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The Death of the Pinstripe...

The predictions of me wearing a suit every day has not exactly come true...

overcast 16 °C

"You'll have to wear a suit every day."

I heard that numerous times when I told folks I was moving over to London. Not just from folks whose experience of London was from the movie version of Bridget Jones' Diary. (That Mark Darcy, always sharply dressed in a suit, wasn't he?). Actual English people from England (originally at least) told me that.

"Everyone wears suits. Much more formal than we are over here..."

(The "in the colonies" was implied)

I believed all the hype because my experience of London working was from the movie version of Bridget Jones' Diary. I mean, sure the Hugh Grant character didn't wear a tie, but he worked in media and was a cad...

What I figured I would be wearing

What I figured I would be wearing

Anyway, that prophecy turned out to be mostly false. Unless you work in banking... actual banking, not just working for a bank even... you probably will be dressing much like folks in North America. "Business casual." Usually I wear a collar shirt and slacks to work. Occasionally I'll throw on a tie or jacket, but never both at once. Sometimes, when I go down to my office in Egham, I even wear jeans. It's craziness.

Turns out even the bankers don't want to wear suits any more, though a lot of the coverage of this in the media tends to concentrate on the fact that they don't want to be identified as bankers, lest a stray G20 or climate camp protester starts pelting them with ecologically and ethically grown eggs. No, bankers are eschewing the pin-stripe suit for "more versatile styles," like "a plain suit, or a linen one, which they can wear outside the office."

When I wear t-shirts and jeans, I used to feel under dressed a lot here in London, but according to fashion expert Nick Foulkes, "multi-million pound hedge fund managers have always been more likely to wear jeans. They see themselves as financial artists rather than workers, so they love to wear creative garb." Therefore, if I get any dirty looks for wearing jeans and a t-shirt, I'll just claim to be a multi-millionaire hedge fund manager, and all will be forgiven.

Anyway, gotta run. I'm off to the opera tonight, and have to start getting ready. Despite casual wear being allowed in the opera house nowadays, I think I should dress up a little. After all, it's opera, so it is a special occasion.

Besides, I am likely to make an ass of myself by falling asleep and snoring, so I figure there's no point in dressing like a slob and doubling my embarrassment and shame.

Posted by GregW 07:20 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged business_travel

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