Every Tuesday and Thursday, like clockwork, you can catch the School of Business and Industry students walking towards Lee Hall, decked-out in their slacks, suit jackets, ties, hard-bottom-shoes, pleated skirts, and off-black pantyhose. Their business attire dress code is heavily enforced, and does not give leeway for modern-day style.
A Suit has always been a sharp and essential item in a man’s work attire, but with so many updates in what constitutes appropriate and attractive fashion; SBI’s dress code could use a refresher on today’s style. The fashion rules of the past have been broken and modified to work for today’s generation.
In the 1950’s men wore a suit to work, church and dates with a woman. Now, work appropriate clothing has become relaxed. “Business casual” is now the most common of dress in the work force. The suit has not lost its place in today’s fashion, but it is more infrequent in its appearance.
Some SBI students believe the dress code could use some updating, and others feel that keeping the traditional guidelines prepares students for corporate America. “SBI dress code is not a far stretch from today’s fashion,” said Ronnie Oats, senior business administration student. “The fashion at FAMU is not the fashion of corporate America. We dress for formal business meetings not the ‘set’ as most people do” said Oats.
SBI dress code for women states: Conservative cut; solid, pinstripe or pin check with only four available colors- navy, dark grey, dark brown, or black. Skirts can only be pleated or straight and no shorter than two inches above the knee. The blouse must be solid colors, white and pastel and either silk or cotton and absolutely no turtlenecks or sweaters.
Pantyhose must be either natural taupe, off black, navy blue, or grey. The shoe has to be a basic pump, medium or low heel, no open toe, open back, or straps. Where is the opportunity to express your own style when there is no flexibility for creativity?
“I think the dress code could be relaxed just a little bit,” said Kashima Edwards, freshman business marketing major. “My style is never represented when I get dressed for Forum- black skirt suit, white blouse and pantyhose definitely does not give off my personality,” said Edwards.
Although SBI’s dress code has been in place for many years, it might be time for an updated guideline. Men sports jackets are now seen as professional attire and are normally not the same color as the slacks. Jewerly, high heels and print blouses are not uncommon for women in business attire. Now-a-days, Fashion is about creativity and expression.
Fashion is a trend, and it will always evolve with time.