Geek Chic changed everything. When the standard-issue Microsoft wardrobe — flannel shirts, khaki pants, Timberlands — eclipsed the power suit as the emblem of business success, the casualization of the work uniform was here to stay.
But even Geek Chic has become just another source of uniformity. Khakis and flannels are about fitting in. Today the name of the game is standing out. Kim Johnson Gross and Jeff Stone, authors of the phenomenally successful Chic Simple series of workstyle manuals, argue that dress codes are being rewritten to emphasize individuality: who you are, what you do, where you're going. Business fashion, say Gross and Stone, is almost a "unique ethnicity."
Well, maybe not quite so unique. Fast Company has identified the four archetypes you're most likely to encounter in the office and on the road. Here is a spotter's guide to the latest in business fashion and the statements behind them.
Visti Chic Simple on the Web at http://www.chicsimple.com .
A version of this article appeared in the April/May 1997 issue of Fast Company magazine.