Underwear info page
Part of civility is showing respect for others as well as displaying self-respect. One way is through appearance. As society and workplaces become more diverse and more multicultural, perhaps we need to rethink what is appropriate. Does our clothing reflect favorably upon ourselves, our department, our colleagues and clients? From three-piece suit to baggy surfer shorts, mini-skirt to burqa -- make sure what you wear fits properly and is appropriate for the work you do and the situation you are in on any given day.
Here’s an example from Iowa 4-H about a clothing problem. The following is condensed from e-mails among state 4-H staff.
Underwear—Most of us wear it, but we don’t want proof!
At the end of the three-day 2006 state 4-H clothing event, the judges called me in to visit about underwear!
The judges could tell from watching participant modeling that some were wearing thong underwear, some had lace-edged underwear and some were wearing no underwear. The judges were not concerned about the choice, just the fact that they could tell from the lines showing through the clothing. (Slips may be out of style, but they did serve a function.)
As a result of this conversation and others
There’s a new bullet point in the 4-H clothing event judge’s form under modeling evaluation, fit, stating “No visible undergarment lines”. Seeing visible underwear lines is a fit problem. The judges will have a chance to educate participants on what proper fit looks like and what it doesn’t show. The 4-Hers will be alerted to this new point when they fill out their entry form, plus there’s a note for 4-Hers, “If these lines are a current fashion trend and you wanted them to show, include that explanation here.”
Part of this is a guest post by various people in my office building. Some were sure this would be a good post. Others weren’t at all sure. When I said I didn’t know how I’d connect it to civility, one wrote the introduction. So thank you Laura, Sue, Elaine, Mary Kay and Mitch.
Actually, there’s a connection here to reasons for incivility
Giovinella Gonthier in ‘Rude Awakenings: Overcoming the Civility Crisis in the Workplace’ includes this in her 10 reasons why we behave uncivilly. “When our employers tried such experiments as ‘casual dress,’ they failed to formulate guidelines or think through the effects”, she says. It’s professional image. You are what you wear, how kempt you appear, how you dress for your position and your workplace culture.
A checklist for choosing the day’s mode of dress (from the book)
What are my activities for the day?
With whom will I be interacting?
Where will I be meeting them?
What will my clients be wearing?
What will my superiors be wearing?
What will my coworkers be wearing?
And then of course, there’s always that surprise—you get called into a meeting that wasn’t on your schedule, or someone comes into your place of work that you weren’t expecting. It’s in your best interest to be well groomed and dress appropriately every work day, including having the proper ‘fit’.