“Well, what is it?” I asked. “Is it the water here or something in the office air? Is this some Erin Brockovich shit or something?”
Dr. Susnow explained that he was able to rule out the water and air because two of the six employees who suffered from the same symptoms worked in two different satellite offices.
“I have a theory,” he said, “but it’s only a theory.” He stopped.
“Well, what is it?” I demanded, growing impatient.
“Hmm, I don’t know if I should tell you because, like I said, it’s only a theory and, really, I need more time to think about it. Telling you now would be premature.”
“You gotta tell me. I’m dying here. I can barely get out of bed in the morning. I can’t go on like this. I just can’t.”
“O.K., O.K. I’ll tell you but this doesn’t go beyond this room. You must promise met that. If this theory is true, which I hope it’s not, it will disrupt the entire order of things as they now are. Do you understand me?”
Dockers has issued the advertisement seen below. The ad shows a man confidently wearing his Dockers biz caz while sitting on a couch that is presumably in the employees’ lounge of the man’s office. A female coworker, also dressed in Dockers biz caz, is apparently unable to resist the man’s wrinkle-resistant attire and jumps on top of him. Sure, they may get escorted to the street by security for this workplace hanky panky but she can’t be to blame. The man is wearing Dockers.
We here at the Biz Caz Blues are showing this advertisement to you, the reading public, to warn you that wearing biz caz may not cause most people to become absolutely irresistible to the opposite sex. Actually, it’s highly unlikely to happen to anyone. You have been warned.
The second installment of Who Doesn’t Wear Biz Caz? is dedicated to the late-comedian George Carlin who died yesterday.
We can safely say that Mr. Carlin never wore biz caz.
However, as the picture below makes clear, he did have at least one friend who wore biz caz.
Many people believe that the issue of biz caz is simply too general to be the subject of one Web site. Writing about wearing biz caz is like writing about breathing. Everyone does it.
Believe it or not, not everyone wears biz caz. This may be hard for many to accept. It certainly was for us for a long time. Everywhere we went the only people we saw were dressed in biz caz. All of our coworkers and all the other professionals near our downtown offices were in biz caz. Same with all the other drinkers we saw at happy hours at our favorite after-work bars like Houlihans, Slappy O’Leary’s and the Bull and Bear. Even the employees of restaurants and retail stores like Starbucks and Best Buy were biz caz clad.
It’s easy for people to grow up believing that everyone wears biz caz. Well, not everyone does. We hate to be the ones to break it to you but that’s what we do, we speak the hard truth about biz caz.
Therefore, we are going to begin profiling people who do not wear biz caz as a way of expanding our readers’ horizons.
First up, Rick Rubin.
Rick Rubin, an influential music producer who cofounded Def Jam Records, does not wear biz caz.
However, his friend Jay-Z does wear biz caz. Intersestingly, when Jay-Z wears biz caz no one calls it biz caz. This is due to the fact that instead of looking like Sean Carter, a mid manager for the past 10 years at Inintech, he is still that Jay-Hova while wearing khaki pants and a striped shirt. How many of your cubicle-mates can you say that about?
Another battle in the never-ending office dress code wars ended decisively this week when the Men’s Dress Furnishings Association (MDFA), the American tie makers trade group, announced that it would be shutting down its operations.
The MDFA publicly blamed its dwindling membership as the reason behind the group’s decision to dissolve. The group’s current membership of 25 companies is down from 120 in the 1980s.
Behind the scenes, however, members of the MDFA and others in the workplace fashion industry were acknowledging that MDFA’s closure was a direct result of the Smart and Casual Officewear Federation’s (SACOF) relentless attacks on both the formal wear industry and its culture.
One MDFA insider, who asked to remain anonymous, said, “Truth is, SACOF beat us a long time ago. Some of us think we should have disbanded years ago when it first became clear that SACOF had made business casual the dominant office wear.”
Others used more forceful language when talking about SACOF, proving that bad blood remains between the two groups long after the bloody officewear wars of the 1980s and 1990s. Many, speaking off record, accused SACOF of continuing to play hardball in the years following the Truce of 2002, using tactics such as shakedowns of makers of formal wear.
Representatives of SACOF did not respond to any calls for comment. SACOF’s press department issued the following brief statement: “The members of the Smart and Casual Officewear Federation wish the best for all of the members of the Men’s Dress Furnishings Association in their future endeavors. SACOF, as an organization, had nothing but respect for MDFA in the years the two groups competed against one another.”
It looks like SACOF will have no more competition going forward.
The day of my diagnosis I wore a wrinkle resistant Club Room dress shirt that was pale blue with white checks. The horizontal white lines were slightly bolder than their vertical brethren. I thought it was an illusion at first but it’s not.
My pants were black with white pin stripes that were so faint they were barely noticeable. I was violating a cardinal Biz Caz rule by wearing checks with stripes. However, I hoped the stripes in my pants were so faint that I could get through the day undetected. I hadn’t even noticed them until I put them on in my office.
I had bought the pants at a Banana Republic one weekday morning after I was caught in a torrential rainstorm that drenched my Banana Republic chinos. Not wanting to spend the day in wet clothes I made the trip to the Banana Republic that is conveniently and appropriately located at the center of all the downtown office buildings. The store was crowded for 10:15 a.m. It was filled with other water-logged office workers.
Wearing “business casual” or “biz caz” has the same effect on a person as getting neutered has on a dog. It is as if one lops off their metaphorical testicles everytime one zips up the fly on one’s khakis.
And with those gonads goes one’s passion, laughter, sex drive and general appetite for life. No one has ever pumped their fist in the air and exclaimed “carpe diem” while wearing a Blackberry holster on the braided belt that holds their Dockers high.
In a way we are luckier than the altered canine because our amputation can be undone simply by peeling off our smart but casual clothes at the end of each sedentary day. The pooch can never go back. At the same time, Fido may be the fortunate one as he only suffers the cut of the knife once while we are subjected to it four times a week (jeans Friday!), every week.
But, we wanted this. We fought long and hard to be released from behind the pinstripe prison bars of the business suits. We wore down our older office managers until they finally relented and allowed cotton fabrics to grace the cubicles. After claiming victory in the bloody dress code wars of the 1980s and 1990s, we found ourselves in a new prison, one of our own–and Banana Republic’s–design.
Posted in Biz Caz News
Tagged Banana Republic, Biz Caz, Business Casual, cotton, cubicle, Dockers, dress code, fabric, jeans, khaki, wars of the 1980s and 1990s