Dress for the work environment or dress based on my standards? - Page 3
But if you're not a fan of going more casual sometimes, then at the very least limit the extent of how you dress. I wouldn't go with a jacket and tie daily. I'd probably opt for sweaters, ocbd, and stuff like that... it's a bit nicer, but not excessively so.
As others have said, you dress above everyone else, but there is kind of an upper limit. Without being in your environment, we can't tell you that. If your crew is dressed in jeans and t-shirts, though, it's safe to say a suit and tie would be over the top. As long as it's not ridiculously over dressed, you can ease into it, and then be consistent. I just started an accounting internship about 4 weeks ago, and also had the "over-dressing" dilemma. The dress here is unusual, because there really is a pretty full spectrum. The lower end consists of completely casual (jeans, t-shirts, sneakers), while the upper range consists of a nice business casual (wool slacks, OCBD's, and nice loafers). One co-worker, who is only a few years older than me, though, wears a jacket a few days a week, and definitely stands out. However, no one thinks he overdresses, it's simply his style that people have come to accept. It doesn't change the fact that he certainly stands out as being well put together and therefore looks competent. During my first few weeks, I felt a little uncomfortable with the way I was dressing. I enjoy formal dress, and hate looking casual (unless I'm in jeans). My daily wardrobe consists of grey/black wool slacks (I detest chinos, way to casual IMO), a solid point collar dress shirt (muted/conservative tones, I also hate most patterned shirts), and black cap-toe shoes. It was markedly more formal than what anyone else was wearing, even my supervisor, and I felt somewhat uncomfortable. The second week I wore a tie I think twice, and received compliments on how I looked "nice", or comments of "oh, sporting a tie I see?". It was still a little uncomfortable, but by the third week it was what everyone expected of me and is now no longer noticed. I don't wear a tie every single day, just when I feel like it (usually 2-3 times a week), and never wear a jacket with it. At this point I'm confident no one sees anything into it and hardly even notices that it's more formal than what they are wearing. It's a part of my personality, to them, now.
So I think it's certainly possible to dress to your own standards, as long as you a) remain humble and don't act like you're gunning for a promotion or think you're better than anyone, b) ease into it as others have said, and then c) be consistent.
Lots of good advice here. I would say stick to one rung above the rest. You can wear some nice dark jeans or chinos. And t-shirts are fine, just avoid the low quality t-shirts with corporate logos or cartoon characters. Wear solid colored tees, and make sure the shirts fit well, not too baggy. You can throw a sport coat over the t-shirt (or a turtleneck in the fall/winter). Wear the jacket to work and throw it on a hanger while you're working. Put it on if you go out for lunch. Likewise an Oxford or sport shirt with jeans (untucked) will help you mix it up without being over the top.
Shoes are also an great way to up your style of dress. Instead of athletic shoes, think about a suede wingtip or saddle oxford. Shoes can be a subtle yet effective way of upping your look.
The jeans don't have to expensive. Think Lucky Brand or Mavi which can be had for under $100, less if you wait for a sale.
Definitely, don't step it up so much that you draw negative attention, but you can look good and stand out from the crowd without being awkward.
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.
In what way have your bosses been positive.