Elon Musk and “Dress Code”

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Air Chief Marshal Chappy Hakim
Air Chief Marshal Chappy Hakim, Assumed his appointment as Chief of Staff of the Indonesian Air Force in 2002 and served to 2005. In 2019, Chappy Hakim founded and led PSAPI – the Indonesian Center for Air Power Studies or ICAP.

As the economy improved, many Indonesians can today afford to appear well-dressed, or cultivating a netjes look like foreigners. In contrast, foreigner visitors have abandoned the netjes look. Instead, they wander around comfortably dressed in shorts, flip-flops and shabby T-shirts. 

This illustration can be translated as how we struggled for a “look of affluence” when we were poor, as exemplified in the netjes look. In contrast, as if impressed with our laid-back dress code of wearing T-shirts, foreigners started to adopt the style. As a matter of fact, the laid-back look was only because we could not afford to buy a suit and tie. 

Read: Malaysians praise Jokowi’s appearance when meeting Elon Musk

Over the years, many foreign visitors changed their appearance by wearing T-shirts in public instead of fussing with suits and ties. Thus, Caucasians are influenced by a casual style of dressing in T-shirts, while most of us struggle to be able to dress in a suit and tie. 

Dress code or fashion does play an important role in reflecting one’s social status, either individually or in society. Dressed up in a suit and tie can make people feel much more elegant than merely wearing a T-shirt. 

To avoid the possibility of showing up in improper attire, official invitations usually include a “dress code” requirement. Similarly, at meetings between high-ranking people, a dress code is generally negotiated beforehand between the parties involved. 

This is all an attempt to prevent “awkwardness” or, even worse, a misunderstanding that could disrupt the relationship.