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Moving to colder, more casual environment

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
I currently live in California and work in a casually-slanted business casual environment. Unfortunately, I’d be out of place wearing a sport coat, so my typical attire is dress pants, a dress shirt, and leather-soled dress shoes. On Fridays I will sometimes wear chinos or dark denim. Most people are more casual than that, and wear light colored jeans and a short sleeved polo or sport shirt.

I’m moving to a place with seasons (regular snow in the Winter), and a work environment that is truly casual -- for example, shorts in the Summer is appropriate. I want to figure out a way to dress appropriately for the office while maintaining some standards SF has instilled in me. Perhaps after establishing myself I can transition to dressing more formally than most employees, but I don't want to rock the boat at first. Here are my concerns:

  • Shoes are my biggest concern since I don’t own any boots, or shoes with rubber soles in general, and I don’t think SWIMS would be appropriate. Would you suggest just getting some beater shoes/boots, or is it still worth investing in quality (for example, something like the AE Bayfield)? If so, what would you regard as essentials?
  • I think my usual outfit will be too formal to wear every day. I suppose jeans or chinos with polos, sport shirts, or dress shirts with casual details (button down versus spread collar, for example) would be the way to go?
  • I'd love to be able to get away with wearing a sport coat as a jacket in the colder months, but I doubt it will fly. I’m not even sure if any wool coat will fit in...
post #2 of 3
Are you going to get tarred and feathered for showing up in summer with a sportcoat on? Lots of us in business casual workplaces still wear a jacket- it's not like a blazer or linen SC is insufferably formal. Unless your new officemates are bad caricatures of 1980's union guys who think you are putting on airs and trying to look like a manager, dress how you like. The casual MC thread is a good place to check as well.
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hugeevilrobot View Post

Unless your new officemates are bad caricatures of 1980's union guys who think you are putting on airs and trying to look like a manager, dress how you like.

That's really the question: do you dress how you like or do you do the best version of what you see in your environment? I guess the answer depends on where you are in your career and how developed your personal style is.
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