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Dress for the work environment or dress based on my standards?

post #1 of 40
Thread Starter 

Hello guys,

 

I work in a IT work office and no one other then me cares about how they look. For example, a lot of my colleagues wear t-shirts and jeans where as I would wear a blazer, button up, and khakis. People always think I am going for a job interview.

 

My question to you guys is should I dress for my work environment or how I want to dress?

 

 

post #2 of 40
Dress in a way that fits your environment. Take the formality level there, and go up a notch. Not several. Up the quality and the fit. If they're wearing tee shirts, jeans and trainers, wear slim dark jeans, casual leather shoes (loafers, bucks, camp mocs, boat shoes, ect), a button up( dress, shirts, sport shirt- whatever you feel like) and a sweater. Tweed jackets.
post #3 of 40
^^^Good advice, and what I'd suggest.
post #4 of 40
just don't come off as caring too much about how you look.. Ironic, I know.. But you want to avoid being 'that guy'
post #5 of 40
I'm a software engineer and my co-workers dress everywhere from shorts & tees to a few sport coats and a suit here and there. I've been wearing dress pants, shirt, coat and tie. Nobody cares. Nobody thinks that I'm gunning for a promotion. I just said 'I want to dress nicer', and they said 'cool'. In my experience, the IT industry allows quite a bit of self expression.
post #6 of 40

I think the wearing of chinos, dress pants, and dress shirts is fine and still casual, but I'm unemployed, so I'm not an authority here. If you're going to wear a sports jacket, perhaps you can make a habit of taking it off upon arrival to work? Setting it on the chair should be fine, and instead of a blazer, you could consider sweaters as well. Like Berstame said, you could also dress more like your colleagues, but a notch more stylish.

 

I know comments have been made about it, but is your current standard of dress something others look down upon, to the point that its dangerous for your ability to keep the job in the near-future? The workplace can be very conformist, and deviations from the norm may take their toll, but I'd imagine that some pull it off without too much trouble.

post #7 of 40
If you're consistent with the way you dress, then after a week or 2, no one will take notice as they have accepted that's how you go about your business everyday. It is when you randomly go from shorts to full suits that make your coworkers think you're on the something. After a while your coworkers would actually think you are not yourself if one day you turn up to work not so formally dressed as you were.

This is from experience.
post #8 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Berstame View Post

+1 Agreed
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lostron View Post

just don't come off as caring too much about how you look.. Ironic, I know.. But you want to avoid being 'that guy'

Agreed....especially in an environment where the dress-code has recently gone more casual than it had been previously. I know of a place where they went from "business dress" to "business casual" just over a dozen years ago and then not very long ago they took it down a notch to where jeans are t-shirts are acceptable in most departments--especially IT. It is interesting hearing the stories from other guys that work there. In that case, it would be very easy to end up being 'that guy' if one is not careful.

A lot of it too will depend on how you carry yourself and how effortlessly you pull off the 'dressing up'...
post #9 of 40
I'd suggest your third layer as being a cardigan or sweater instead of sportscoat for example. still looks well put together but without the "formal" association of a sportscast.

or maybe roll up your shirt sleeves occasionally and wear a casual sports watch

play some lunchtime sports so they can see you in casual clothes or meetup after work at the bars and open up the shirt and take off the jacket so they see you can relax outside of work but are professional while at the office.
post #10 of 40


Lot's of good advice here, from upgrading your clothes at their present level of formality to migrating over time to a more appealing personal standard of formality.

 

One start-up I am working with is very informal, yet I merely hang my suit jacket behind my office door when working there.  When the board for this company meets, I remove my tie and replace my suit jacket as most board members for this company wear a suit and dress shirt, but no tie despite the very high quality and elegance of their attire. Many clients of this start-up also dress in a similar manner since they arrive directly from the nearby airport or they have adopted this standard of business dress due to locale of these offices.

 

Be that as it may, I am always ready for any meeting, business or social, due to my personal standards of formality for business wear, which includes the wearing of a conservative suit and tie together with elegant shoes and accessories with a well worn patina. A few things have changed over the years as I almost never wear a watch unless hunting in the field [so that I don't run afoul of local hunting regulations on the beginning or end of day] and no longer do all my suits require the wearing of suspenders/braces, but only most.

 

The nice thing is that when I travel to other operations or meet clients or acquaintances, socially or at their place of business, I am always properly attired for any possible occasion below black tie formality while meeting my own personal standards of business dress. Since many current formal events have optional standards and since many  attending wear something other than a black bow tie, I am never denied access to any event or given a second glancem even when it is impossible for me to change into evening wear due to mitigating factors. I merely plan ahead such that I am wearing one of my charcoal solid suits with a white shirt and suitable tie for a particular day where an evening event is planned and I might not be able to change my evening attire.

 

 

My preferred standard of business dress has provided me over the years an unending stream of opportunities, benefits, privileges, and favors far too long to list, from present business engagements to romantic encounters to service upgrades and first class privileges to lifelong friendships to a nod and a wink.

 

If you dress differently and in the right way while conducting your business, you'll never escape notice, opportunity, and good fortune. You have my word on it.

 

post #11 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by lostron View Post

just don't come off as caring too much about how you look.. Ironic, I know.. But you want to avoid being 'that guy'


<----

post #12 of 40

Never be afraid to be the best dressed man in the room. (can't remember who said that first, but it's true).

post #13 of 40
Do go to want you consider the better end of what is commonly worn. IE
If everyone wears torn jeans, then wear decent dark blue jeans.
Tee shirts, wear polo shirts.
open sandals, trainers
etc.

Never try to out dress everyone, you are one of them and not someone better.
post #14 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyMG View Post

Never be afraid to be the best dressed man in the room. (can't remember who said that first, but it's true).

What whoever it was said. I often go to work in a three piece suit (whereas my collegues rarely wear anything but jeans and t-shirt) and after the first few "are you going to a party" questions everyone's just got used to it. The bosses have been very positive about it.
post #15 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyMG View Post

Never be afraid to be the best dressed man in the room. (can't remember who said that first, but it's true).

It is (usually) okay to be the best dressed in the room, but one should be careful about how much better dressed they are. For example, if the usual dress is jeans, t-shirts, and athletic shoes and the best dressed person has a dress shirt, a v-neck sweater and wool trousers that is one thing, but for the same person to come in wearing a three piece suit is a completely different matter.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GBR View Post

Do go to want you consider the better end of what is commonly worn. IE
If everyone wears torn jeans, then wear decent dark blue jeans.
Tee shirts, wear polo shirts.
open sandals, trainers
etc.
Never try to out dress everyone, you are one of them and not someone better.

Sage advice.
Edited by Fortysomething - 2/12/12 at 9:17am
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