A survey of alumni of the MIT Sloan School of Management found 46% of the sample pointing to the trend toward casual workplace dress as the worst thing about trends in corporate attire, while 43% were on the other side of the fashion runway, insisting that a return to formal business duds would be a disaster.
Fashion Faux Pas
Asked to name what they thought was the biggest business fashion faux pas of recent years, the former management students named:
- high-heeled shoes for women “as proved by any manufacturing plant tour involving catwalks, or a surprise winter snow storm”
- Bermuda shorts with suit jackets. Wrote one MBA wag: “They do wear them there, and frankly, men’s knees and a suit jacket were never meant to be seen simultaneously.”
- expensive designer golf clothing,
- engraved belt buckles,
- corporate logo wear, and
- “50-year olds with pony tails dressed in all black”
One respondent broke his answer into two categories. The all-time worst clothing trend was leisure suits, he said. The current worst trend is tight, Italian suits. But several other alumni said mini-skirts merit top spot in the business fashion hall of shame.
The survey drew more than 600 e-mail responses About half graduated between 1950 and 1990, while half left Sloan since 1991. About 20% were women.