I work at a conservative Wall Street firm. Most men at our company wear plain white shirts and dark suits to work. A co-worker of mine on the trading floor wore a nice blue-and-white checkered dress shirt, which was a gift from his fiancé. I told him it was a great shirt, but when the rest of the crowd arrived, many people starting poking fun at it with one person even saying, “Who shot the tablecloth?”. I could tell the repeated taunts bugged him. Is there anyway to promote a more accepting work atmosphere?
Thank you for your advice,
Scared in a White Shirt with Tablecloth Blues
The trading floor is demanding, but you shouldn’t have to give the shirt off your back to work there. Traditional business attire is fine, but we’ve moved beyond the Mad Men era of white-shirt conformity. So roll up your checkered or pinstriped or pale pink sleeves and get to work. If your friend can handle the trading floor environment, he’s tough enough to take a little ribbing about his shirt.
Ms. (not Mr.!) Corporate Manners
© Penny Aviotti and Ms.Corporate Manners 2003 – 2013.