Dear Mr. Molloy:
My husband is a dentist and we live in a very nice area of town. Most of our friends are professionals or executives and my son’s friends are their children. Three months ago my son dramatically changed the way he dresses, he went from looking like a neighborhood ktd to someone who lives in a poor area. The other day he left the house wearing a hoodie up over his head even though it wasn’t cold. What worries my husband and I is he went from being a straight-A student to someone who gets B’s.
I realize that he’s just turned 15 and that’s an age when children often reject their parents values. As an expert on clothes, do you think we should continue to worry?
Being an expert on clothing hardly qualifies me to answer such a question but I taught high school many years ago and my first Instinct was to tell you there is little to worry about. When youngster’s hit that age they rebel.
However, I changed my mind after going to dinner with a few friends two of whom were ex-teachers. I’m not sure how the subject came up but when it did both immediately responded to your question in the same way. When I was teaching l could tell which group a youngster belonged to by the way he or she dressed, apparently that’s true today. The dress you describe convinced both teachers, one who taught in New Hampshire and the other in Kentucky that your son might be taking drugs. Both said it’s a major problem today in high schools. They suggested that you confront your son but before doing so purchase one of those kits sold at CVS that lets you test to see if he is taking drugs.
From previous conversations I knew that they were against everything Trump did. However, both said if he could end the drug epidemic that exists in their schools they might consider voting for him. They quickly added, they didn’t think he could do it. That was such a radical change from their normal position that it indicates that drugs are a very serious problem in our high schools and I think you should take their advice.
They also said if he fights the idea being tested you should insist and if you find he is taking drugs you should immediately seek professional help.
Dear Mr. Molloy:
I am writing to you for myself and two other women employees. I work at a manufacturing facility outside of Anaheim California and our company has decided to put everyone in uniforms. These uniforms came about as a result of union negotiations and most employees like the idea.
I voted for the uniform along with the other two women managers. We voted for it because it gave us an outfit to wear to work that will save a great deal of money. The other day we were at lunch discussing the uniform when a woman from another section of the plant said we were crazy to vote for it because it would make us less effective than our male counterparts. The uniform is going to be the same for men and women. It will consist of a pair of pants and a shirt in the company’s color with company logos on them. She explained that you said that most uniforms make men look efficient and woman look inefficient. Is that true?
T.J, Anaheim, Ca.
I did say that years ago but it is no longer true. If the uniform you described is neat, crisp, in traditional conservative colors and cut it will probably send a positive message for men in most blue collar settings. It will announce loudly and clearly that the wearer is hard-working and part of the team. The same outfit on most women will send a message that they are sexy and ineffective. Most trousers designed by uniform companies for women emphasize their feminine shape and are often almost skin tight which emphasizes there very feminine rear ends which men find very sexy and attractive. Since our research shows that it is almost impossible for women to send a sexual and an authoritative message at the same time, wearing the uniform you described will make it far more difficult for a woman to succeed as a foreman.
I strongly suggest that before your company orders anymore uniforms, you and the other women foreman approach those making the decision and insist that the uniform company design a special version for women managers. The uniform should have a blouse that is full enough to accommodate a full busted women and designed to be worn tucked in or outside the pants. The pants should be in a dark color and tailored not emphasize your figure rather than display it.
Before a company chooses a uniform it should test what effect it will have on its employees both male and female to perform their jobs. Leaving the selection to the designer at a uniform company is dangerous because that decision can and often does affect not only the success of the employees but the success of the company. If the uniform manufacture knows what they’re doing they will immediately comply with your request. But if they resist any suggestion for change, I suggest your company look for a new supplier. There are a few uniform companies that specialize in designing effective uniforms for women and they won’t be too hard to find. Simply ask the uniform company’s representative if they already designed uniforms for women managers. If their answer is yes hire them, if it’s no, look elsewhere.