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Swiss Bank Has 43-Page Dress Code 212

Posted by samzenpus
from the dress-for-a-specific-success dept.
Tasha26 writes "The HR of Swiss bank UBS AG came up with an innovative 43-page document (French) to establish fashion 'dos' and 'don'ts' in their retail branches. Among the rules are such things as: 'neither sex should allow their underwear to appear,' perhaps Dilbert was a bit ahead of them on that. The document also mentions smells and 'avoid garlic and onion-based dishes.'"

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Swiss Bank Has 43-Page Dress Code

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  • /.ers (Score:5, Funny)

    by courteaudotbiz (1191083) on Monday December 20, 2010 @12:05PM (#34616010) Homepage
    Should avoid working for this bank!
    • I could care less about the dress code, I want to see the money laundering policy, and the code to detect it.
      But I have a feeling it says something like "Monkey no see, monkey no hear, monkey no say", in elaborate legalese, in 38 separate policies, procedure manuals, and legal/sales dept coordinated recommendations, totaling 4392 pages of policy. They surely have huge conflicts in whose dirty money they see or inform on, and whose they don't.
    • Who at the bank inspects the underwear ?
      and doesn't get sued for sexual harresment every few days.

  • Dress code? (Score:4, Funny)

    by TheL0ser (1955440) on Monday December 20, 2010 @12:08PM (#34616046)
    Only dress code that should be required: 1) Do not show up to work naked. 2) If you're in a position where you need to be taken seriously, dress so that the other guy will take you seriously. 3) Seriously, noone wants to see you naked.
    • 1) Do not show up to work naked

      So that's why they fired me!

    • by ByOhTek (1181381)

      It's amazing the number of people who cannot understand what kind of outfits a business person will take seriously. I've seen people with spiky hair, piercings and tatoos all over, and baggy/ripped/faded outfits unable to comprehend how someone could not take them seriously.

      Then again - relaxed dress code here:
      No holes where there shouldn't be holes
      Must wear Shoes that cover your toes, Skirt or Pants (trousers for those of you in the UK) and a Shirt

      That about sums it up.

      • Must wear Shoes that cover your toes, Skirt or Pants (trousers for those of you in the UK) and a Shirt

        So open-toed women’s dress shoes would be a no-no?

      • by h00manist (800926)

        It's amazing the number of people who cannot understand what kind of outfits a business person will take seriously. I've seen people with spiky hair, piercings and tatoos all over, and baggy/ripped/faded outfits unable to comprehend how someone could not take them seriously.

        I didn't want to figure it out for years, and could never work in IT. Finally I accepted if I wanted to work for "the system", I needed the right costume, got a #!@*! suit, and got a programming job.

        Then I got a job where the bosses dressed worse than everyone. Then I never got another job. Now I'm working on how to work each time less.

        I'm not looking for a damn paycheck, I'm looking for a civilization where life is worthwhile.

      • Re:Dress code? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by sjames (1099) on Monday December 20, 2010 @01:46PM (#34617672) Homepage

        To be fair, there are also plenty of people in suits that don't understand why the ripped jeans and t-shirt crowd doesn't think they're cool.

        If you think about it for a moment, you will see that it is kind of silly that you're only taken seriously if you tie a strip of cloth around your neck tight enough to slightly restrict blood flow to your brain.

        Beyond avoiding holes where they shouldn't be and not being offensive, it is all rather arbitrary and even childishly silly.

        • by ByOhTek (1181381)

          If you think about it for a moment, you will see that it is kind of silly that you're only taken seriously if you tie a strip of cloth around your neck tight enough to slightly restrict blood flow to your brain.

          Usually they aren't tied that tight.

          As far as non-offensive, it does help with first impressions - can you show signs of restraint and putting effort into *something*

          It doesn't always translate, but the general opinion is, if you can't do that with your attire/appearance, you won't do that with your

          • by sjames (1099)

            Usually they aren't tied that tight.

            They shouldn't be, but exactly the people who actually consider them essential (rather than merely acquiescing to a requirement) tend to think a loose knot is sloppy and so overcompensate.

            UK hospitals banned them for doctors when they were found to be a vector for infection.

            But yes, non-offensive is generally a good idea in all professional matters.

        • To be fair, there are also plenty of people in suits that don't understand why the ripped jeans and t-shirt crowd doesn't think they're cool.

          Doubtful. Today's suits were yesterday 60-70s hippies with long hair and ripped jeans and t-shirts or 70-80s punk rockers with a purple mohawk and ripped jeans and t-shirts. ;-)

          If you think about it for a moment, you will see that it is kind of silly that you're only taken seriously if you tie a strip of cloth around your neck tight enough to slightly restrict blood flow to your brain. Beyond avoiding holes where they shouldn't be and not being offensive, it is all rather arbitrary and even childishly silly.

          Not at all, there is actually science behind the concept of dress codes. Basically the idea is to dress to meet the expectations of the customer, client, potential employer, etc - basically the person you are trying to influence. Non-verbal communication is an important part of building credibility and appearance is part of that comm

      • by russotto (537200)

        It's amazing the number of people who cannot understand what kind of outfits a business person will take seriously. I've seen people with spiky hair, piercings and tatoos all over, and baggy/ripped/faded outfits unable to comprehend how someone could not take them seriously.

        Hey, gotta play to the stereotype. If I'm claiming to be the guru who can build their entire new computer system in nothing flat, the hacker ponytail, sandals, and ripped jeans are an absolute necessity.

        And if you're trying to get a con

        • by Chris Burke (6130)

          And if you're trying to get a contract as a black hat hacker, spiky hair, tatoos, and piercings are pretty much necessary, despite the fact that at no point will the client actually see you.

          Unless you're trying the reformed-black-hat security consultant thing. Then they'll see you, and without the look they'd never believe you when you look around their server room and say (without actually looking at how the systems are actually set up) "Oh man, you're lucky you called me. I could have broken in here in

      • by Lumpy (12016)

        I cant stand the recent grads... Fricking flip flops? I don't want to look at your hairy toes there johnny... Put shoes on. I dont care if you have 2 phd's... put shoes on.

        • by X0563511 (793323)

          Don't want to see my feet?

          Then don't look at my fucking feet!

          Likewise. If a customer sees me long enough to notice, or face to face, someone -else- has already fucked up to the point where dress code is pointless.

    • One of my favorite teachers in high school told us a story about how he managed to be fired from a job instead of quitting it. The dress code required pants, a shirt, jacket and tie. He sewed himself an outfit of those using transparent plastic. He was following the required dress to the letter while still proudly showing his underwear and bare chest.

  • by 2names (531755) on Monday December 20, 2010 @12:09PM (#34616058)
    I can't wait for companies to start using these to enforce dress codes. "I'm sorry, Jim, but we can't allow you to wear your pretty, pretty princess underwear to work."
    • by JWSmythe (446288)

          You know, that's a great argument *FOR* strict dress code guidelines.

          If you know Jim is wearing pretty princess underwear, that's *WAY* more than anyone needed to know. :) Maybe if he wore pants also, it wouldn't be an issue.

      • by Abstrackt (609015)

        Maybe if he wore pants also, it wouldn't be an issue.

        What can I say? I love the breezy feeling only a kilt can provide!

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Lumpy (12016)

          I love my utilikilt... sadly most American men have no sense of fashion and comfort, and are not manly enough to wear one.

    • . . . because I'm wearing the Pretty, Pretty Princess underwear and it's embarrassing if both Jim and I are both wearing it.
    • by Gilmoure (18428)

      Too bad Mountain does make a Three Wolf Moon golf shirt. Could use one of those at work.

  • huh (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anrego (830717) * on Monday December 20, 2010 @12:10PM (#34616060)

    So uh a business whose employees deal with customers on a daily basis in an industry where projecting an image of professionalism is very important has developed a guide to aid their employees? This just sounds like common sense to me.

    43 pages sounds a bit insane, until you actually look at it. Large print, lots of diagrams, lots of whitespace/formatting not 43 walls of text. It actually looks pretty clean and readable.

    Financial institutions are still one of the last places where we expect people to put some effort into their appearance. Even geeks like myself who cringe when they have to put on a tie tend to expect the people dealing with our savings to look the part. If the guy I’m greeted by has a nose ring, I’m out of there. Yay for double standards I guess.

    • Re:huh (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Ephemeriis (315124) on Monday December 20, 2010 @12:17PM (#34616170)

      So uh a business whose employees deal with customers on a daily basis in an industry where projecting an image of professionalism is very important has developed a guide to aid their employees? This just sounds like common sense to me.

      Yup. Every business has a dress code. Some do uniforms... Some just tell you how you need to dress... Isn't that unusual.

      43 pages sounds a bit insane

      It does. And I assumed that it was all kinds of legalese...

      until you actually look at it. Large print, lots of diagrams, lots of whitespace/formatting not 43 walls of text. It actually looks pretty clean and readable.

      Not just clean and readable, but actually useful. There's instructions on how to tie a necktie. I don't know how to tie a necktie. If I got a job at one of those banks I'd have to go dig up some instructions on-line... Or I could just use the nice document that HR provides during orientation. That'd actually be handy.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by digitig (1056110)

        It does. And I assumed that it was all kinds of legalese...

        No, it isn't. If you follow the link you'll find (as long as you can read French) that it is quite informally written. It takes so many pages because there's a lot of whitespace, lots of pictures, and lots of supplementary material explaining the reasons for the dresscode and showing different ways of tying a tie. It does essentially define a uniform (white shirt, charcoal, black or dark blue suit, plain black shoes and company tie for men), but the content that does that could probably be condensed to les

      • Re:huh (Score:4, Interesting)

        by holt (86624) on Monday December 20, 2010 @01:57PM (#34617824) Homepage

        There's instructions on how to tie a necktie. I don't know how to tie a necktie. If I got a job at one of those banks I'd have to go dig up some instructions on-line... Or I could just use the nice document that HR provides during orientation. That'd actually be handy.

        I don't know how one would get a job at a place like that without having worn a suit and tie to the interview. If they're telling people how to tie a necktie after the fact, isn't it too late?

        • Re:huh (Score:4, Informative)

          by Ephemeriis (315124) on Monday December 20, 2010 @02:18PM (#34618120)

          There's instructions on how to tie a necktie. I don't know how to tie a necktie. If I got a job at one of those banks I'd have to go dig up some instructions on-line... Or I could just use the nice document that HR provides during orientation. That'd actually be handy.

          I don't know how one would get a job at a place like that without having worn a suit and tie to the interview. If they're telling people how to tie a necktie after the fact, isn't it too late?

          Clip-on.

        • by russotto (537200)

          I don't know how one would get a job at a place like that without having worn a suit and tie to the interview. If they're telling people how to tie a necktie after the fact, isn't it too late?

          You could probably get through the interview with a tie tied incorrectly, but you'd better use one of the three accepted knots if you want to work there. I am surprised they don't specify a particular one.

          • Re:huh (Score:4, Informative)

            by Anrego (830717) * on Monday December 20, 2010 @03:19PM (#34619110)

            I am surprised they don't specify a particular one.

            Different knots look better on different people (neck size has a lot to do with this) .. and with different shirts.

            • by Sulphur (1548251)

              I am surprised they don't specify a particular one.

              Different knots look better on different people (neck size has a lot to do with this) .. and with different shirts.

              And if you tie a full Windsor knot, you may be asked if it is your little brother's tie.

    • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

      by Hatta (162192)

      So uh a business whose employees deal with customers on a daily basis in an industry where projecting an image of professionalism is very important has developed a guide to aid their employees? This just sounds like common sense to me.

      It is common sense. The interesting part is that common sense reigns here, but not in the actual operations of the bank. If they spent as much time ensuring that their employees were doing their job properly, and not just dressing the part, they may have avoided the financia

      • by lgw (121541)

        suit and tie are the colors for the most powerful gang in the world. Sure, a thug in a red bandana might steal your wallet. A thug in a suit and tie will steal your entire future, and get a million dollar bonus for it.

        Sorry to question your off-topic rant, but did anyone actually lose their savings deposited with a bank in the recent debacle? Certainly not in the US. Investors got screwed, but that's the risk you take.

        The thug who stole (a part of) my future did wear a tie, but he was the politician that bailed out the bank with my tax dollars (mostly future), not a banker.

        • by Hatta (162192)

          The politican may have made a bad decision when dealing with the crisis, but the banker is responsible for the crisis. Neither of them have clean hands and they are both thugs in my book.

          Personally, I'm not concerned about the individual investors wiped out by the financial crisis. The people who really fucked over are the millions of people unemployed today who wouldn't be if not for the crimes of the banking industry.

    • Exactly. My last employer (a financial institution) had a much more detailed and lengthy employee handbook. Included were which way to face in an elevator, on which side to put down your briefcase, and acceptable tie patterns. I thought it strange that it also told employees to wash their hands after using the bathroom, but at least I could appreciate that one.

    • by selven (1556643)

      If it's that important, why not just have uniforms? I don't pay much attention to dress but I recall at least one of the banks in my area had all their employees dressed exactly the same way.

      • by Snowgen (586732)

        If it's that important, why not just have uniforms?

        In a way, they do have uniforms. The uniform is the method of dress spelled out in the dress code.Their uniform just has more variation allowed.

        But what would uniforms save? You still need to tell people how to wear them. The US Air Force spends about 160 pages [af.mil] (annoying PDF) telling people how to wear theirs.

      • you want a high class bank to have monkey suit uniforms? if you want that go to white castle.

    • by LainTouko (926420)

      Financial institutions are still one of the last places where we expect people to put some effort into their appearance. Even geeks like myself who cringe when they have to put on a tie tend to expect the people dealing with our savings to look the part.

      Well, if someone's wearing a tie, the part they look to me is the part of 'swindler' or 'con-man'. Someone who's genuinely honest and professional may end up wearing anything. Someone who's pretending to be honest and professional to mask a less attractive n

    • by GWBasic (900357)

      43 pages sounds a bit insane, until you actually look at it. Large print, lots of diagrams, lots of whitespace/formatting not 43 walls of text. It actually looks pretty clean and readable.

      It's actually pretty admirable; and respectful of the people who need to dress the part. There are plenty of business situations where appearance DOES matter, and having a well put together guide helps this.

      It almost reminds me of how Disney World doesn't have employees; it has cast members.

      It also reminds me of how when I used to Google various Oracle issues; I kept coming across articles from a contracting company. They clearly stated on their "employment" page that their employees are expected to wear s

  • by smoothnorman (1670542) on Monday December 20, 2010 @12:10PM (#34616062)
    And when opening new accounts for African dictators, "intelligence" groups, mercenaries, drug-lords, and the odd nazi, one should be sure that one's hands are kept lily white.
    • by b4upoo (166390)

      In Florida where the real monsters play the huge accounts are posted by South Americans. They are by far the greatest ethnic group that open accounts in the hundreds of millions or billions of dollars. And no, they are not all drug lords. Many are land barons who have held huge estates ever since Spanish colonial days. That may well mean they are even more vile and evil than the drug lords.
      Believe it or not young women just out of high school

    • by Upaut (670171)
      "And when opening new accounts for African dictators, "intelligence" groups, mercenaries, drug-lords, and the odd nazi"

      Actually in the last decade, the war on terror has destroyed the anonymity of Swiss banking. Which despite the Swiss stating they don't want people to use their banks for money laundering or tax evasion, the fact that many who have/had accounts there were doing just that. So being a signatory on an international banking treaty to prevent a terrorist wiring funds around to his pals, it has
  • We should all aspire to such clean and complete documentation. This is a 5-star effort.
  • At least they let the French write the dress code instead of the Germans. I'd rather see co-workers wearing black socks with tennis shoes than socks and sandals.

  • John Lennon has made an interesting song about this behaviour: "You can wear a collar and a tie, one thing you can't hide, is when you're crippled inside".
  • In true /. spirit I chose to not actually read the article, but just from Tasha26's synopsis I would tend to agree that one should avoid wearing garlic- or onion-based dishes to work.
  • The following highlights of the booklet are provided courtesy of The Vancouver Sun [vancourversun.com]:

    The list [vancouversun.com].
    • by Geeky (90998)

      WTF does the advice not to wear a tie "not adapted to the morphology of the face" mean?

      Is this a mistranslation? How would I know if my tie was adapted to the morphology of my face?

      • by gstoddart (321705)

        WTF does the advice not to wear a tie "not adapted to the morphology of the face" mean?

        I have no idea. Don't wear fall colors if you're a winter?

        Is this a mistranslation? How would I know if my tie was adapted to the morphology of my face?

        My wife is in charge of the ties. She pairs 'em with the shirts and pants. I just need to pick out sock and shoes.

        It really does simplify my life. :-P

    • by theNAM666 (179776)

      For those who won't want to follow a link:

      Anthracite dark colors, black and dark blue symbolize competence, the formality and seriousness.

      A flawless appearance can provide an inner peace and a sense of security.

      By taking into account the fact that the first impression is a decisive factor, the Dresscode offers today was developed. This underlines the professionalism of our bank.

      -----

      Guidelines

      These guidelines are intended for all employees and PKB compliance is mandatory. Senior executives are required to e

  • "A professional in a gorilla mask is still a professional."
  • by spaceyhackerlady (462530) on Monday December 20, 2010 @12:43PM (#34616618)

    I've seen too many written dress codes where 99% of the don'ts apply only to women. This one is about 50/50 on what's right for both men and women. I like that it shows what's right, it's not just a shopping list of what's wrong. They want a plain but classy look. I could live with it if I worked there.

    Me? I'm showing a bit of cleavage today, and, yes, my bra is showing. If it's going to show anyway, wear a nice one.

    ...laura

  • For comparison (Score:5, Interesting)

    by blair1q (305137) on Monday December 20, 2010 @12:43PM (#34616622) Journal

    The U.S. Army's guide to dressing up right is 362 pages [army.mil].

    And they have total control of the manufacture and issue of the clothes. They're not suffering all the randomness that the fashion and retail industries insert into civilian clothing choices.

    • by iammani (1392285)

      It makes sense actually, people running the military are control freaks (not that its a bad thing). People running the banks, not so much (atleast I wouldnt expect them to be).

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by JockTroll (996521)
        People running the banks in Switzerland ARE in the military. The place has a militia army. Happened to be, once upon a time you couldn't make any career in the banking business if you weren't advancing in the Swiss Army.Things have gone downhill from the moment they stopped to enforce this unwritten rule.
      • by blair1q (305137)

        Seriously? You don't see bank executives as controlling?

        Their entire industry is (or at least was) built on getting strangers to trust them with their money.

        Swiss banks doubly so.

        Frankly I'm surprised that a Swiss bank even needed to write down the rules.

    • They're not suffering all the randomness that the fashion and retail industries insert into civilian clothing choices.

      Then how do you explain the Berrets?

  • Sorry, but... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by lexidation (1825996) on Monday December 20, 2010 @01:31PM (#34617416)

    dress codes are bullshit. Total bullshit. Go to a bank in Italy on a summer's day, for instance. You'll find the clerks are dressed way down from what you'd see in the US. No tie, open shirt collar. And you know what? You won't have any sense that they're "unprofessional". Whatever that means. Ride the train through Switzerland. A conductor with an earring may well greet you. He did me. And he did his work efficiently.

    What I'm saying is that the whole "dress code" is largely US-centric. That's not to say there are no rules of dress -- I've had the pleasure of getting thrown out of a store right off the beach in the South of France for not wearing a shirt. But just as hard-working Europeans still feel justified in demanding 5 weeks of holiday and are less inclined to put in 60-hour weeks, they show up for work dressed neatly but not in the uniform that's demanded of their American counterparts. The thing that's amazing to me is that most people posting here clearly feel the uniform is justified. What do you care if the guy in the bank has a tie on or not? Why should any employer have that kind of power over you?

  • What an apostrophical disaster. It's the apostrocalypse!

  • The title is "Don't"

    It is French? Go figure. I could not find a page titled "Do" neither.

  • I say chaps. Very good of you to offer instructions for Four-in-Hand, Windsor and Double Windsor for new johnnies who haven't a clue how to tie a tie but really, I am not sure I could work for a company that won't let me choose the far more elegant Prince Albert.

    (to be fair the guide doesn't say other ways of tying a tie are prohibited)

  • The swiss love rules. everyplace i went in the interlocken area was loaded with signs telling you what you can't do. They ranged from fairly benign (and obvious) like, "No Euros Accepted", to the mildly inconvenient, "Men, do not urinate standing up."

    Sure, it's a stereotype, but every time i hear about the swiss and their rules i chuckle a little bit. I also think about how incredibly gorgeous Switzerland was and i'd like to go back.
  • 1. Invite the authors of that dress code to visit where I work.
    2. Their heads asplode.
    3. Profit!!

  • They have some very nice diagrams for explaining how to tie a helf / full windsor knot in your tie.

    I actually wouldn't mind an English translation. Seems like a good style guide.
  • that a woman can wear a shirt in which you can see everything down to her waiste when she bends over but I get special training to avoid looking and could get a violation and coaching I did.

    I don't mind if they do this. I mind that I would get in trouble for "elevator eyes".

    They would do the same thing if I had a v neck shirt open to 3" above my belly button.

    Hell, I can see the bottom of their bra sometimes when they don't bend over and sometimes don't see the bottom of a bra.

  • If you dress like the guy in Assassin's Creed, people tend to assume you're important.
  • I recently opened an account in UBS and I must say, the female staff were all dressed in rather stylish form-fitting pantsuits. In comparison their male counterparts looked decidedly more homely. I wonder if this policy has not been introduced to bring some equality between the sexes.

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