Making Moves

Suits You Sir?

I am not afraid to admit that I am a man who likes my clothes. A recent delve into

By Tobi

I am not afraid to admit that I am a man who likes my clothes. A recent delve into my spending habits revealed that a considerable sum of my monthly outgoings had been spent on some form of clothing or footwear. Why?…because I think image is important in general, but even more so in relation to the workplace.

Since setting up Making Moves, I have considered the dress code several times and how this in turn represents the company. For me, the choices have always been either a very formal image with suits, ties and the plain old black shoe , or a smart but more relaxed look of blazers, chinos, skirts and shirts. Alternatively, there is always the other extreme of allowing staff to wear trainers, sweatshirts and jeans?

One thing is for sure, is that wearing a suit in East London is dangerous. There are the looks of disgust from the hipsters, followed by the chanting of ‘the suits are coming!!’ as people run in the opposite direction with arms flailing and then the rest just think you are from C.I.D.!

I recently asked clients their views on the matter. The results were interesting and suggested that the days of the suit could be numbered. As we see more and more changes to where we work (please see my recent blog on Co-Working), the hours we work and the way we work then there should be no surprise that this will ripple out into what we wear to work.

Some of my clients questioned on the topic, suggested that a suit was stuffy, ‘old hat‘ and often overpowering in terms of appearance. They tended to relate more to someone a little more casual who ‘dressed like them’. Another client quoted ‘when we see suits, we see expense’. This was enough to convince myself that allowing a slightly more relaxed dress code was the way forward.

Whilst we are going for a smart casual policy, this does leave the dress code open to interpretation. I have therefore taken the advice of my business owner friends, and will ensure we offer clear but sensible guidance within the employee handbook. The main issue is going to be interpretation. Everyone can look relatively uniform and smart in a suit, but someone’s idea of a slick blazer-chino combo, can be very different to another. I will need to keep my eye on this, but I do want my employees to exercise a bit of personality. The most important thing for me is that the image of the company is portrayed correctly! And like my choice of jean style, this is certainly something that will evolve over time, I am sure.

I also think it is funny that this is even a point of discussion. Those of you from outside of the surveying industry probably had this discussion about seven years ago and came to the same conclusion. Let’s just say , the property industry is slowly coming round to the fact that times are evolving and that modern working practices should be embraced. There still however seems to be negativity in the industry towards a more casual look. 

Do I care? Not really. I want my company to offer something different and take a modern approach to property advice. I want to be able to relate to my clients and if what I wear is going to assist with this, then long may my skinny chino days continue (until I can’t fit in them anymore).

Overall though, what seemed to be more important to clients is being professional and offering sensible advice. Something we pride ourselves on at Making Moves smart casual or not.