Institute of Directors swaps suits for skinny jeans

The 100-year-old directors' club has relaxed its dress code to lure entrepreneurs

by Gabriella Griffith
Last Updated: 03 Sep 2013
They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but the Institute of Directors (IoD), the business club and long-time bastion of stuffiness, has loosened its dress code rules, in a bid to attract startups and the next generation of entrepreneurs.
Until now, the IoD has adhered to a strict dress code inviting only those in ‘business attire,’ and almost certainly barring anyone wearing Converse. But keen to keep up with the times (and get some of Tech City’s wunderkinds through the door), the IoD will be allowing ‘jeans, T-shirts, shorts and all variants of footwear,’ to tread its hallowed halls.
‘We are doing a lot more work with tech companies and startups,’ said a spokesperson.
‘We have been the home of British business for over 100 years and we have always been a forward looking organisation. Reflecting social changes and adapting to the needs of our membership is part of that philosophy.’
The changes will be made as part of a trial, so they are by no means definite. The testing period of three months, which kicked off in June, will be followed up by a report of member feedback to be submitted to the board.
But before you start hailing the IoD as some sort of trailblazing funk club, its move is actually part of a wider trend observed among the world’s business community. Leaders who attended this year's G8 summit were encouraged to wear ‘smart casual’.
Whether or not the black-rimmed glasses wearing tech-brigade will be hot footing their trainers over to Pall Mall remains to be seen. But for now…’viva la sartorial revolution’.

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