In a statement that's bound to find broad agreement in the creative community -- who are well known for a dress code that ranges from stylish to slovenly -- Google's global privacy counsel, Peter Fleischer, wants to see t-shirts replace the tie as standard business attire, saying the tie "constricts circulation to the brain."
However, the rest of his comments may not go down too well with those weaned on a lifestyle of tight deadlines, late nights, and an overindulgence in caffeine and alcohol. He says that the tie "acts as decorative camouflage for the business suit, designed to shield the middle-aged male physique, with its shrinking shoulders and protruding paunch, from feeling sufficiently self-conscious to hit the gym," Fleischer wrote in a recent letter to The Financial Times.
The letter, written in response to an article that praised the tie as appropriate business attire, was signed using Fleischer's Google job title.
Fleischer suggested replacing the tie with t-shirts, which he said do less to hide the shape of a man's body. "Wouldn't you like to know whether your business partners are fit? Why should you trust a man in business if he abuses his own body?," Fleischer wrote, saying casual attire may also result in greater creativity.
"If your fashion editor can hardly imagine a better garment for men to exhibit their personality, power and masculinity than wearing ties, well ... I work at Google. Our unofficial motto is, 'Be serious without a suit,'" Fleischer wrote.
Google, like many other technology companies, allows employees to dress casually for work. A company recruitment video posted on YouTube shows the range of attire, including t-shirts and dress shirts, worn by employees. None of the employees are shown wearing ties.
However, several of Google's senior managers are shown wearing ties in their official photographs, including Omid Kordestani, senior vice president of global sales and business development; Elliot Schrage, vice president of global communications and public affairs; and Vint Cerf, vice president and chief Internet evangelist.