In a return to the old fashioned ways in hopes of reclaiming old fashioned profits, IBM is re-instituting the Big Blue Dress Code which set the tone for IBM in the fifties and sixties. Men will be expected to wear dark suits with light colored shirts and subdued ties. Women, who were not so much a part of the corporate culture when the code was in full effect, will wear dark suits with skirts or pants.
Not surprisingly, the most controversial part of the newly imposed code will be the stricture on underwear. What IBM calls Business Briefs will the undergarment of choice for all. The briefs, modelled on jockey shorts, will include ribbing designed to force the wearer to sit upright.
Herbert Armitage, President of IBM, announced the new code at the annual meeting of stockholders. Investor reaction to the re-institution was mixed though generally favorable, with older stake holders more favorable.
All employees will have until January 1, 2005 to comply so that clothing expenditures will not be onerous, Mr. Armitage said.