Professional Dress Code tips
Donald K. Burleson
First impressions count. A professional consultant who doesn’t
take the time to maintain a professional appearance presents the image
of not being able to perform adequately on the job. Our
professional dress code is codified because many professionals have
never been taught appropriate professional appearance and demeanor.
Professional dress code standards
are alive and well in major financial and executive management
Anyone who aspires to top management knows that personal
If you look and behave like a highly trained
and well-groomed professional, you will win the respect and honor of our valued
A fresh haircut, spit-shined shoes and a crisp suit go a long
way in establishing a professional demeanor.
It's also about
taste and quality; most
professionals can spot a cheap suit at ten paces and
it is easy to spot cheap shoes.
If you have never worked in a
professional environment and you are not sure how professionals look, watch the lawyers on an episode of Law
& Order on television.
Dress Codes are protected
Remember, employers in the USA have
a legal right to ask you to
"A person can be fired because
the company doesn’t like your shoes,” explains Robert D. Lipman,
who manages the New York employment firm Lipman & Plesur, LLP .
“People say ‘This is America. We
should be able to do what we want.’ But I tell them that once
you walk into a private employers workplace, your rights are
Plus, it's not sexual discrimination
to require separate grooming standards and dress codes for men and
"In 1998, the 11th Circuit Court
of Appeals in Harper v. Blockbuster Entertainment upheld
Blockbuster’s dress code that mandated male employees to cut
their long hair, but not female employees."
Inappropriate dress code and grooming
Have you ever gone to church on
Sunday and instantly noted the people who normally do not wear a
suit? You know, the men with striped shirts, plaid ties
and lime green sport coats? Sadly, professional dress and
grooming standards have fallen from popular culture, and we don't have
to look far to find examples of unprofessional dress. Here are some examples of inappropriate male grooming:
No Neanderthal-style unibrows are allowed, and you should
shave any loose hair on your forehead or the palms of your hands.
All ear hair must be
shaved, and remove any "Admiral Zumwalt" style giant eyebrows. If you must
wear a toupee, have it custom fitted and secured properly.
Here are some examples of inappropriate female grooming:
Let's take a closer look at specific dress
codes for male and female professionals.
Dress Code for Male Consultants:
This is the
BC default dress code for the USA, and we also have our
dress code and our non-USA
tropical dress code.
- Of course our dress code
prohibits tattoos. They can be seen as unprofessional, low-class and ignorant ,
and at no time may a consultant have a visible tattoo.
Read details about why most corporations prohibit tattoos.
Professional dress code
- Suit – A suit means a SUIT;
sport coats and slacks are not allowed. The suit must be dark blue,
gray or charcoal, (except for tropical engagements) be “well
tailored”, and have no loose threads, "pills" or "nurdles".
- Shirt - A crisp white shirt is always required.
French cuffs are optional. I have seen consultants turned away
at the door of banks because of their hot pink dress shirt.
- Tie - Must be conservative,
something a bank VP might wear.
- Shoes - High quality black lace-up shoes are
required, polished to a mirror quality spit-shine. You would be surprised at
how many people judge you by your shoes. See footwear details
- Accessories - No phony Rolexes, body piercing or
- Grooming - All hair, moustaches and beards must be neatly
groomed and cologne must be used sparingly. Protruding nasal hair is
prohibited, and all tattoos must be fully hidden. If you have
been working all night and have an early morning meeting, you can
use an anti-inflammatory hemorrhoid cream (e.g. Preparation H) to
quickly shrink those unsightly puffy bags under your eyes.
Just carefully dab the roid cream on your lower eyelids (being
careful not to get any in your eyes) and you will look fresh and
- Cologne - Cologne and after-shave
are optional, but if used, it must not be so strong as to call attention to yourself
in a closed elevator.
If the client wants you to wear tattered cut offs, that's fine, just
make sure that you check with the client first to ensure that you
are not dressed inappropriately for their environment.
Code for Female Consultants:
I'm not trying to be a chauvinist here, but many of our client
organizations have standards for professional appearance, and it's
better to be safe than to be embarrassed.
- Skirt Suit - No pants allowed, ever. The suit must
be dark blue, gray or charcoal.
- Blouse - A crisp white blouse is great, and you may have
ruffles and other decorations.
- Tie - Optional, but it must be conservative.
- Shoes - High quality black or brown shoes are required,
polished to a high shine. (see details below)
- Jewelry - Ostentatious jewelry, multiple ear rings on
each ear, and multiple chain necklaces are prohibited. Leave
the Zircons at home; most people can recognize them instantly.
- Cosmetics - Do not use the ski-slope approach to
cosmetics (that's 3-inches of powder on top of a 6-inch base). Use no
and make sure that you do not offend people with allergies with too much
Co-workers can sue your employer and you if your perfume is too
- Grooming - All hair must be neatly groomed. Females
with facial hair are required to shave before any on-site
You should always shave legs and exposed armpits.
- Too much perfume is
considered especially heinous when the stench is so strong as to
cause allergic reactions or when the odor can be detected from more
than 3 feet away. Remember, the quality of perfume is directly
proportional to the
price, and many female executives can quickly tell if you are
wearing a cheap, "stink pretty" perfume.
While this may seem overstated, a professional appearance is an absolute
requirement for Burleson Consulting.
Casual Dress Code Requirements
When the client specifically requests that you dress down, the following dress code applies:
- Crisp, pressed button-down shirt
- Slacks with leather belt
- Leather shoes (no sneakers, ever,
even on a casual dress day)
The only exception to this casual
dress code is when the client specifically requests you dress down
below our casual standards (shorts, t-shirts).
Tropical Dress Code
for clientele in tropical areas, Burleson Consulting requires
our professionals wear ties and dress clothes. You may, at your option,
wear tropical suits when working in balmy climates (Caribbean,
Polynesia, Hawaii, etc.). This DOES NOT apply to any consulting done
in cities within the contiguous states (San Diego, Miami, etc.).
Also, after the first day, you may dress down, but only at the
When consulting in these tropical
areas, white, tan and light gray linen suits are acceptable
for men and women, provided that the suits are permanent
press and wrinkle-free.
supplement your white “ice cream” suit with a straw hat or
felt fedora, but no hat styles that may have cultural
Your tie must be worn at all times, but
you may remove your jackets and roll up your sleeves, if
this is the custom of your client.
Short sleeve white dress shirts are not
permitted. You may wear casual dress shoes, including white dress
shoes, but sandals are never appropriate.
For female tropical dress requirements,
trousers are permitted, and pastel and white colors are considered
Male Professional Footwear
You would be
surprised how many people will judge you by the quality of your
shoes and how you maintain them. Your shoes are important,
really important. Did you know that you can be
fired if your boss thinks that you wear shabby shoes?
person can be fired because the company doesn’t like your
shoes,” explains Robert D. Lipman, who manages the New York
employment firm Lipman &
Plesur, LLP, and is President of
Training, Inc.. . .
“We get a lot of calls like this,” he said. “People say ‘This
is America. We should be able to do what we want.’
But I tell them that once you walk into a private employers
workplace, your rights are limited.”
To prevent foot odor and increase the life of your
shoes, many consultants travel with two pairs and rotate them every
day. Wing-tip shoes are allowed but not encouraged.
||A pair of top-quality
($200-$300) shoes is a good investment because they can be
resoled as needed and last for decades. All professional shoes must be low cut
lace-up shoes with a fine leather grain capable of being
polished to a mirror finish.
||However, it is not necessary to spend hundreds of
dollars on dress shoes. Standard military-style Oxford
shoes are both inexpensive and appropriate for a suit,
especially when polished to a fine shine. Corfam shoes are
not acceptable (plus they make your feet sweat).
|I recently got a pair of
Florsheim dress shoes, which have such high-quality
leather, and they shine so bright that I thought that they
ince I required a spit shine, you might check these
out, hardly even a need to polish them, and you can see your
face on the toes!
They also come in wide widths, highly recommended . .
Always carry a shoe care kit when traveling and
make sure to touch-up your shoes before going on-site with a
client. The toes of the shoes should be polished to a mirror
finish, and you should be able to see your face in the shine of an
acceptable shoe shine.
To establish a great base shine, you can easily
locate a shoe service at any fine shoe store or military base. U.S.
military bases (especially Marine bases) have open-to-the public
services where you can get your shoe mirrors started. Once your
base shine is complete, basic care will keep them looking
spectacular. Many consultants place their shoes in sealed bags to
prevent the hairline cracks that can occur in dry climates.
The recent fashion trend toward goofy
square-tipped shoes, pointy-toed roach killers, shoes with
thick soles and other non-traditional shoe styles are never
acceptable for a professional.
Also, despite the latest fashion trends in Europe,
medieval style shoes are really, really stupid looking.
At first, I wasn't sure whether to include this serious
fashion faux pas of European origin as an example of
unacceptable clothing or prohibited footwear. Since
sneakers are never allowed, I opted to include them with
footwear as it's important to note that no matter how far
the sneaker extends above the ankle, it's still a sneaker.
It is apparent from the posture of the bearer of this
fashion burden, it inspires confidence in neither the wearer
nor the observer.
dress code for non-USA
While hats have not been considered appropriate
attire with a suit in the USA since the 1950’s, in some foreign
societies the wearing of hats is both practical and fashionable.
also go great in topical areas, and a super-fine Panama hat
is a great status symbol.
High quality Panama straw
hats are appropriate with tropical dress suits. They are
also utilitarian, adding shade and retarding sweat.
A super-fine Panama hat
can be had for as little as $200.00 on the web; although, a
men's store may charge over $500.00. The best deals are purchases
in South America where a "super ma fin" Panama hat can be had for
When choosing a
hat, it is important to choose a hat style that is culturally and/or
religiously neutral, here are some examples of hat styles that are
Oriental-style hats are a no-no.
Sombreros often imply cultural stereotypes.
Rastafarianism is a legitimate religion.
The news is full of reports of anti-French
Not everyone wants to be cowboy.
Bowlers and derby hats are distinctly
Cultural Dress Code
When representing Burleson Consulting, it is not
acceptable to wear any cultural or religious garments that may
offend a client.
See this page
for details on working with different cultures.
Burleson consulting respects the religious
beliefs of you and our clients, but our clients come first. When
representing Burleson Consulting it is unacceptable to wear any
garments, icons or jewelry that may have overt (or covert)
religious, racial, cultural or national connotations that may offend
It is important to any professional not to
advertise religious affiliations.
For example, when consulting in areas with large Muslim
populations, you may not wear customary garments unless you
are a practicing member of that religion, and then, only
when the attire is consistent with the other tenets of our
Dress Code Accessories
Here are some accessories that you might want to consider:
Clothing shaver - These are very handy for stray pills
and removing fuzz.
Travel Shoe Kit - It is critical that you touch-up
your dress shoes, everyday. You should not use a brush (it
fades the mirror-quality), and I carry a t-shirt rag, black wax
and a liquid black dauber for the soles.
Burberry trench coat - Instantly recognizable for men and
Rolex watch - The time honored, instantly recognized
symbol of success.
However, all accessories can be abused, so be careful that your
accessories remain in good taste:
- Burberry accessories - Burberry hats are for
- Loose Rolex wristbands - This went out in the 1990's.
- Bling - Too much jewelry is not appropriate.
Any of the following might be cause for immediate
withdrawal from any client site:
- Non-white shirts - All male consultants MUST wear a
pressed white shirt.
boots, sneakers and sandals - Don't even think
about it. They call them loafers for a reason.
- Sport Coats - These are considered cheesy by many Fortune
Here is an illustration of
the poor dress codes for computer consultants
that I have worked with in past engagements.
Like it or not, you are immediately judged
However, all on-site
engagements require absolute professional quality dress and demeanor.
Spit-shined, high quality shoes and a professionally tailored suit are
immediately apparent to anyone who must wear a suit every day
Again, these are the MINIMUM standards for acceptable dress and
reserve the right to refine our dress code as required.
Dress Code FAQ
There are few of the most common
questions about our professional dress code.
I applaud your standards. Can I copy this page for my
I strongly believe in passing on the text of this dress
code. However, some images are used here with permission
(Thanks Mike), and I cannot consent to allow reproduction of the
You are a sexist pig, making women wear skirts. How dare
you impose these dress standards?
Actually, I don't set these standards, the clients do.
You must conform to the dress codes to enter client site, and
it's not just women. I worked at a bank where employees
could not have long hair or beards and you could be reprimanded
for wearing a non-white shirt.
At my own headquarters, there is no, absolutely no, dress
Note: In addition to these guidelines, make sure to review:
Professional dress and Tattoos,
Inappropriate corporate sponsorship of charities,
professional golf etiquette
Professional Corporate Tipping tips
Reader Comments on our Dress Code:
Donald Burleson reinforces the effect of first impressions made
by these factors and he does it in a very humorous and memorable
way. It is well worth a look. While you may take exception to these
codes Mr. Burleson is quite emphatic that the codes are set by his
clients. Personally, I think there is a lot of practical wisdom in
what he says.
Your dress code page had me on floor :-)
As a regular visitor to your very helpful website I stumbled
across the "dress code" page. This we read with an amalgam of
mirth and disbelief. In the UK there are various Acts of law
which would wind a corp up running this stuff. But, yes, it is
very important, agreed.
The way we manage this consultant requirement is never hire
someone who we even think would need to be told to use a dress
code. Maybe you should create a "dress code test" as part of
your hire eval. In almost a decade of trading, and with no
formal dress code requirement being stated, no client has ever
returned an adverse comment to us in the appearance section of
our post-contract crits.
Best wishes for a successful 2007
Dr. Mike Buck
CEO Concentrika Limited
I understand the need for your
employees to make a professional impression
on your clients, and I wouldn't advocate that you do anything
However, I find the cultural mindset on the part of your clients
produces such rigidity depressing. I get the impression of a
consciousness emanating from the upper echelons of those
smacks of elitism and snobbery, and that rubs me the wrong way.
speaking about the executives, of course, who all too often are
engaged in a
can-you-top-this contest to bolster their already inflated egos,
then emulated in dress and style by the sychophantic
managers underneath them. These are the companies that provide
the Dilbert comic strip, with their employees slaving away in
cubicles, terrified of losing their jobs due to some social
I think you see through all that, because you obviously have a
sense of humor. I also think that the instructional pages which
you put up
on the web represent a true desire to be helpful and show a
goes beyond merely advertising your services.
I escaped from corporate ladder-climbing long ago and am a much
person for it, working for a small company in a no-nonsense
company consists almost entirely of technical specialists --
engineers, etc. -- with almost no management.
For their part, the banks and insurance companies would contend
dress codes are necessary in order to make a good impression on
clients, but I think one has to differentiate between the
code for front-line people dealing directly with customers, such
tellers, and the dress code of the executives, which seems to be
making a statement about the wearer's position, wealth, and
The only thing which I could perhaps find fault with in your
dress code is
not the dress code itself, but rather the sense of finality in
pronouncements of what is stylish and what is not. There is
indeed a certain
timelessness to a good blue or charcoal suit and a good pair of
as you yourself noted, hats went out in the 50's. Perhaps in
years, your shiny black shoes will look as outdated as one of
hats does today.
Also, medieval shoes look stupid to you. The polo hats and funny
trousers of the modern day aristocracy look stupid to me.
The people I admire most are scientists, and we know how well
Scott C. Pedigo
Java Developer (and when forced, SQL writer)
I ran across your dress code page today as I was searching
on Corfam shoes. It is certainly an interesting point of view,
"East-coast" in its formality. In the decade-plus I have been in
technology sector, none of the companies (some Fortune 200) had
a dress code
like the one you model. I believe, though, that many companies
absolutely use some level of redress, if you'll forgive the pun,
dress code to get closer to yours.
But I digress. I am also a senior enlisted member of the Army
Reserve, and I
was concerned when I read your statement:
"To establish a great base-shine, you can easily locate a shoe
any fine shoe store or military base. U.S. military bases
Marine bases) have open-to-the public services where you can get
I can say with some authority that the events of September 11,
impact public access to many military installations. It would be
warn your those who are read your web page that military
not as open as they once were, and that they should be prepared
to be turned
away at the gate. Security levels change without notice to the
further, the general public has no "automatic right" to access a
installation, especially if the purpose of the visit is to get
In all other respects, however, I applaud your efforts to return
American workforce to a condition in which pride of appearance
was at the
root of the pride of individual workmanship. One of the first
learned in basic training was that your personal appearance is a
reflection of your standard of workmanship.
I learned that
putting two hours
of effort into getting a mirror finish on my boots, even when I
knew I would
wipe out that effort in the first half hour of the next day's
that I cared about my appearance and it demonstrated my work
ethic. That has
served me well in my civilian life.
Sergeant First Class, United States Army Reserve
I particularly liked your section dealing with dress codes;
spot-on. I spent nine years in the business world prior to
active duty after 9-11, and your comments regarding dressing
business are right on the mark. Prior to my return to active
spent approximately five years as a Cisco consultant and trainer
project the proper image, you had to dress for success.
It is also refreshing to see a company that stresses integrity
as a core
business principle. Unfortunately too many businesses do not
the importance of honest, forthright business dealings.
Although it might take a lot longer to hire the employees you
seek, in the end it will save you a lot of money due to the
your work force.
Officer, U.S. Army
I really appreciated your page! I am a 23 year old woman in
law school and no one has ever explained professional dress to
me! I still have one question: What is appropriate footwear for
women? I know open toes are not acceptable but what about the
back of the shoe or heel height? And what color should stockings
Thank you so much for the great site!
Janet Burleson responds:
Hosiery should be plain (no patterns or embellishments) in a
color that flatters your coloring. In other words, wear a
Wear flat shoes or low pumps in conservative colors. You don't
want to call undue attention to your feet! Shoes should be
polished and be easy to walk in. And of course avoid dressy
designs such as open toes and sling backs. The goal is to look
professional, confident and competent not "sexy".
Loved your article - However there's
a lot more to acceptable dress code standards from different
places around the world - several of which I have personally
experienced (or recommended to conform to).
In certain countries the neck tie is
banned, because of its 'colonial era' associations, and must
never be worn.
In a similar vein I've found several
cultures where wearing light blue or white shirts is a definite
no-no. Blue shirts because they're associated with the Police,
and white because it's associated with government officials -
and both are viewed with suspicion, especially the government
officials. While on assignment in one area, I didn't wear white
or blue shirts for nearly two years - whether on-site or off.
Overdressing is also a problem - being
formal when your client is plainly very casual in their dress
code won't likely lose you the contract, but it may well inhibit
you getting the next piece of work unless you can 'dress-down'
to a suitable degree. However, I have found it appropriate to
never participate in client 'casual Fridays', etc. It always
seems to be better to ensure that they understand you work with
them (as a contractor/consultant), not for them (as an
Being 'overly' formal can also be
interpreted as pretentious and 'out of touch' by the client.
This can be a very dangerous message to send by our dress and
grooming, when we're trying to convey the impression that we are
up-to-date and relevant. It is very important to be fashion
conscious, never wearing anything obviously out-of-date for the
same reason. Although I have learnt the lesson of never
out-dressing your client - unless they are the kind that really
enjoy the competition (in a friendly sense).
Your interpretation of 'Tropical Formal' is
also interesting. In the South Pacific 'Tropical Formal' would
often mean a plain colored shirt, with long trousers - but not
always a neck tie. Sandals too would often be considered
acceptable and in fact more appropriate than shoes. Clothing
that doesn't fit the physical environment often marks the wearer
as a little strange in the head, also not the best reflection
upon the company he/she is representing - the song lyrics "Mad
dogs and Englishman go out in the midday sun" comes to mind.
Thanks, for a great article.
Resident of many Tropical places
May I suggest you make an addition
to your dress code page. Some areas of the country during the
summer (desert areas) run in the 100 plus degree weather.
What do you suggest to maintain the professional appearance to
clients without diminishing your physical well being.
(below has been completely obfuscated to
I have an issue with an obese female
employee. She wears short miniskirts, spaghetti-strapped tops,
spandex leggings, and low-cut tops, revealing her huge breasts.
She looks really gross, and our customers have commented on her
All of our outdoor employees have a dress
code: over-the-ankle work boots, denim pants and company logo
shirts. Our dress code also stipulates no sneakers, no body
piercing (for safety reasons), shirts required. But we
have not had the need to create a dress code for office workers.
What should we say and how should we breech this matter? We fear
that the employee will get upset and feel that it's because of
her weight "disability" (she is as wide as she is tall).
It's all-about how disgusting she looks in her clothes, not the
clothes themselves. What can we do?
And we replied:
This is a serious issue that is probably
best handled directly. She obviously does not have a clear
understanding of generally accepted dress standards within the
office environment. Nor does she appear to realize the negative
impression she makes on your clients.
You may want to start by reminding her of
her value as a member of your team, and then go on to advise her
that through her excessively casual attire she is not presenting
herself in the proper light as a professional member of the
team. Stress that she should not dress for the office in the
same manner she might dress for recreational activities. Request
that she wear clothing in a style that is compatible with the
style worn by other office workers with her physical
Keep the focus on dressing "professional
versus casual", rather than focusing on the revealing nature of
her attire. Remember, discussing the "levels of physical
exposure" is a sensitive subject, even for the most seasoned HR
professional. To prevent misunderstandings, the HR person should
not be alone during this sensitive discussion. A trusted female
team member should be there as a witness, just in case your
reprimand is taken as an assault on her "obesity" issue, which
may constitute a disability.
Dear BC: I agree with your views on all
males wearing only white dress shirts, belts etc as a great
attire program. However, I honestly believe that wearing a fine
powder blue or light pink shirt, especially with a white collar
is totally acceptable. As a 53-year old financial advisor, I
have noticed that many younger men come in unshaven, messy hair,
and with tees or long-sleeve, round-collar polo's.
The other day, a visiting executive client
of mine noticed one of my fellow lawyers sitting in our computer
room with a 3 day old beard, and a collarless, maroon shirt. The
guest asked me if this was a tech engineer or one of our
I was disappointed and shocked at the
sight of my associate's slovenly appearance. Although we work in
mid-town Manhattan, Casual Fridays has infected the rest of the
Question: How do you suggest
we communicate a dress-code to all men and women in our office,
without insulting anyone?
Answer: To be effective, any
dress code needs clear guidelines and absolute enforcement.
If HR can provide humorous illustrations of violations, that is
a great way to communicate the dress code requirements. As
to enforcement, violators should be sent home to change,
discretely and immediately.
I love your
online course about the real international dress code
requirements. Hm, it could be a new Oracle error code?
Error in dress code.
Cause: The personal
performance is very bad and cannot run acceptable in the
environment of a customer.
Action: Early in the morning let run a daily job to
check up the mirror image and use your personal tuning tool
Greetings from Germany,
I write regarding the page on your web site
regarding dress codes:- you are joking aren’t you?
Firstly, if such suggestions were made in Europe, even as
light-heartedly as this, you would have the human-rights squad
on your neck like a ton of muesli!
Secondly, the style you suggest walking in to a UK boardroom
would have people worried: we would expect you to start talking
evangelism, and after you left, debate whether you were wearing
locked combination underwear beneath it. Only a white shirt?
Dark grey suits? I am not suggesting I would prefer to see a
pale cream suit, open shirt and medallions (heaven forfend), but
I do suggest you hire an Italian or French couturier and get
some fashion sense in to your code. Looking like a missionary,
or something out of the late fifties, would lose my trade
quicker than anything else.
The only dress code I have ever imposed on my staff is simple:
the first one to wear blue denim in my presence will be asked
which service station they would like to work for as a petrol
pump attendant. Clean pressed shirt, a tie, formal trousers and
proper shoes for the men (lounge suit on occasions outside the
office), and neat clothing for the ladies; that is as far as you
may go legally.
S. R. Atkinson
And our response:
>> you are joking aren’t you?
If you had bothered to read the page, you would have noted that
this dress code is required by or clients, not us.
It’s the same as professional dress codes enforced by large
>> you would have the human-rights squad on your neck like a ton
Human rights squads? What, are you a communist?
That’s why we treasure living in the USA, where we have freedom
from such squads.
Here in the free world, employers have an absolute right to make
their employees dress as they see fit.
>> Looking like a missionary, or something out of the late
fifties, would lose my trade quicker than anything else.
You think that wearing a well-tailored suit, polished shoes and
a white shirt make you look like a missionary?
>> that is as far as you may go legally.
That’s why we went to war with England, to get away from
Here is the USA, we have the freedom to hire and fire people for
I just came across
your article, while researching on the proper attire to wear to
work. I recently received a job in the IT department of digital
photography lab and was wondering what would be appropriate to
wear. A friend of mine had sent me
this article, and I thought that it could be an interesting
addition to your website. I thought it would be a light-hearted
way to talk about dress codes. Anyway, thanks for all of the
advice, and Happy New Year!
A Burleson review of the
linked article yields the following notes of interest:
"IT staff are twice as likely to wear a heavy metal t-shirt as their non-IT counterparts. The study of 1000 office workers, by Intermedia.NET, the leading Microsoft Exchange host, also found IT types 34% more likely to sport a ponytail. . . One interesting finding from the study was that IT staff are more likely to wear an expensive suit than a cheap one. While business staff are still far more likely to wear any suit at all, IT people shun cheap suits, with 33% more of them choosing a pricey suit over a bargain one.”