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MENSWEAR Casual Fridays may have gone too far



Published: Tue, February 5, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Apparel alliance contends that pride in work is reflected by pride in appearance.

BALTIMORE SUN

The Men's Apparel Alliance is nearly at its wits' end over casual Fridays.

"The trend of casualization has gone too far," says MAA president James Ammeen, who believes taking pride in your work requires taking pride in your appearance -- and that means Hawaiian-shirt day has got to go. To that end, the alliance has issued Dressing for Business and Beyond, a what-to-wear guide for the "downright confused" male.

Here's a look at the four acceptable levels of style and what they supposedly signify:

ULevel 4: Tailored -- The key elements are described as a "suit and hosiery," and the message is one of authority, confidence, credibility and persuasiveness. You're ready to bowl over the board.

ULevel 3: Softly Tailored -- The key element here is the sport coat. MAA says the slightly mismatched look gives off an air of accessibility, influence, consistency and dependability. You're ready to intern for the board.

ULevel 2: Casual Tailored -- The key elements here are the collar on your shirt and the conspicuous absence of a jacket or tie. Those at level two are perceived as less influential, less authoritative, informal, relaxed and approachable. You're ready to bring the board its mail.

ULevel 1: Untailored -- Key element: no collar. While you're not in jeans and ripped T-shirt territory here, you are in weekend casual with V-neck sweaters and lighter colors. You're ready to play golf with the board.




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