September 18, 2007

Functionless clothing items


That's what Great Britain's Department of Health calls ties. "They perform no beneficial function in patient care and have been shown to be colonized by pathogens." Ditto long-sleeved shirts, watches, and jewelry.

I've been avoiding long-sleeved shirts, jewelry, watches, and ties for years. Of course, I don't work in a hospital, but why risk contaminating my keyboard? It's good to see solid scientific evidence backing up my fashion choices.

In Japan, the "Cool Biz" campaign swaps less air conditioning for a tie-less, jacketless, sleeveless work environment. It seems to be taking, as it's not unusual to see government officials going tie-less in settings where you'd never see an American bureaucrat so attired.

On the other hand, on solemn occasions like the Japanese equivalent of Memorial Day, the prime minister wears a morning coat. I have to admit, it looks a lot better than standard business attire. Dress way up a few times a year, or don't bother. I could live with that.

It's time for this custom to go world-wide and year-round.

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