UBS's 43-page dress code requires tie-knots that match your facial morphology

The Union Bank of Switzerland has released a new, 43-page dress-code for employees in four test branches that specifies things like what color underwear you're allowed to wear (underwear that matches your flesh-tones); what kind of tie-knot you're allowed to have (one suited to the "morphology" of your face); prohibitions on new shoes, millimetre-specific fingernail length requirements; and the dictum that any scent must be applied as soon as you leave the shower and no later. The code is meant to help restore confidence in UBS, which was a central player in the reckless, planet-destroying subprime gambling spree. If the code is "successful," all employees will be subjected to it.
"Light makeup consisting of foundation, mascara and discreet lipstick ... will enhance your personality," the code says, while advising women not to wear black nail polish and nail art.

The hair-care section notes studies have shown that properly cared-for hair and a stylish haircut "increase an individual's popularity."

On the other hand, designer stubble is out of the question for men, as is excessive facial hair.UBS's advice for men even extends to underwear, which should be of good quality and easily washable, but still remain undetectable. Black knee-high socks are preferable as they prevent showing bare skin when crossing legs, it says.

Update: From the comments, SimonBarsinister sez,
Page 43. Code 4763: Socks will have a single gold threading along the front seam.

Page 43. Code 4764: Finally, Please refrain from investing in worthless financial instruments, falsifying the credit worthiness of those instruments, burying those worthless instruments in complex derivatives to hide their valueless state, selling those worthless instruments to other institutions and government entities, and maneuvering government entities into absorbing the cost of these worthless financial instruments.

Codes 1-4763 are mandatory and must be obeyed at all times as a condition of employment at UBS. Code 4764 is optional but recommended.

Dress to Impress, UBS Tells Staff (via Lowering the Bar)

53

  1. Re: The Devonshire Arms – it’s not as extreme any more but couple of years ago I went in there on a sunny Summer afternoon, it was so dark you couldn’t see your drink in front of you. Proper Goff ;)

  2. I’m glad that the Swiss keep honoring their reputation for taking neatness to OCD levels. I’m even more glad that I don’t work at UBS.

    1. ocd..well, according to UBS, the proper phrase is:

      “UBS spokesman Jean-Raphael Fontannaz acknowledged that the code may appear very detailed and “in line with

      Swiss precision,”

  3. I did an internship at Lehman Brothers many years ago, I had to buy an entire new set of clothes for “casual day”.

    Although thankfully it wasn’t anywhere new as strict.

  4. I remember the Eurostar train staff dress code saying men were allowed to wear make-up, as long as it was not obvious to customers. I’m not sure if that policy still applies today.

  5. reading about this invokes images of the film “gattaca.”

    and, pardon my judgment..but – wadda’ bunch of freaks!

    do they have a department of peeps who walk around inspecting underwear at random?

    1. So in reference to what underwear the employee should wear, is management going to be checking , give me a break

  6. This type of micromanagement is a waste of time, and an indication that an employer doesn’t really understand what is important. I get that they don’t want their employees showing up in sweats, but to borrow a response from Microsoft – Really?

  7. Do I have to turn in my tighty-whiteys for some weird underwear the color of women’s “nude” undergarments? I’ve never even seen men’s underwear in that color.

  8. If this new dress code doesn’t perk everyone up nothing will!

    Nothing says incompetent micromanagement like a 43-page dress code.

  9. Switzerland is a country where you can’t flush the toilet in your flat after 10pm, nor mow your lawn on a Sunday. Villagers can inspect the homes of people applying for Swiss citizenship for cleanliness.

  10. “Villagers can inspect the homes of people applying for Swiss citizenship for cleanliness.”

    If true, that is so cool!

  11. When I finally wind up in Hell, I am going to take time out of my busy being on fire schedule to find these people and punch them out.

    Fashion police are the worst kind of thought police.

  12. i’m all for good quality underwear that’s easily washable but, dammit, no one’s gonna force me to submit my undies to inspection. unless it’s to combat terrorism, of course

  13. Reminds me of Cracked’s article on ways to tell your company is about to go belly-up. One of the signs was absurdly odious new policies, designed to make you quit.

  14. (fwiw, it has not been “The Union Bank of Switzerland” since 1998. It’s now “UBS” which stands for nothing at all. They did not even have the decency to recurse!)

  15. Any restrictions on “excessive toe-cleavage”? The old IBM dress-code frowned on such displays in female employees.

  16. Page 43. Code 4763:

    Socks will have a single gold threading along the front seam.

    Page 43. Code 4764:

    Finally, Please refrain from investing in worthless financial instruments, falsifying the credit worthiness of those instruments, burying those worthless instruments in complex derivatives to hide their valueless state, selling those worthless instruments to other institutions and government entities, and maneuvering government entities into absorbing the cost of these worthless financial instruments.

    Codes 1-4763 are mandatory and must be obeyed at all times as a condition of employment at UBS. Code 4764 is optional but recommended.

    Remember, adherence to these 43 pages of new codes will help restore confidence in UBS, which was a central player in the reckless, planet-destroying subprime gambling spree. Thank you for your cooperation.

  17. I don’t think a dress code, even a rather detailed one, is necessarily a bad thing.

    Have you seen the way people dress if given free rein? If you provide just a basic guideline (or no guideline), people will find a way to follow the guideline yet look terrible.

    The details here are obviously over-anal, but most people these days don’t know how to dress and groom themselves in a way that looks good. It’s not about obsessing over your appearance and getting all the details perfect – it’s about getting at least the basics right.

    We could probably do with banning certain types of hair styles (pony tail) and facial hair (goatee, chin strap) on men, too :)

    1. This is all subjective. When I deal with a person wearing a suit, I automatically assume that we will have an adversarial relationship. This is not rational, but it is how I think. In my case UBS’s new dress code would not inspire greater trust.

      On the other hand, I’m unlikely ever to do business with them anyway. You don’t need a bank if you don’t have any damn money.

    2. My company has a ONE PAGE dress code, but it has many of the same elements people are laughing at in the 43 page UBS opus. Most of this is just a very detailed version of “Wear business attire, and try to look like someone who works in a bank.”

  18. I’ve had the argument with employers over what constitutes “professional” before and there’s a certain dissonance. To me, a white shirt and a tie don’t mean “professional” so much as “drone”. When I work in the entertainment industry, “professional” tends to mean you brought the right tools, although the trend towards black (find a roadie without a closetful of black t- shirts and you have a total rookie) is common. Hair, piercings, tattoos and make-up don’t enter into it.

    1. In most of my work experience, the least ethical people have been suit’d and tie’d “professionals.” The dissonance between their professed creed and their actions — it is something I’ve never been able to wrap my head around. Professionalism is not a way of being worthy of emulation.

  19. Female staff are also advised not to wear patent-leather shoes, and to “leave some room for the Holy Spirit” when slow dancing.

  20. A lot of the code seems to just be good sense (not allowing your underwear to be seen; taking proper care of your clothes; abstaining from strong fragrances), but even for me, the tie knot advice is baffling. A good four-in-hand should serve any face or body, I imagine.

  21. Waitaminute! Hang on…

    They’re concerned with their employees’ dress code, but not the aesthetics of that horrific ‘winged dragon skull beast casually leaning Moe-the-bartender-style out of a triangular window’ logo?

    I mean I don’t even.

  22. Any other guys wondering what tie knot is “suited to the “morphology” of your face”?

    How do I find this out? I feel like I am really missing the mark now.

    1. Any other guys wondering what tie knot is “suited to the “morphology” of your face”?

      In shirts, if you have a narrow face, you wear a spread collar; if you have a wide face, you wear a pointed collar. Your tie knot should fill your collar spacing. I don’t care if your tie matches your facial morphology, but I’d probably send you home to re-dress if you wore a spread collar with a skinny knot.

      http://www.tomjames.com/AU/news/collars.asp

    2. Re: matching tie knot with morphology
      Somebody with a small head or thin neck should use a small tie knot. A huge knot would look out of proportion.

  23. Clearly Patrick Bateman landed on his feet. I wonder many pages UBS dedicates to business card specifications.

  24. I work for UBS in switzerland, and used to be a regular at The Dev in London a few years ago when I lived there.

    There’s not really a lot of difference between the dresscodes of the two, as long as you fit in with the other other people there.

    Though I must say, its a good thing I dont work n front-office with the private banking clients.

  25. Ahh, the Devonshire. I just had to smile a huge smile when I saw that. I nearly got engaged there. I was lat there in 2007. Is it still there? I heard rumor that it became a death metal bar.

  26. Do the clientele of Swiss bankers regularly see them in their underwear? Perhaps here we are getting at the real source of the UBS problems…

Comments are closed.