Swiss bank UBS AG is revising its
dress code after getting roundly mocked for suggesting employees wear skin-coloured
underwear and avoid garlic breath.
The 44-page style guide is being
whittled down to a more modest booklet that will concentrate on how to impress
customers with a polished presence and sense of Swiss precision and decorum.
The existing code tells female employees how
to apply makeup, what kind of perfume to wear and what colour stockings and
lingerie are acceptable.
It advises them not to show roots
if they colour their hair and to avoid black nail polish.
“You can extend the life of
your knee socks and stockings by keeping your toenails trimmed and filed,”
UBS tells its female staff.
Always have a spare pair: stockings
can be provisionally repaired with transparent nail polish and a bit of
Men are told how to knot a tie as
well as to get a haircut every month and avoid unruly beards and earrings.
Both sexes were advised to avoid
garlic or onion breath.
“Glasses should always be kept
clean,” the code instructs. “On the one hand this gives you optimal vision,
and on the other hand dirty glasses create an appearance of negligence.”
The guidelines recommended
skin-coloured underwear for women and wristwatches for all to signal
“trustworthiness and a serious concern for punctuality.”
The guide prompted derision and
disbelief when it first surfaced last month.
“People made fun of UBS,”
Kern told Swiss weekly Sonntag. “But it didn’t cause any damage to our reputation.”
The bank, the largest in
Switzerland, has a history of providing detailed advice for its employees. A
handbook for bank trainees gives a country-by-country behaviour guide.
In Russia, it tells employees to be
prepared to hold your drink at business engagements and to “never reject
an invitation to the sauna.”