The national meeting program comprises over 400 pages of information, some of which is actually useful. It tells you where to see talks, what hotels to book, where to catch the bus, and how to find free food. One thing it does not tell you is what to wear—and I wish it would.
It’s high time for the ACS to either establish a dress code or at least provide guidance on the matter. Since I expect no such by-law will weave its way through the executive committee, I am taking it upon myself to set the rules. And they’re, like, totally official because this is the official blog of the official magazine of the ACS.
For some reason, dress codes are always set by what men are supposed to wear. (Women don’t wear sports jackets to “jacket-required” events, nor do they wear ties (of any color) to black-tie events.) I assume all women are just born with some innate conversion factor that lets them know what to do. With that in mind, I can boil down the official ACS National Meeting dress code to two simple rules:
Rule #1: Men’s shirts shall have collars.
Polo/golf shirts are acceptable. Jackets are optional. Ties are optional. I can’t fathom why you would want to wear a suit in Washington in August, but feel free. You’re truly hardcore. The only exception to the collar rule is that you may wear a T-shirt if it is of the cheesy chemistry variety (e.g., a periodic table of beer). Otherwise, no T-shirts. Stay classy, my friends. And under no circumstances may anyone wear a tank top. Ever.
Rule #2: Men shall not wear flip-flops.
Given the amount of walking that some people are forced into, sneakers are completely acceptable. Sandals are really pushing it and should generally be avoided. (I don’t care if it’s 95 degrees outside—men’s feet are gross.) Flip-flops are disrespectful and are strictly verboten.
That’s it, plain and simple. These rules go into effect starting with the 2010 meeting in San Francisco. Non-compliance will result in the confiscation of your meeting credentials and your being declared persona non grata at all ACS events for 18 months.
Please address all comments and complaints to the chairs of the OMG and WTF committees, which are co-sponsoring this initiative.