Earlier this week, Reuters ran a story by Elizabeth Lazarowitz suggesting that the dress suit as work wear is back in style -- a move that, if true, should please a lot of apparel retailers if not the employees who have to shop them.
I've been lucky in that I've never worked for a company that demanded formal dress. That said, while these days you'll rarely see me in less than a crisp button-down and khakis (with allowances made for news conferences and other events) I'll admit to having shown up at Fool HQ (in a former life) looking a little, shall we say, slovenly from time to time.
I never really got the anti-casual backlash. I can certainly understand the potential need for formal garb in certain situations, such as high-impact client meetings or dealings with folks from different parts of the world (and, therefore, potentially different business cultures). And I can see why managers wouldn't want employees coming in looking like slobs or dressed for a Saturday night.
Generally speaking, however, I fail to understand the importance of formal wear for most employees in most situations. Employees can be happy without the additional expense. And any company that thinks requiring formal dress helps their people focus/work harder/feel more professional/whatever probably hasn't thought creatively about ways to motivate or evaluate employees for several presidential administrations.
But that's just my opinion. If suits are coming back -- and if jobs also come back -- it's very good news for a wide range of companies from high-end retailers such as Nordstrom
Many of those companies have already turned in solid results this year. (See the related links to this article for more.) None of them, God willing, will get any of my money -- if they did, it would probably mean I was out of a job.
Fool contributor Dave Marino-Nachison doesn't own any of the companies in this article.