Sheer Dress Code Awesomeness

by Evil HR Lady on December 16, 2010

As my regular readers know, I’m an American living in Switzerland. If I need to run out and get a job, I know precisely where to get one now. Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS). Now, why would I want to work there?

Because as far as evil HR work goes, they seem to have the best dress code ever. Seriously. The Christian Science Monitor reports:

The regulations designate a 1.5 millimeter maximum fingernail length for men, suggests that female bankers wear makeup and put on perfume directly after showering and not after lunch, advocates that shoes be changed daily to bring greater levels of “peace and serenity,” and mandates employee underwear that is skin-toned and “always made of superior quality textiles.”

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal says that UBS advises women:

“Light makeup consisting of foundation, mascara and discreet lipstick … will enhance your personality,” the code says, while advising women not to wear black nail polish and nail art.

The hair-care section notes studies have shown that properly cared-for hair and a stylish haircut “increase an individual’s popularity.”

And Styleite tells us that men’s ties should be knotted according to the “morphology of the face.” What does that mean? I have no idea.

Think of how great it would be to be in HR here–specifically if you were in charge of enforcing the dress code. I mean, I could walk down the hall and say, “Hey, Jurge, your tie doesn’t match the morphology of your face!” And how could poor Jurge disagree with me? Because no one knows what that means.

And also, just how are you supposed to check up on the quality of the staff’s underwear?

Hmmm, on second thought, I don’t think they’ll hire me. For that job, they probably want former TSA officials. They have all the underwear experience.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

KellyK December 16, 2010 at 3:14 pm

Yep, has to be the best dress code ever. I particularly love the nail length, spelled out in millimeters.

Morphology in linguistics is the study of the rules for forming acceptable words. In geology, it's the study of the characteristics and evolution of landforms.

What the squidding squidlips do either of those have to do with ties?


Suzanne Lucas December 16, 2010 at 4:16 pm

I have no idea what the squidding squidlips morphology has to do with ties, but don't you just want to tell some guy that his tie doesn't fit with his face morphology?


RJ December 16, 2010 at 11:10 pm

I think some of the odder bits of the dress code are related to it being put through Google Translate.

I'm reading it now in French – actually, as a guide to dressing it's quite useful – particularly if there's a class divide.

It is reminiscent of the 80s dressing book though – the one about grey suits and pearls – can't remember the name.


RJ December 16, 2010 at 11:11 pm

BTW – am influenced by DeanDad here – he talks about how non-middle class kids need information about how to fit into middle class mores – this guide is very old school middle class.


Sergey Gorbatov December 16, 2010 at 11:21 pm

Hi, personally I believe that there are industries where such minor details make tremendous difference. Private banking is one of them. Think about the luxury industry: it is imperative that the salespeople there have immaculate hands and nails, because when they demonstrate jewelery – it's their hands and nails that the customers will see, and untended cuticles is something you don't want to enjoy next to a lovely diamond ring…


Suzanne Lucas December 17, 2010 at 6:02 am

RJ I should find the German and read it as well, as I'm sure it exists. My German is no where near fluent, though.

But things like fingernail lengths aren't lost in translation. Morphology probably is. Translation is tricky.

And,I adore Dean Dad. (Hmmm, that sounds bad. I adore Dean Dad's writing.) I do agree that there are many people who have no clue how to dress properly for business situations. No one has ever told them.

But, if that's the case, a statement should be "fingernails should be nicely trimmed" and not "fingernails should be 1.5 mil in length.


tjay December 17, 2010 at 6:46 am

@RJ "How To Dress For Success" A black woman from Detroit, I had two copies of the book you mention—it was updated and reprinted you know. Even in the 80's I'd have gotten a beat-down if I'd left my house dressed like that. Oh well. Class and times don't change…much.


Frugal Gourmet December 17, 2010 at 3:05 pm

Suzanne, morphology simply means "shape". So presumably a narrow knot for wider faces and vice-versa…

Of course knowing how obsessive the Swiss are over things like dust and the shape of leaves on plants, a dress code like this does not surprise me at all!


Suzanne Lucas December 17, 2010 at 3:20 pm

Frugal Gourmet, that's just no fun if it just means "shape."

And I know all about the obsessiveness of Swiss people. My neighbor once knocked on my door to inform me that the inside of my mailbox was dirty.


Anonymous December 22, 2010 at 10:16 pm

It is rumored that Sun once had a much simpler policy – it simply stated "You shall be dressed."


Sarah Says December 28, 2010 at 1:39 am

That is hysterical! Morphology of the face? Make-up enhances the personality? Maybe the confidence of the woman wearing it…


elbise December 28, 2010 at 12:33 pm

Thank you for this beautiful description of the subject. Expect more


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