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dress code and culture at work

post #1 of 92
Thread Starter 

I wanted to start a discussion here instead of the one currently taking place in the MC: casual thread.  

 

I 'work' or 'intern' at a corporate law firm (I work 40 hour weeks and I'm paid, although I'm still in school so I dont know what to refer to my time there as).  My first looks down on jackets.  Most people there (lawyers specifically) wear a shirt and tie.  If they have a jacket because they came from court, or are going to court later, they leave their jackets in the car.  People there wear a full suit minus the jacket.  Now I posted a picture of me wearing a dress shirt with BB tie and a two tone Rolex and gold cufflinks.  I know the gold cufflinks might've been too much.  I even said they will be reserved for more formal events.  However, I got a lot of feedback saying I shouldn't be dressing like that.  Why?  What is wrong with dressing like the professionals at the firm?  Most of the lawyers there wear french cuff shirts and full gold day-date Rolexs everyday.  Is it wrong with me wearing the same thing?  I've never been told not to, but there seems to be quite the controversy here.  What are your opinions?  The photo following is the photo I posted on the other thread that caused the controversy.  

 

You opinions,suggestions, and past experiences are greatly appreciated.

 

whiteTM.jpg

watchcufflinkbox.jpg

Also, this has never been worn to the office.  This shirt just came in the mail today.

post #2 of 92
Is there a reason you need to wear an ostentatious watch with matching cufflinks? Does it serve some medical purpose?
post #3 of 92
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marblehouse View Post

Is there a reason you need to wear an ostentatious watch with matching cufflinks? Does it serve some medical purpose?

Watch is the only one I have.  I'm not going to be wearing those cufflinks to work.  I have a pair of sliver monogrammed cufflinks that I will be wearing to the office.

post #4 of 92
Honestly, I would ditch the cufflinks and the tie bar. You have a long time ahead of you until you've 'earned' the right to wear them.

Definitely ditch that watch too. Too flashy.
post #5 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by TauKappaEpsilon View Post

Watch is the only one I have.  I'm not going to be wearing those cufflinks to work.  I have a pair of sliver monogrammed cufflinks that I will be wearing to the office.

You're young and stupid and don't know anything. You'll learn, soon enough, that the only "problem" you'll have at work if you don't dress in the same style (roughly) as everyone else, is that you'll stick out like a sore thumb and everyone will probably dislike it. And that's a big problem.

There are times and places to be the best dressed, the best looking, the smartest, the fastest, and shining star. Work, despite what people think, is not that place. And corporate law is certainly not that place. If you want to stand out, bill a ton of hours.
post #6 of 92
Anybody not surprised by this post and the username?
post #7 of 92
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord-Barrington View Post


You're young and stupid and don't know anything. You'll learn, soon enough, that the only "problem" you'll have at work if you don't dress in the same style (roughly) as everyone else, is that you'll stick out like a sore thumb and everyone will probably dislike it. And that's a big problem.
There are times and places to be the best dressed, the best looking, the smartest, the fastest, and shining star. Work, despite what people think, is not that place. And corporate law is certainly not that place. If you want to stand out, bill a ton of hours.

Is it wrong of me to dress the same way as the partners at the firm dress?  If so, why?

post #8 of 92
I wouldn't. There are certain undefined guidelines concerning people new to a workplace. Learn them, before you start dressing like you own the place.

Example,

I worked in politics. As a legislative assistant, I was told to be conservative and boring. So almost every day I wore one of my four suits. On Fridays I'd wear a blazer and tie with chinos (although I once got in trouble from a co-worker for wearing khakis with too much break). Research brand was known for wearing more expensive suits with more variety. We looked up to these fellows.

Research branch also regularly worked 6 days a week, 12 hours a day. Compare that to my 40/week as an aide. When I was eating free prime rib with my boss at a reception, they were poring through files and the internet to find out data. They were so busy they ate lunch and supper at their desks. I remember going into their suite of offices, to find out that one of the researchers that was assigned to my boss had been living on sandwiches, Dorito chips and Diet Coke. Sometimes they worked all night, the next day then went home for 8 hours of sleep. It was a pretty much accepted thing that if you worked in research, you didn't have a life outside work.

These guys tended to be dandies. But they earned it. Don't dress like you own the place, until you're sure of the repercussions.

CK
post #9 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by TauKappaEpsilon View Post

Is it wrong of me to dress the same way as the partners at the firm dress?  If so, why?

 

Being a recent grad, I can relate to your position. Firms are unique as far as what is acceptable for entry level employees. Some of my friends can rock Rolexes and Cufflinks to the office. For me, however, this would be very ill advised, as it would be counter to firm culture. For example, Ferragamo loafers are reserved for post MBA level positions. It's purely a status thing. I can't tell you how or why it got that way, it just is. Who am I to buck the trend?

 

You have to keep in mind that you are an intern. You are not even a full time employee. Those partners pulled a lot of weeks much longer than 40 hours to get to where they are.

post #10 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedLeg View Post

For example, Ferragamo loafers are reserved for post MBA level positions.

Sounds like a horribly controlling and imperious atmosphere. Sorry to hear that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedLeg View Post

Who am I to buck the trend?

A free individual who can choose what brand of shoes he buys with his hard-earned money?
post #11 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by suited View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedLeg View Post

Who am I to buck the trend?

A free individual who can choose what brand of shoes he buys with his hard-earned money?

 

The intern is the lowest employee on the totem pole. Think about how many supervisors, managers, partners, even entry level people there are in a firm. Every single person has a higher authority in the workplace. Not to mention, there are probably hundreds of clients and customers as well, each of whom you are subordinate to.

 

The intern can't think about himself only, but rather himself in where he stands in relation to everyone else in his environment. You aren't you. You are a reflection of everyone else who's above you in the hierarchy, so fit in and look like how everyone else wants you to. You can wear whatever you want if you're only dealing with peers (e.g. school) or with yourself. But in a workplace, as the intern, you aren't anyone. So don't go making your life any worse by grabbing attention for all the wrong reasons.

post #12 of 92
^ This + 1000.

It fucking amazes me how this is even a question. It's not a matter of "fitting in" as much as it is "don't get noticed for the wrong reasons."

Keep it minimal. Nothing flashy (read: no accessories until you're a rainmaker). Keep your head down. Shut up and do your work.

I've been interning for about 4 years, so I had to deal with this shit early on.

Edit: Upon re-reading, I'm thinking OP is trolling us. If so, good job.
post #13 of 92
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pseudonym View Post

^ This + 1000.
It fucking amazes me how this is even a question. It's not a matter of "fitting in" as much as it is "don't get noticed for the wrong reasons."
Keep it minimal. Nothing flashy (read: no accessories until you're a rainmaker). Keep your head down. Shut up and do your work.
I've been interning for about 4 years, so I had to deal with this shit early on.
Edit: Upon re-reading, I'm thinking OP is trolling us. If so, good job.

How could I possibly be trolling you?

post #14 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by TauKappaEpsilon View Post

How could I possibly be trolling you?

Because you seem to have trouble grasping a very simple concept. There is a basic amount of common sense and social awareness that you seem to be lacking.
post #15 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by marblehouse View Post

Because you seem to have trouble grasping a very simple concept. There is a basic amount of common sense and social awareness that you seem to be lacking.

I wouldn't put it so harshly, but yeah, pretty much. It's really not that hard to understand: let your work speak for you, not some tie bar/cufflinks/fat ass tie.

Thanks, marblehouse.
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