PR clothing – for Men!

May 21, 2007

You struggle over the tie you haven’t done up since graduation, with the shoes that you bought from Marks and Spencers (because you thought that they made you look more grown up) and you slide on your suit jacket even though it’s the middle of summer and the effort of dressing alone is making you cook like a McCains ready meal. All this effort, only to find that when you arrive at your place of work, you are alone in dressing so formally and you look like a lemon!

That’s right, it’s the first day of your new/first job..Dressing for industries like law, banking and general city work, is straight forward. Unless you look like a corporate type, you aren’t corporate enough. But how does a man conform to the PR norm? What actually is the PR norm? For the first month in my first job I wore a suit and tie until someone told me I ‘looked a bit stiff’, at which point I abandoned the cuff links and rolled up my sleeves…there was still a long way to go! The answer is, there is no answer. On the whole PR chaps don’t turn up to work in jeans and a tee shirt, in much the same way that most of us will never have spend a 4 hour lunch sipping champagne..

Different sectors expect different dress codes, and often different work ethics. Turning up to a consumer agency in a suit more than once would probably seal the envelope of your P45,  whereas turning up to a financial agency in anything less will most likely guarantee you a week of non stop status reports as punishment. It’s been mentioned elsewhere in this blog, but within reason the only real people that really matter for this question are your clients. When I meet my Legal client, I wear a suit and tie, and when I meet my public sector client, a shirt is about as formal as it gets.The biggest question remains though – is it ok to wear shorts on dress down Friday? And if so, is a Hawaiian shirt definitely a no no?

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2 Responses to “PR clothing – for Men!”

  1. Abigail Tye Says:

    It’s a brave man who bares his legs, even braver a man if he’s prepared to risk this at work. I think we can safely say that few men call ‘pull off’ the shorts look, unless they are on a beach or the country is too damn hot to consider anything else – even then, everyone’s too hot to notice/ care.

    As for a Hawaiian shirt & shorts combo – painful on many levels. If the aim here is to look relaxed and ‘cool’ then failure is the only conclusion – you’re likely to look as relaxed as a undercover policeman in ‘sports casual’. Despite ‘beauty remaining in the eye of the beholder’, I challenge you to find someone who could successfully include beauty & Hawaiian shirt in the same sentence (and mean it). Anyway, what do we care about things as superficial as this? Our work life is filled with far more ‘important’ issues – we do work in PR after all.

    Saying all that, Jonny Depp could probably pull it off…

  2. Michael Burns Says:

    I’ve always wanted a bespoke suit but was put off by the hefty price. However I came across these guys http://www.aSuitThatFits.com – Hand tailored Suits start from just £110, Dinner Jackets from £220 and they operate a flexible pricing system that provides you with the means to design and create your own individual and unique suit with complete control over how much you spend.

    They have a place on Sun Street in the City of London where you can turn up to be measured and fitted and at the same time choose the style, fabric, lining etc. You can then either pick up the suit or they will deliver it within 3/4 weeks. They made the suit I got married in so I can’t speak more highly of them.


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