“Congratulations! You knocked it out of the park. We are extending an offer.” said the voice on the other end of the line. I was so excited about my first job out of college at a management consulting firm in San Francisco. I could not wait to go shopping for my work wardrobe.
This was before the tech boom and there was no such thing as business casual. In fact, I had been strongly discouraged from wearing pantsuits. “The manager of the office prefers skirt suits in dresses”, was what I had been told. This was not in writing or an employee handbook, of course. It was not that long ago. It is still is hard to believe. I did not really consider it a hardship at the time, but eventually the need to wear hosiery (and have at least one spare pare at my desk) got old.
I was more conservative then with my skirt suits, dresses, modest necklines and reasonable (though always above the knee) hemlines. The firm where I worked was “buttoned up” and conservative. There was something reassuring about having a “uniform”.
A few years later casual Friday was introduced. I was a not a fan. I hated having to put a more casual look together. I was in charge of recruitment for the firm and often had interview rounds on Friday. I felt it was unfair to ask an undergrad or even an MBA to interview without their uniform. So I insisted on those Friday’s not being casual and I was the bad guy.
I continued to wear suits long after the dress codes were truly business casual. Eventually I did not want to look like an auditor, so my business attire evolved into business casual. I miss the more formal dress (minus the hosiery).
Shoes (older style but I love these)