos, beards or an unironed shirt unpresentable.
Ironing a work shirt is a basic requirement of someone being presentable as a police officer. Beards are not always scruffy and my objection is only to scruffy ones.
 

greyman42

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If you were to compare how some Police officers turn up for duty and how a Royal Marine turns up for duty you would see a difference. Also the Police on duty at Downing Street are always smart, even though they are armed to the teeth.
 

underbank

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I don’t think it’s a lot to ask that the police force looks presentable. There are a lot of police officers with tattoos, and scruffy beards. The tendency for more forces to dress their officers completely in black is also strange.
I'm more concerned about the number of overweight/obese police, particularly women, many of whom are right porkers around here.
 

greyman42

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I'm more concerned about the number of overweight/obese police, particularly women, many of whom are right porkers around here.
Yes this is becoming more common. You would think certain standards of fitness would have to be maintained.
 

jon0844

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Indeed I agree with the base point - however 'presentable' is an subjective matter, and I cannot ever recall having considered a police officer unpresentable. However, I am 23, and I would not find tattoos, beards or an unironed shirt unpresentable.
If a police officer comes rushing towards me, I don't really care about the state of his/her shirt. If I am rushing towards a police officer, I am likely not going to care about it either!
 

aformeruser

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With the railways it's useful for uniforms so passengers can tell the difference between members of staff and fellow passengers. It's the same situation at shops but in many office environments it's the visitors who need to be identifiable which is why visitor badges are issued.
 

NorthernSpirit

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Most of the firms I've worked for never really had a uniform as such, so longs you were clean and presentable which was all that mattered.
 

Gemz91

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I'm happy to wear work provided uniform as a train driver. If I rip my trousers whilst at work or need a new pair just through day to day wear, I just put in a new uniform request form, and the company will provide me with new uniform free of charge. If I can wear my own clothes at work and rip them, then my new trousers would come out of my own money. Maybe I'm just a cheap Yorkshire man.
 

AlterEgo

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I'm more concerned about the number of overweight/obese police, particularly women, many of whom are right porkers around here.
I do look at a lot of police officers and think I could beat up about half of them. You don’t need to be fit or physically capable these days.
 
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