I seek your advice on how to receive feedback about attire. I'm the 26-year-old owner/manager of a micro software development shop. I like to dress 'smart casual' to work: a shirt, jeans, a jacket and a pair of plain lace-up shoes. As far as formality is considered, this puts me well into the 90th percentile in our building, which houses some twenty businesses. Put differently, the general egalitarian cultural tendency of the region is well evident.
Why do you always dress so formally, my office neighbour asked me today. Why, do you mind? Because I like to, I replied and continued, because I'd feel uncomfortable in just a T-shirt and jeans.
The situation ended as quickly as it started, and I'm not entirely sure what he meant. But overall, I was left with the impression that he questioned my choice of attire.
I like the way I dress. That said, my neighbour is someone I look up to: he's a nice enough guy, roughly my age, a serial entrepreneur, quite experienced in B2B operations, and runs a company roughly five times the size of mine. That is to say, I'm sure he's made a few bad judgements in his life I could learn about from him.
Moreover, as I said, there's a general air of people trying very hard to dress poorly enough in this region, as someone else said.
So, trying to follow M&M's advice of not putting one's personal preference over effectiveness, I'm asking you to share your insight and experience regarding this issue. Can, in your opinion, wearing a jacket and a shirt to work be ineffective, when everyone else, including owners and managers of other companies, are dressed more casually?