Here’s a headline that makes you wonder, “What am I going to get Dad for Father’s Day?”

Tie Association, a Fashion Victim, Calls It Quits as Trends Change
According to a recent Gallup Poll, the number of men who wore ties every day to work last year dropped to a record low of 6%, down from 10% in 2002.

As far as I can tell, casual day might have killed off the tie and its feminine counterpart, the much dreaded pantyhose (much deserved, I might add), but think of the boom in the economy for high-end bowling shirts, non-iron khakis, pedicures, fake tans and waxing.

But, really, has casual day gone too far? I’m not calling for a return to the bowler hat and control tops … (okay, let’s face it, men look pretty darn smart in hats, and Spanx wouldn’t command $150 million in retail sales if there wasn’t a market). But, if the only people dressing up these days in a law firm are the litigators and consultants, how do we in-house professionals not stick out like sore thumbs when we dress professionally?

What I find disturbing in the whole “casual” trend is the attire we see on “really casual” Friday, which culminates a week of “business casual?” Why is that people are trying to out-casual casual? How come I was the only one to counsel a young associate (at a prior firm, of course) that flip-flops are not appropriate attire for the office. EVER! Little punk had the nerve to argue back.

In this brave new work world I have seen breasts whose cups runneth over, and shorts, with or without heels, trying to make it work 9-5 (Bermuda or Capri … not office attire). At the end of the work week, I don’t want to see your tan lines, 6-pack abs, or know about the concert you attended via your t-shirt. If you have to tug it or yank it when sitting down, it’s too short. And, while I’m all for saving the whales, I think there are better ways of supporting the cause than through your whale-tail.

To quote my employee manual:

If you look like you are ready for the beach, a hike or to clean out the garage,
you are too casually dressed for the office.

Can I hear an Amen?

Oh, as for dear ol’ dad, considering he only wears a tie for weddings and funerals (the same tie, come to think of it), I’m going with the monogrammed steak brand from Williams-Sonoma. Perfect for a guy who still wears monogrammed shoes.