Wearing a suit and tie in the summer is a fireable offense
A short story that points out the absurdity behind wearing a suit & tie in the summer (or maybe at all times).
Your alarm goes off on a standard summer weekday in NYC. Instinctively, your body’s habits kick in, and you jumpstart your routine.
You brush your teeth with whitening toothpaste, quickly rinse off in the shower, put on deodorant, brush your hair, do your makeup (don’t lie), and put on your ‘professional’ work attire for the day. Breakfast, you mutter, can wait until you’re in the office.
Since you work at a prestigious and sophisticated institution, you’re obligated to wear a suit and tie. Everyday. No matter what.
Even though it’s 94 degrees and sunny out, the rule still applies. Do you have a client meeting today? No, but you’re not one to rock the boat, so you go with it.
Per usual, you walk out of your apartment and head down to the transportation system of the 21st century: the NYC metro.
100-years-ago, societies could only dream of a transportation system as beautiful, comfortable, and prestigious as the NYC metro. Especially in the summer.
In a state of appreciation for the magnificent infrastructure, you walk down the steps into the overheated, decaying, germ, and rat-infested sauna that is Manhattan’s subway system.
Since it’s summer and the subway system’s ventilation was designed to be a hotbox on steroids, the real temperature feels closer to 110 degrees. Not to mention, the subway station includes thousands of hot, sweaty, and stressed out people beside you clawing for a way into the next passing subway.
Good news for you, you brought a cold bottle of water. Bad news for you, you’re jam-packed in the 1 train with sweat soaking into your clothes and underwear next to irritated fellow-sweaty passengers.
At this moment, you are sweating so much that you’d consider jumping into the disgusting reflection pool in front of the Lincoln Memorial. And it’s such a tight squeeze that you don’t have room to take a sip of your refreshing H2O without elbowing 6 people.
Thus, you think to yourself about how idiotic, senseless, and stress-inducing wearing your suit and tie is for you and the surrounding humans.
Why would you wear something that makes you sweaty, smelly, and stressful? Even more interesting, why would your boss enforce a dress code so absurd during peak summer?
Your mind now starts to wonder about the idea of a suit & tie itself. Who decided that this attire was ‘professional’?
You imagine at its origin that some random man went up to his buddies boasting about how great he looked in a suit and tie with something like: “Look at how great I look with this rope tied around my neck in such a way that it hangs above my pants, surrounded by a massive coat that took the skin of two wolves to create!”
As the subway pulls away from the station, you manage to make a little space for yourself. You take a sip of water and pull up your phone.
Quickly, you search the origins of suits and ties and find the backstory.
In the 17th century, Croatian mercenaries serving in France began wearing knotted neckerchiefs, which apparently signaled their position and alliances. For some weird reason, King Louis XIV of France admired the neckwear so much that he began wearing ties as a status style item.
Wow! King Louis XIV! You remember that he was the longest-reigning monarch of all time (26,407 days). Certainly, he is someone to look up to…
And then you find a picture of him.
You think to yourself:
“What in the world is he wearing? This is the dude who influenced my uncomfortable attire for today? Why the heck am I still listening to him? He’s been dead for over 300 years. His hairstyle, though…”
Finally, the subway makes it to your stop. You and the hundreds around you pile out and gingerly walk out of the sauna. After a brisk 3-minute walk, you make it into your air-conditioned office building.
You are perspiring like never before, and you used to play sports. Obviously, your morning shower was a complete waste of water and time.
You decide that at your future company, wearing a suit and tie in the summer is a fireable offense. There will be no second chances in this respect. It is plain stupid to wear this attire with temperatures over 85 degrees.
Wait, but what about the rest of the year? Surely, the whole suite of professional attire is in need of a major makeover. Maybe instead of choking neckerchiefs and large jackets, you could incorporate something more 21st century.
How about Google glasses, or Snapchat Spectacles, or an Apple Watch. Wait, when did technology companies enter fashion?
You realize you’re in way over your head and decide to just stick with the suit and tie.