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Clothes to wear to work- Dos and Don'ts! - Page 2

post #16 of 81
One piece of advice is to hold out until you actually start, before you get anything too expensive or adventurous. Grab some standard classic items for sure but wait until you are there and can see what people wear.
On that note, if people are dressing like bags of crap ignore them and feel free to dress over and above them. The Accountant/Lawyer thing holds true where I work. It is "biglaw" but I work in the number crunching division, and the legal types generally dress much smarter.
There is a more casual trend these days, I bought a lot of items prior to starting, I went from the Army to corporate so I had nothing. For example you may wear a tie twice a week for a few hours, so only grab a few that will easily go with any shirt and even keep tham at work!
Make sure your shirts fit, get them pressed and ensure they look good with the top button undone/no tie on.

Enjoy!
post #17 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doxe View Post
The OP asked specifically about a new job in accounting. Well, I have some experience there having previously worked at PwC for three years (as a tax lawyer, not an accountant) before jumping back to BigLaw. Some of this may sound outrageous (as in, basic common sense) but unless you've been there, you can't even begin to imagine the horror of what some accountants wear. I worked with a senior manager in the M&A group that wore fleece zip vests every single day! And not nice fleece (if there is such a thing) but horrible moss coloured pieces of garbage. When I was at PwC I wore suits every day and caught a lot of flak for it. I wore the suits because that was what I had from when I worked at a law firm. Let me say that at accounting firms things are much more casual. That being said, you can still look good. Just remember: fit is everything. My advice is as follows: 1) Buy a blue suit. No pinstripes. Not fashionable (i.e., no skinny lapels or Thom Browne short jacket). This will be your go to suit for all important client meetings, etc. You will probably wear this suit 10 times a year, if that. Buy something in a classic fit that is not too baggy or billowy (accountants love comfortable clothes). 2) Buy a pair or black, lace-up, cap-toe oxfords or bluchers. Buy shoe trees. These will be the shoes you wear with your suit. You will probably not wear these every day. 3) Khakis. These will likely be your everyday workwear pants along with office pants. Do not buy pleated pants. I repeat, do not buy pleated pants. Flat front, slim, but not skin-tight. Buy several pairs in different shades. Recommended brands are Howard Yount or Brooks Brothers. 4) Office pants. Again, flat front. Do not buy pin-striped office pants. Glen-plaid are ok, but solid colours are preferred. Grey, charcoal, navy blue, and dark brown are the preferred colours. Flannel is your friend. Charcoal flannels are the best thing you can wear. You won't stand out, but you'll look better than anyone else. 5) Shirts. This is the easiest thing to screw up and ruin. If you will buy shirts that are too baggy on you, you will look fat and slovenly. You do not have a suit jacket to hide the excess fabric. I recommend using Mytailor, moderntailor, justwhiteshirts.com or any other e-retailer with low prices for MTM shirts that are tailored to fit you. If you want an example of how shirts should fit do a search for Phat Guido and look at his shirts. Buying OTR you will pay too much for shirts. Go internet MTM. Start with one shirt at a time. This is advice I wish I had when I was 21. As for colours, go with white OCBD, blue (but not too many!), tattersall, and gingham checks for spring and summer. Button cuffs, not french cuffs. 6) Ties. Buy 3 ties. One dark navy, one sky blue, and one "other" colour. You will likely never wear them other than with your suit. 7) Everyday shoes. Buy a pair of black or dark, dark brown leather-soled dress shoes. It doesn't matter whether they are bluchers, brogues, oxfords, or wingtips. Just do not buy rubber-soled, square-toe slip-ons. Polish your shoes. If you do this you will probably look better than the managing partner. 8) Jeans. Most accounting firms are "casual" on Fridays. I saw people wear things that I would wear if I was washing the car. The memories haunt me still. My advice, work from home on Fridays. 9) You don't need pocket squares for your suit. If your wear one, you will be the only one wearing one. White cotton is best. Expect abuse. Don't compain. You asked for it. 10) Do not wear anything other than a white undershirt under your dress shirts. An undershirt is not the same as a t-shirt. Undershirts are meant to be worn as undershirts. I saw people wear brown or red printed t-shirts under OBCD dress shirts. Please do not do this. Many people will have different advice based on their own experience. The foregoing suggestions were based on my three years at PwC and are worth exactly what you paid for them: nothing. That being said, you will notice a number of people dressing exactly as I described. Try not be be like them. Good luck.
Excellent advice, but the OP is in Europe, I believe they may be more formal, but i'm sure for certain. I work at a large financial firm, and its a very IT influenced crowd so the attire is similar to what you describe. Even though thats the case I still chose to dress well and dont take much flack for it. Couple things: Muted colors and patterns, except in the summer. No pocket squares, i reserve these for extremely formal functions one step shy of formal wear.
post #18 of 81
I have been working at the international tax department at the London office of a Big 4 firm and my experience was that people dressed quite formal (ie no business casual) but in a shabby kind of way. Little interest in clothing in general, ill fitting suits up to partner level. I don't expect better dressing at the audit side.
post #19 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by marcos View Post
I have been working at the international tax department at the London office of a Big 4 firm and my experience was that people dressed quite formal (ie no business casual) but in a shabby kind of way. Little interest in clothing in general, ill fitting suits up to partner level. I don't expect better dressing at the audit side.

I agree that fashion sense in Europe is completely different from North America. There were a couple of ex-pats from London at my office and they dressed magnificently. They were the exception to the rule however.

I agree with wating to see how everyone else dresses. I know law firms that are quite casual (litigators mostly) and others that are very formal (BigLaw corporate).

In my first year at a law firm I was walking in the hallway without my jacket and the name partner stops me and asks, "Did that suit come with a jacket?". It was his way of saying don't leave your office without your jacket. Appearances were important to him.

Oh, one other point. If you're at a professional firm, there is a fine line between dressing well, and flaunting wealth. The biggest example of this is watches. I wince every time I see a young associate with a new gold rolex. Not that I hate watches, quite the contrary. But from a client's perspective, when they see you with an expensive watch they are apt to think you are being paid too much. Which means they are going to think you are charging them too much. Buy the watch, but don't wear it to client meetings. I just use my Blackberry for the time these days.

Last point. If you're at a Big 4 firm you're likely to be using a Herman Miller Aeron Chair. The mesh seat destroys wool pants.
post #20 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doxe View Post
I agree that fashion sense in Europe is completely different from North America.
Correct, ignore most of the posts here.

In accountancy in the UK, you'd largely be expected to wear suit, shirt and tie. Just follow basic rules (long sleeved only, conservative suit, co-ordinating tie, leather soled decent shoes) and you'll be fine.

Don't expect any form of dress-down - it doesn't happen!!

Also, buy a nice pen and watch, essential for client meetings
post #21 of 81
Thread Starter 
Thanks all, This is really helpful- sometimes I think it can be difficult to work out what to wear if you have not had much experience before. I've been at the firm for about a year and a half now wearing slim navy suits, which is slightly more formal than the open shirts worn by most (unless a client meeting) but I like it. However, I have to admit I've been a bit lazy recently. It is true that my workmate rocks purple and black label, he is a hardcore Styleforum junkie as well- I'm sure he will chime in sometime Pocket Squares for all!
post #22 of 81
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doxe View Post
I agree that fashion sense in Europe is completely different from North America. There were a couple of ex-pats from London at my office and they dressed magnificently. They were the exception to the rule however.

I agree with wating to see how everyone else dresses. I know law firms that are quite casual (litigators mostly) and others that are very formal (BigLaw corporate).

In my first year at a law firm I was walking in the hallway without my jacket and the name partner stops me and asks, "Did that suit come with a jacket?". It was his way of saying don't leave your office without your jacket. Appearances were important to him.

Oh, one other point. If you're at a professional firm, there is a fine line between dressing well, and flaunting wealth. The biggest example of this is watches. I wince every time I see a young associate with a new gold rolex. Not that I hate watches, quite the contrary. But from a client's perspective, when they see you with an expensive watch they are apt to think you are being paid too much. Which means they are going to think you are charging them too much. Buy the watch, but don't wear it to client meetings. I just use my Blackberry for the time these days.

Last point. If you're at a Big 4 firm you're likely to be using a Herman Miller Aeron Chair. The mesh seat destroys wool pants.

I wish we got Herman Millers, the recession is here! Interesting watch point, thanks
post #23 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by leonuk View Post
Thanks all, This is really helpful- sometimes I think it can be difficult to work out what to wear if you have not had much experience before.

I've been at the firm for about a year and a half now wearing slim navy suits, which is slightly more formal than the open shirts worn by most (unless a client meeting) but I like it. However, I have to admit I've been a bit lazy recently.

It is true that my workmate rocks purple and black label, he is a hardcore Styleforum junkie as well- I'm sure he will chime in sometime Pocket Squares for all!

I really wouldnt bother with a pocket square, I used to wear them with everything, now i barely wear them.

dressed in a white shirt, conservative suit and a tie that coordinates well sets you apart as being well dressed. A pocket square at the office often pushes it over the edge into dandy territory.
post #24 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by bowtielover View Post
Well I can tell you some of my pet peeves working in an office I am constantly getting on my employees for poor faashion choices, the worst is when I am interviewing for new positions. You wouldn't believe some of the things people try to get away with. These are pretty basic things but anyways, no clip on ties, shirt neatly tucked in, never tuck without a belt, ties and short sleeves shirts don't mix, make sure everything you have on fits(it's better to be a bit tight then to be too big).

Really?

And wearing a shirt untucked to the office/interview when you have no belt on is an option?
post #25 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackbowtie View Post
Really?

And wearing a shirt untucked to the office/interview when you have no belt on is an option?

you mean, you don't own a belt?
post #26 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by makewayhomer View Post
you mean, you don't own a belt?

ever heard of side tabs, or how about braces?
post #27 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkinnyGoomba View Post
ever heard of side tabs, or how about braces?

you can still buy bracers? and people still wear them?
post #28 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glados1984 View Post
you can still buy bracers? and people still wear them?

LOL.

Seriously brace buttons are on every pair of polo made in italy pants i own, including current season.

Side tabs on black label current season.

On this forum, we dress as grown-ups. That sometimes involves wearing braces with a suit.
post #29 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkinnyGoomba View Post
LOL.

Seriously brace buttons are on every pair of polo made in italy pants i own, including current season.

Side tabs on black label current season.

On this forum, we dress as grown-ups. That sometimes involves wearing braces with a suit.


LOL

Just because a clothing manufacturer makes something, it dosent mean its considered in date or stylish.

pretty much every major designer brand makes 3 button black business suits. but a good 95% of this forum would dry reach at the thought of wearing one.

Bracers went out a long time ago. The only time in the last few years i've seen someone wear them was at a used car yard.
post #30 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glados1984 View Post
pretty much every major designer brand makes 3 button black business suits. but a good 95% of this forum would dry reach at the thought of wearing one.
In case you haven't noticed, major "designer" brands aren't looked upon too highly about these parts.
Quote:
Bracers went out a long time ago.
^ Incorrect. I would argue this point further, but you are apparently above such simple things as logic, truth, and evidence.
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