Thursday, April 20, 2006

HB Presents: Salaryman Lessons 4

Greetings, Class. Welcome back to our continuing series on achieving success in the workplace. If you missed the earlier installments, here's a quick recap:
  • Salaryman Lessons 1 covered learning how to dress for the job you want and how to drink coffee.
  • Salaryman Lessons 2 was about successfully navigating social situations with your boss and enjoying crudites.
  • Salaryman Lessons 3 was about turning down jobs that look good on the surface but will torpedo your careeer.
Today we're going to talk about why you need to own some blue dress shirts. My current favorite is 100% cotton (this is vital), and I bought it at Target.

Doesn't that look sharp? You need blue dress shirts because they will make you look good in any situation not calling for black-tie formality.

Blue shirts look great with a camel blazer and a rep tie. They look good with basic blue suits. They are extremely smart with those corduroy jackets with the leather patches on the sleeves. There is virtually no pant fabric they don't complement from wool to canvas. Blue shirts are warm in the winter and cool in the summer. They're slimming. Sometimes, in a meeting, your blue shirt will have a really sharp, quick response when that jerk Chad from sales brings up a product launch you bungled, and everyone will laugh at Chad. Who does that guy think he is, anyway? That'll teach him. Some blue shirts can bake.

When don't they make sense? You might want a white shirt for interviews and something kind of shiny for "the club." Other than that, blue is what you need, chief.

Stay tuned for Salaryman Lessons 5, "Hey! Where'd I leave my keys?"


Kendra Lynn said...

blue shirts are my personal favorite. Scott has several. :)
You are right...they fit just about any situation to perfection.

p.s. We need to go out as a foursome sometime you and Scott want to plan it or should Lauren and I plan it? LOL You can wear a blue shirt.

Judy said...

Blue shirts ROCK - it is the "new black".

Jeremy said...

It is imperative to own a blue shirt, it compliments any pant/tie combination.

I have 2 blue shirts - one is a baby blue and tends to wear better with my navy blue clothing or khakis, then there is the "power blue" that I wear to business meetings and job interviews - it's the shirt I pull out when I'm playing hardball.

Now, I didn't think I would wear it as much as I do, but I have a pink shirt that I wear with a matching grey/pink/black tie combo that seems to win over the ladies. It says, "Hey, I'm masculine, but I'm in tune with your femininity and I understand."

Craig said...

Salaryman: What's your take on rolled-up sleeves. Unseemly? Or indicative of a nose-to-the-grindstone type?

Jonathan said...

Craig, it's totally situational. If you have a "power watch" that identifies you as the alpha person in your organization, roll 'em up. Humble blue shirts mixed with a gold Rolex shows that you're wearing that blue shirt because you want to, not because you have to. Your people will respect that.

Having a great tan, eating a sandwich, or showing your essential humanity while delivering a brutal performance review are all good times to roll up your sleeves. Otherwise keeping them down shows a certain Bob the Builder-esque "Yes We Can!" attitude that colleagues and subbordinates find reassuring.

lifeindaburbs said...

i love it... i didn't know there were so many idiosyncrasies to the "blue shirt." i particularly like the part about the power watch/alpha mail trait. your anthropological take on the roll up sleaves is Goodall-esque.

lifeindaburbs said...

what about starch or no-starch?
personally, i'm a medium starch person. i love the crisp feeling of a freshly pressed shirt right after a morning shower. what are some of your thoughts on this?

Jonathan said...

George: I think you're right that many salary-people exhibit chimp-like behavior and can be analyzed accordingly. Salary-people and chimps all exhibit aggression, territoriality, cannibalism, dominance-displays, and occasionaly compassion and nurturing - followed by more cannibalism and aggression. It's fascinating.

Regarding starch: I like it on the rare occasions I have a shirt laundered, but I don't bother most of them time. I just press and go, my mornings can be fairly rushed.

Craig said...

When I had a real official-type job with an office and all, I'd sometimes wear my jacket while working. I did this mostly in the interest of warmth, but also because it felt sort of like a throwback: I'm thinking Darrin from "Bewitched."

In the office environment, I'd say this identifies you as a bit of a weirdo, but also someone so focused on what's on the screen that he doesn't have time for anything else.