You Are What You Wear?

Matt Stokoe, associate director, Clarion Communications

A suit and tie. The expected attire for any man attending a wedding, christening or funeral - but what role does it have in today’s world for creative industries like PR and marketing?

Now, don’t get me wrong, some working occasions will require the whistle to be pulled from the wardrobe and dusted down now and again - such as meeting a company CEO, meeting an old school journo or attending an official function.  Which is perfectly acceptable.

But what about the office, when you have no meetings planned but are cracking on with ideas and proposals for clients?  Being forced to wear a suit, or other formal wear such as shirt and trousers, for the sake of it, is just archaic, unnecessary and stifles creative thinking.

Fortunately, we have an open policy at Clarion whereby dress code is down to the judgement of the individual.  Being able to wear clothes I’m comfortable in and which make me feel happy does in turn help me work more efficiently and thus often more creatively - that’s my argument anyway and I’m sticking to it.

For clients who want their PR agencies to be more creative, cutting edge and with their finger on the pulse, the idea of their account team being a bunch of suited look-a- likes is a complete no-no and not what they want. Clothes reflect your personality, and we all know we are in the people business.

I guess the real crux of the issue, and ultimately where I want to go with this, is to broach the on-going debate around Flip-Flops.  Or more to the point, Flip-Flops on men.  For me, nothing beats jeans - or even shorts - t-shirt and a pair of Havianias to help unleash the creative juices, but I know that many people find this too extreme. If it’s acceptable for women of the working world to wear open shoes and sandals in the office, why not us boys?

So, unless you have a meeting or formal lunch date, ditch the slacks and winkle pickers for a pair of comfy jeans, t-shirt and footwear of choice.  You’ll see the difference in the way you work almost immediately…

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