October 30, 2009

"When someone shows up to an interview or meeting in anything other than jeans, it shows inexperience and a lack of confidence."

Power jeans.


Fred4Pres said...

Depends on the job. And if you make wearing jeans the equivalent to wearing a suit, what really is the difference?

Maguro said...

Very sporting of the WSJ to upgrade Barry's mom jeans to dad jeans in their story. Prolly don't want to end on that enemies list.

t-man said...

Jeans are the uniform of the proletariat. But only the wealthy, who have professional stylists, have enough class to do it right.

t-man said...

The picture that goes with the article refutes the text. Medvedev looks somewhat ridiculous. His clothes are too big for him. Coupling the ill-fitting blazer with jeans makes Medvedev look juvenile next to the taller Obama.

Pastafarian said...

Unless it's a production job, if someone shows up for an interview in jeans, I'm apt to assume that either they don't really give a fig about the job, or they consider themselves above normal convention.

So they're either a slacker, or they're a pretentious asshat. Probably not the best first impression to make, in my opinion; unless you're interviewing for Larry David's job.

Jason (the commenter) said...

I recently had a job interview and they specifically told me not to dress up. I took that to mean not wearing dress pants and not coming in shorts. All you need is a good shirt.

Expat(ish) said...

I am always *very* specific about dress code in an interview. At a previous company it was: "female equivalent of a shirt, tie, and blazer" and at my current company it is "khaki's, open collar shirt, no jacket, polo is ok, no tennis shoes."

Why make the candidate guess? I'd much rather know if they can follow directions in the first femptosecond I meet them.

I did have one (female) candidate remove her hairpiece during a bathroom break. And then ask me if it was OK. I am still swooning 12 years later.


Bruce Hayden said...

About time. I had this debate for almost 50 years with my mother. One of the exciting things about high school was that we could start wearing jeans again. And, I have done so for better than 40 years since then fairly constantly, except when I have had jobs that require a tie and either slacks and sport coat, or a suit. (And no, the few times I have had to go to court, I have not worn jeans - rather even here in NV, I wear a suit).

I do like the sport coat and jeans look, though I will sometimes wear a jean shirt with the sport coat, instead of the dress shirt, but I need either a good pair of boots or shoes to make it work.

We have pictures of my next brother and me at maybe 2 and 3 with our jeans and boots. But, my grandparents had a ranch, and grew up in OK on farms, so that was just part of the whole thing. I saw my grandmother in jeans, but never my mother (she would have been horrified of the idea). And my father probably hasn't had a pair of jeans since his parents sold the ranch about 45 years ago.

Luckily, I now work in quasi-rural NV, and everyone in the office wears jeans every day, unless a bigwig from the PHX or LAS office is coming. And, in the summer months, I will be there in jeans and either a polo shirt or a pressed cotton dress shirt, with nice shoes, and a (usually) navy sport coat.

Of course, I will be wearing that uniform for decades after it goes out of style, since I was wearing it for decades before it came into style.

WV: blingie - reminds me I am flying to Vegas Sunday.

Bruce Hayden said...

Let me add that as an attorney working in somewhat rural NV (right by Lake Tahoe), I would still look askance at a male attorney interviewing showing up in jeans. I want to know that he knows how to dress up when the situation arises (i.e. going to court, meeting with clients in Vegas or Phoenix, etc.), and jeans just doesn't show that (though we will probably be in jeans, but we aren't the ones interviewing).

edutcher said...

The only job interview where jeans are permissible is for a cowboy.

WV "nizoo" A place where the nis are held in captivity.

HokiePundit said...

I don't know if the VP for marketing of some company of which I've never heard is really the person from whom I want to take advice. Know your audience. For most desk jobs you want to interview in a suit. For construction or Google, maybe not. Then again, you wouldn't wear a Texas A&M tie when applying for a job at the University of Texas, would you?

William said...

Brioni jeans go in the three to four hundred dollar range. To spend this much money to look unaffected is an affectation. Also in certain professions only the people with power get to dress down for meetings. Their sloppiness, like an ermine collar in days gone by, is meant to put the drones in their place.

Balfegor said...

About time. I had this debate for almost 50 years with my mother. One of the exciting things about high school was that we could start wearing jeans again.

I don't think I've worn a pair of jeans since I was 10. And my uncertainty is just whether it's 10 or goes as late as 12. By 13, though, I know I had definitely stopped wearing them. For me, jeans were part of the hated uniform of childhood -- specifically, the part of childhood where I had to go out and dig holes in the garden. The day I stopped wearing jeans was like the transition from shorts to long trousers.

Schorsch said...

Jeans are work wear. Levis, Carhart, and Dickies, the work wear triumvirate. All are acceptable at times, as long as they are worn as an homage to one's working roots.

Some wear jeans because they do not own, or are loathe to own, proper trousers. Another symptom of the infantilization of the American male.

EDH said...

Curb Your Enthusiasm's treatment of Casual Friday, short video with Ed Asner.

Client: I'm a little puzzled. What's with the outfit you're in? Is it a Halloween party?"

Lawyer: "It's casual Friday."

Client: "Casual Friday...what does that mean?"

Lawyer: "It means we dress like we would at home."

Client: "But you're not at home."

Lawyer: "I know that sir; it's casual Friday."

Client: "I know; you told me that already. What do you do on casual Friday?"

Lawyer: "We come in, we do our work, but we dress casually."

Client: "I don't like it."

Lawyer: "It's just the one day of the week..."

Client: "I don't care if it's a half-day each week. I don't like it. I'm here to change my will. A lot of money is involved! It's very important to me! I want you to be on the cutting edge when you're handling my business!"

Lawyer: "I'm sorry ... please ... understand ..."

Client: "You look like a cowboy! You look like J.R.! You should be in Dallas, not L.A.! You should be sorry because you just lost my account. Go wrangle somebody else!"

Penny said...

The best thing about jeans?

We all have an opinion about them, and from personal experience!

The second best thing about jeans?

No one is likely to crumble for not wearing them, or for wearing ill-fitting jeans, or even too tight jeans, too much.

The third best thing about jeans is that no matter what you paid for yours, they all wear well over time.

Now that's something we can ALL believe in.


"Fiscal Conservative"!

Jeff with one 'f' said...

In NYC mostly older boomers wear jeans; the aging Gen-X hipsters in my cohort wouldn't be caught dead in them for the most part. Jeans now carry the stigma of "mom jeans" and "relaxed fit" (for men)...

The best analogy that I can think of is high-waisted suit pants which were hep in the 40's turning into sad old man pants by the 60's. ...the pants that came up to the armpits and held a potbelly- just as cool as a grey haired 60-year old teenager wearing jeans with an elastic waistband!

Latonya said...

Coloradans have been doing this for years.

Penny said...

See what I mean about the TRUE value of jeans? We've all been talking nicely, if not past each other, but oh well. Most importantly! Not a single ad hominem, "you're a jerk" statement on the board.

Way to go, Althousians!

JEANS! Something most of us can believe in!

AllenS said...

I graduated from high school in 1964. Blue jeans were not allowed in school. I was stationed at Ft. Bragg, NC in 1967. Blue jeans were not allowed on base.

WV: catsin

Never put cats in your blue jeans.

Michael Hasenstab said...

There is what appears to be some sort of pattern in Penny's recent posts. Can't quite make it out.


jimspice said...

In this job market, with the relentless interview (if you're lucky enough to be in the top 1% to get one) you're lucky to have even a pair of jeans clean.

Susan said...

I've always thought it funny that in every picture I've ever seen of Ralph Lauren, he's been in either a tuxedo at a very formal occasion or in jeans and a T-shirt. In other words, Ralph Lauren wouldn't be caught dead in most Ralph Lauren clothes.

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

My father's advice about dressing for an interview may still be valid ... if possible, swing by the company a few days before the interview. Observe the receptionist's clothing well. If you see other employees, note what they are wearing.

Then, show up at the interview slightly better-dressed than the receptionist and any employees you might have seen. Regardless of what a company may tell you, if at all possible, let what the actually do be your guide.

I tired of that dance rather quickly, and for most of the last 30 years have arranged things so that I'm the interviewer, not the interviewee.

Honestly, I care a whole bunch more about a person's character and personality than clothing. I hire a genuine smile and a good attitude -- anything else, I can train. My favorite interview question: "How do you get along with your father?"

I'm uninterested in getting dragged into somebody's father issues / authority-figure problems.

Blue jeans, or not, really don't matter.

kentuckyliz said...

That's a great interview question. Mind if I crib that, for when I coach graduating college students in the job search?

AllenS said...

When applying for a job in Wisconsin, don't wear a Brett Favre jersey.

Michael Hasenstab said...

Jeans or no jeans. What kind of pants are the other kids wearing today, especially the rich kids?

I seems so....high school-ish.

Since the people who do the hiring no longer can discriminate on the basis of skin color, they now discriminate on the basis of...pants.

That seems unfair to those who are differently-pantsed. Kind of anti-khakite, if you know what I mean.

bagoh20 said...

What is it about jeans that is so naturally comfortable? The material is heavy thick and coarse. They have a preponderance of layers, rivets, and heavy stiching. But, they are the most comforting of pants. In lighter, looser or more flexiable slacks I never feel as comfortable. Jeans provide a sense of security, and readiness and some other quality I can't find words for.

When I'm wearing anything else, I always feel tentative and slightly off center. I can't wait to get back into jeans. It's what my junk calls "home".

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

KYliz -- no, please don't coach them on the question. ASK them the question, and if their answer indicates any sort of a problem, coach them to figure it out and move beyond it.

Employees with father-issues are almost always trouble because they'll play those issues out with any authority figure. In business, that means the boss or the supervisor.

You'll be of much greater service to your students if you push them to move beyond that stuff, rather than coaching them how to duck the question.

Of course at that point you'll be seen as an authority figure, so expect some push-back from those who do not get along well with their fathers.

Most of the cultural, social, political, and economic disaster that has been the Baby Boom generation arises from never having addressed father and authority issues.

The Baby Boom was a wasted and self-centered generation, causing untold long-term damage to America. I say that as a '49er myself.

Richard Fagin said...

Show up as an attorney in any courtroom in Houston, state or federal, with jeans on and then call me from the jail you've been tossed in for contempt of court to tell me about "power jeans."

Cowboy boots and a string tie, interestingly enough, will not be considered disrespectful of the court.

Michael Hasenstab said...

Bago - Your junk will really appreciate these jeans.

They are very junk-friendly, especially when you are sitting.

Rialby said...

Call me old fashioned but if someone showed up to interview with me and was wearing jeans, they would not get the job.

careen said...

I'm a big fan of snooty jeans done right, but it is very hard to do. The tech and entertainment industries have been at it for generations. You have to be able to carry it off. It's not enough to be powerful and put on a pair of denims. The Russian guy doesn't even come close. In fact (pause to scroll)...most of them don't. Any kid from a reasonably comfortable family could put these guys to shame.

Tony Blair looks like he comes the closest with that postage stamp of a jpg, and of course Mrs. Sarkozy. The others? Bzzzt. No.