Dear Manager Tools community,
I have a bit of a conundrum I could use your feedback on.
I am just started a job as an insurance sales agent in a medium sized company in the UK.
The dress code of the office is 'business casual' however, it is stressed in the contract and employee handbook, that casual dress; jeans, t-shirts, trainers etc are not acceptable.
Most of the bottom level staff in sales and processing wear jeans, t-shirts, or at most tucked in casual shirts with no blazers/jackets or ties.
Most of the managerial staff wear formal shirts tucked in, WITHOUT TIES, or suits, again without ties.
I have hit the ground running and am doing well. I've been networking and building relationships with all the key people (indeed pretty much everyone) very well.
However, it has been noticed by some and I have received comments from a few colleagues (at my level) that I dress very differently to most of them.
I wear a suit and a tie without fail. They are not garish combinations, they are very classic, and designed to look smart, professional and business like.
However, the managers do not wear ties, and the non-managerial staff wear clothing pretty much entirely in breach of the what the company defines as 'professional attire', I am uncertain as to whether I should dress down, or as the adage goes 'dress for success'.
The comments have been double edged; on the one hand the superficial comments have been 'yeah its good to look smart, and you do look good, well done'. But the tone of voice, the body language and what is not said; implies 'do you think you're better than us."
Now a picture does paint a thousand words, however, I have made huge efforts to approach EVERYONE and as a good salesman, and a natural people person have started building strong professional relationships with many people in the company. Whereas all the other new starters in the new intake refuse to acknowledge the existence (out of shyness) of anyone but their own group (shunning even other staff at the same level), not eating lunch with them, ignoring them in the kitchen and break out rooms, avoiding eye contact, not introducing themselves. BUT they all dress in casual attire...
So guys, thats the situation
Should I dress down to fit in?
Should I dress for success and keep smart?
Should keep the suit and lose the tie? (the middle way)
Appreciate any and all feedback!