August 14, 2006

Hot weather dressing.

WaPo offers up advice about how to dress for the office when it's really hot out. Must a woman wear nylons? Must a man wear a tie? I don't understand the questions. Nylons and ties only seem required in the first place in the sort of office that is going to be very well air conditioned in the summer. Presumably, if you're driving in to work, your car is well air conditioned too. So what relevance is there to the weather? Let's assume you have to walk a substantial distance at some point or use some train or bus that isn't well air conditioned. Isn't it perfectly easy to carry your hosiery/tie and quickly put it on when you get to the office? Maybe my life is too easy out here in Madison, Wisconsin, but to me these seem like nonproblems.


Shanna said...

They are non-problems for you because it was what, 66 this weekend in Madison? Try Arkansas when it's 100 degrees at 8 in the morning and the humidity makes it feel like 110! If you live someplace hot, just walking from the car to the office can have you sweating.

Dave said...

Is it a "nonproblem"?

Yes, relative to things with which we should be concerned, sweating a lot is a non-problem.

But we Americans like to kvetch, so kvetch we will.

k said...

I live where it's 100 degrees early in the day... but I spend about 3 minutes in that weather and then 8 hours in an air conditioned office. Doesn't make sense to have bare arms and nekkid legs given that proportion of time. Course, that's why all the women here have cardigans stashed on the coatracks. Because they're dressed for the beach... that 3 minutes of walk time. Crazy. Besides, in this heat, you could come to work nude (theoretically) and still sweat. Clothing or lack thereof has nothing to do with the sweating.

Danny said...

I think it's a matter of ties simply going out of style. Everytime I stand in front of the mirror with my dress shirt and nice pants and prepare to wrap a tie around my neck I think...Why ruin a perfectly proper outfit? A fashion that lacks function is counting its days, and I think (read: hope) that the tie is preparing to die.

charlotte said...

Air conditioning makes all the difference in the world. In the forties, my grandfather who was a dear and very formal man looked around in church service one summer Sunday morning and saw men in suit and tie suffering a bit too much for their faith in the oven hot Victorian edifice. He broke with tradition and his own constitution by leading a jacket-and-tie liberation revolt among the male congregants, and succeeded, only to lead the way back to formality once central air was installed in the sixties.

Apparently, women weren't offered the choice to forgo their nylons, gloves and hats. Men.

JohnF said...

Ann's point is borne out by the little history I observed. When I was a young lawyer, men had heavy winter suits (wool) and lightweight summer suits (e.g., seersucker). At some point, people realized that we were always inside, where the climate was uniform (the office windows were fixed and couldn't open, lest you throw off the heating/cooling system of the building). In a few years, all the men switched to what were called medium weight suits.

God, this is interesting.

Jim Hu said...

This article may have been stimulated by the need to turn up the thermostats during the recent heat wave on the East coast. Here in Texas, things are sometimes so over-airconditioned that the brief heating between office and car feels kind of nice.

class-factotum said...

If it's hot enough that hose are uncomfortable, then how are you going to get your sweaty feet into those pumps? And then keep your shoes from getting all stinky?

You have to wear hose or you'll ruin your shoes.

You wear a sleeveless blouse under your suit jacket. Take off the jacket while you drive to work and put it back on before you walk into the meat locker they call your office.

Anthony said...

Here in Texas, things are sometimes so over-airconditioned that the brief heating between office and car feels kind of nice.

Yeah. My one visit to Texas (SMU campus) was in July and about all I remember about it was being COLD. The lab I was in was so AC'd I darn near froze. I would go outside just to warm up a bit.

Hosiery is mostly out anyway, except for black or other non-Caucasian-flesh colors.

JoeOlson said...

Its a non problem. Jobs have uniforms and you should wear what your clients, customers etc. expect to see at your place of employment.

I am a laywer and I wear a suit every day becuase people generally don't want to buy legal services from a guy in khakis and a polo shirt.

quimby10 said...

Can't speak for DC, but here in New York no one is taking air-conditioned cars to work. In 100-degree heat, the time spent walking to and from your office or on a platform waiting for the subway is definitely enough to make one look....unprofessional.

But no, this is not one of the world's great problems.

Maxine Weiss said...

Hosiery is not out.

Women who want to be noticed never leave home without their nylons.

Nothing beats a great pair of Leggs.

Peace, Maxine

Shanna said...

I may have been a little grumpy this morning but now it's raining and hopefully that will cool things down. It's always most miserable the morning before a storm.

Also realize that not everybody works in brand new, well air conditioned buildings. Mine was built in the 20's and our air conditioner takes until afternoon to cool down sufficiently.