On Jonathan D. Bick’s first day as a salesman for I.B.M. 17 years ago, he wore what he remembers as a gray suit, a button-down white shirt, a ‘sincere tie’ and Gucci loafers.

His boss looked him over and thanked him for wearing a suit but pointedly said: ‘Why did you wear your bedroom slippers to work?’ The boss, he remembers, told him to take the rest of the day off and shop for a pair of wingtips.

That was the legendary I.B.M. dress code.

Joseph Berger, 1995