It may be old news for some of you by now, but the wires have been abuzz with the news that UBS has issued a strict dress code guide to staff in Switzerland.
The guide amounts to a weighty 44 pages, and begins with lines such as: “An impeccable appearance can procure interior peace and a feeling of security”; and, in indomitably Swiss fashion, “he who wears a watch conveys trustworthiness and great concern for punctuality.”
It goes further:
- Only suits of grey, black or navy blue may be worn, and must be kept dry-cleaned and changed daily;
- Shirt-collars must be wide enough to pass a finger inside and shirt cuffs must show between 1.5cm and 2.5cm beyond the jacket sleeve;
- Men must wear ties with patterns that “match the bone structure of their face”;
- Facial stubble, tattoos or ear-rings on a man is a big no-no;
- Only lace-up shoes can be worn and men must wear black, non-patterned socks;
- Female staff who wear skirts must ensure they descend to mid-knee and no more than 5cm below the knee;
- She must wear a white blouse that “must neither be tight on the bosom, not gape open, because that gives a negligent appearance”, with strong advisory that flesh-tinted bras are de rigueur to remain invisible under the blouse;
- Standard-style neckwear must be worn and the blouse collar must appear over the jacket lapel;
- Women may wear seven items of jewellery, but men only three;
- Female employees are also told that wearing make-up gives the impression of competence, but to avoid nail art and avoid heavy makeup;
- Female employees are even advised to do such things as wear buttons fastened when standing, unbuttoned when sitting, and warns of the dangers of wearing too-tight underwear and shoes; and
- Employees of both sexes are urged to avoid smelling of strong perfume, garlic, onion or cigarette smoke.
If you would like a copy of the guide then Download UBS Dress Code, a loose translation.
The bank is trying to rebuild its image after receiving a $69 billion bailout as a result of the global financial crisis and, whilst appearing a little old fashioned, the Wall Street Journal reports that this is a good guide, grounded in common sense with lots of interest globally to replicate as sane advice to any corporations’ employees on how to make a good impression.
HT to Neil Peacock for sharing this with me.