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Casual dressy

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I have a few questions concerning my wardrobe for work. Currently, the only thing that I have to have is a tie.  I am wanting to stay as casual as possible, because I have to wear these clothes all day on campus and the style is far from dress slacks and dress shirts. My question is what tie patterns can be seen as casual. I am thinking even more casual than Dockers and a casual dress shirt. Any ideas?
post #2 of 11
I confess I'm a bit confused by the question. "Even more casual than Dockers" would hardly include a tie, in my book. (What does that leave, anyway: jeans? board shorts?) What, exactly, is your work environment? With what were you thinking of wearing your ties? Almost any tie pattern can be "casual," depending on the colors, the quality of the silk and construction, the cut of the tie, and how you coordinate it with your outfit. When we know what else you'll be wearing, and where, it'll be easier to steer you towards the most appropriate neckwear.
post #3 of 11
Thin "mod" ties that end in a flat square, not a typical diamond cut, solid-color, like black or blue, can be worn very casually, and look very hip and creative. Just a suggestion.
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
Well, I am going to try to make this as short as possible, so here it goes. My boss told me that the dress code at his family shoe store requires a tie. He says a tie is like a badge saying that I work there.  Now I am the only college guy working there along side about 8 girls. He said the reason he won't budge is that he feels he would create a slippery-slope in the dress code and it will eventually lead to khakis and polo shirts.  With the girls, though, this has already happend. The girls are wearing short jean skirts, flip-flop sandals and long sleeved graphic tees.  He told the girls when they were hired to wear what they would wear to complement a guy with a tie. I don't find this very complementary. The girls, agree that it is wrong for him to do this. But I am afraid if I talk about it much more, he will be more strict with the girls (and make them upset at me) or I will lose my job. Now because he said that I only needed a tie, I was planning on finding some very casual khaki pants (let's say at Abercrombie or JCrew, etc) put a button up shirt with it and a tie. My question was what kind of tie would fit this? I am with you guys, this is not proper nor will it probably work.  What I am finding is that when I wear my work clothes at school I am very uncomfortable in them (it is far from the style), I am overdressing my teachers, and I feel I stand out more than people in Goth (not that it's bad, if you are into that stuff) or other radical trends. I want to be able to wear my work clothes and be comfortable in them anywhere I go. I find the situation very discriminatory against me (being the only male).  I could be wrong.  I enjoy selling shoes, but this really makes me dislike working there. Ideas?? Arguments?? I hope this helps more. I will try to help more if needed.
post #5 of 11
Without getting into specific ideas of what you should wear, I have to say I see no reason why you shouldn't have outfits to wear for work that have nothing to do with what you wear on campus. You can change when you get to work, and/or when you leave. I grant you, an "extra" wardrobe costs a little more, but this is no different from men (and women) who wear suits to work. It makes more sense to wear what's right for each given situation, rather than trying to compromise between two different ones. You'll look and feel better in both settings. I disagree with this, or any, double-standard, but this may be one you simply have to accept, at least for the time being. Since most gender-based double-standards favor men at the expense of women, I wouldn't gripe too much. It should be the worst thing that ever happens to you that you have to dress better than your co-workers...especially when said co-workers are sympathetic young women in short skirts.
post #6 of 11
This really isn't a huge problem. Get some nice oxford button down collar shirts, RL Polo for example or Brook Brothers, and pair that with some modest ties, say an understated Rep tie from someone like Jos Bank or Paul Frederick. Put that with a pair of khakis and it can look neat and clean. Button down collars are decidely more casual than other dress shirts and pair well with khakis. Especially in oxford blue, they'll go with dark blue khakis or stone khakis, tan khakis, etc.
post #7 of 11
Quote:
It should be the worst thing that ever happens to you that you have to dress better than your co-workers...especially when said co-workers are sympathetic young women in short skirts.
I was going to say the same thing, although perhaps not as eloquently. I worked at a restaurant while in college, and both the men and women had to wear neckties. The women looked ridiculous - boxy dress shirts and neckties do not complement a woman's figure very well. College girls in short skirts? We should all be so lucky. My only other suggestion would be to avoid trying to undermine the idea behind your boss' requirement. As an employee, you are representing the company (from the sounds of it, HIS company and ergo he himself). It's the classic video store clerk look: looking as sloppy as possible while still adhering to the dress code.
post #8 of 11
This reminds me of the Catholic high school I went to, where everyone wore a uniform. The boys had to wear ties, however the girls didn't. The basic look was grey dress slacks, black dress shoes, white button down shirts, striped ties, and sweater vests (sub in kilts for the girls.) Naturally, at that age, everyone hated/hates the uniform, so they went to extra ordinary lengths to "subvert" the uniform but still be within the dress code. So you'd see lots of cut up sweaters, stripes pulled out of the tie, kilts cut like mini (or even micro) skirts, wrinkled shirts, black basketball shoes instead of dress shoes, etc. This sloppiness eventually degraded to the point where the dress code, which was not strictly enforced, was enforced to the point where if your pants were not a certain brand, or if your kilt was not a certain length above the knee, you either received a detention or suspension. If you're stll with me, my advice is to lead by example, rather than being subversive or trying to please everyone. I agree with PStoller, get some work clothes and change before/after work. I get the feeling that you're more concerned over a work "look" rather than a certain comfort level (well, with pants anyway) since unless you wear your jeans falling around your knees, a pair of pleated dress slacks can be more comfortable than regular pants (they're more generously cut.) Your boss said the only requirement is a tie, but a tie requires a button down shirt with a collar. Unless you want to look like Dennis Franz from NYPD Blue (or Homer Simpson) long sleeves are a must. I'd also recommend at least two or three different ties, or more. Reason being if one gets stained/dirty you can change, plus it helps not wearing the same thing every day. And of course, learn how to tie a tie properly. I would recommend a half-windsor knot, since I'm biased against the four in hand (I learned to tie it properly, but it looks far too small and shapeless to me.)
post #9 of 11
Quote:
It makes more sense to wear what's right for each given situation, rather than trying to compromise between two different ones. You'll look and feel better in both settings.
I completely agree, and there are some lots of ways to make a tie look interesting. You can wear a loosely done up knit tie with a slim, short sleeve, untucked camp shirt and stove-pipe trousers with sneakers if you are into that "subversive" look PeterMetro warned you against, and probably look quite compatible with your female coworkers. Or you can totally go against the grain and show up in classic fashion in a charcoal suit. Conversely, you can dress so preppy that it's anti-preppy. Go with a button down blue oxford and a rep tie, a blue bazer with gold buttons, and cream colored wool or khaki pants. Pair this with penny loafers if you are truly courageous, or with sneakers (try Jack Purcells or Stan Smiths) if you feel the need to tell people that you are just joking, really. Oh, if you have horn-rimmed glasses, that would be classic. Enjoy.
post #10 of 11
Quote:
I would recommend a half-windsor knot, since I'm biased against the four in hand (I learned to tie it properly, but it looks far too small and shapeless to me.)
Oh, every knot has its use. The half-windsor is also my favorite, but your choice of tie knot should be proportionate to the spread of your collar and the thickness of your tie. That is, the wider the spread and the thinner the material, the larger the knot should be. The four-in-hand no longer looks small and shapeless when you have a narrow collar and/or a thick tie. (With a spread collar and a lightweight tie, you can even pull off a full-windsor.)
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
I really enjoy hearing all of your responses. I do have quite a collection of dress clothes for the job. I prefer microfiber pants, and most any shirt would do fine (only long sleeve, though. I never do short sleeves and a tie). I enjoy being dressed nice. I feel, though, that it defeats the purpose when not all employees are put at the same standard. It's hard to lead by example when most of the girls don't want to be there anyway. I was hoping to find a medium that I can enjoy and keep my boss happy. I understand I am going against too rough a grain, but I wanted to see if it was possible. I was imagining a pair of cords and a casual oxford shirt with a casual tie. But finding a casual tie is pretty hard. What about the diagonal stripe pattern?? I like the 70s-80s look of ties, but it is hard to find a use. Are they intended now to be a retro look, a more dressy look, or what??
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