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Dressing up and down

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John Faraclas

John Faraclas

The last few years have witnessed, in the City of London and elsewhere, a break with the tradition that men of status and representing their business should appear in public wearing a tie. The down-dressing started in imitation of the tech wiz-kids who did not even wear a formal shirt.

Among the leaders opting for the ‘cool’ appearance have been Alexis Tsipras (who because or despite this, won two general elections) and Jeremy Corbyn (clear winner in the UK Labour Party leadership contest). Does this matter? Almost any mode of civilian dress is at least more reassuring than that of leaders who appear in military uniform. President Obama always goes before the public neatly attired, as does his nemesis President Putin.  When the singer Frankie Ford, whose big hit was Sea Cruise, died last week, it was recalled in his obituary notice in The Independent, that he said: “I have always liked to dress up for work.  I don’t want to look like I’ve just come off the bus.”

Sometimes you might want to appeal to your fellow bus passengers, but our opinion is that dressing smartly when on business shows respect for your counter-party, and for yourself.  As to the mode of business and political dress worn by our leading ladies, that sensitive topic must be for another day…

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