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Engineering office attire?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by OxWing, Dec 4, 2009.

  1. furo

    furo Well-Known Member

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    Even with chinos, fit is going to be a HUGE factor if you wear them well, especially if you are slim to begin with and choose a slimmer chino.

    I see 95% of engineers wearing baggy ass chinos with pleats and sometimes cuffs ... paired with the good ol box toe Kenneth Coles or rubber soled Rockports.
     
  2. OxWing

    OxWing Member

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    Tulsa
    Lots of good responses. Always amazing how helpful you folks are. I guess chinos make a lot of sense. Some nicer-looking rubber-soled AE's maybe. I'm not exactly sure what my assignment will be yet, so there's a chance I could be in manufacturing or something where I'd be making the rounds in the shop on a daily basis. What do you guys think of these "chinos" : http://www.jcrew.com/AST/Browse/Mens...7249/17249.jsp ?? Nice to see that there are some other engineers on this board. Do any of you know where I can get a bespoke pocket protector??
     
  3. CashmereLover

    CashmereLover Well-Known Member

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    Sweden
    Even with chinos, fit is going to be a HUGE factor if you wear them well, especially if you are slim to begin with and choose a slimmer chino.

    I see 95% of engineers wearing baggy ass chinos with pleats and sometimes cuffs ... paired with the good ol box toe Kenneth Coles or rubber soled Rockports.


    Pleats rule although they may upset people. [​IMG]
     
  4. Scrumhalf

    Scrumhalf Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Portland OR
    Greetings from a fellow engineer... [​IMG] Flat front chinos, alternate between polos and OCBDs, some nice boots and you will do fine. Don't overthink this - you are an engineer and hopefully you should be busy making something real and useful for humankind as opposed to the rest of the paperpushers on this forum...[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  5. furo

    furo Well-Known Member

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    Greetings from a fellow engineer... [​IMG]

    Flat front chinos, alternate between polos and OCBDs, some nice boots and you will do fine. Don't overthink this - you are an engineer and hopefully you should be busy making something real and useful for humankind as opposed to the rest of the paperpushers on this forum...[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]


    Unless you're systems or software

    /duck
     
  6. enginerd917

    enginerd917 Well-Known Member

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    Nov 6, 2009
    Unless you're systems or software

    /duck


    Or civil: from a professor of mine

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Huntsman

    Huntsman Well-Known Member

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    MechE here.

    Engineering is a huge discipline in which the working conditions vary, perhaps more than any other field (excluding outliers), so both general and specific advice may well be off the mark (I am basically telling you to mind your assumptions, which so many engineers forget in time).

    You do need to consider, right from the start, I believe, where you want to go. If you are a good engineer you can probably guarantee yourself a job as an engineer as long as your company maintains the department (and maintains it in the States). If you want to have options (even if you do not know what they might be, as yet) then you need to consider more carefully.

    WestofPCH's four points are excellent and I follow them -- their intent is that you are presented a little better, a little more professionally when it counts. I have had doors open for me that I would not have believed and I cannot discount my presentation of myself as a factor.

    My work environment is a small engineering group, <100ppl between engineers and support staff. Lots of management contact, frequent client contact. We have in house prototyping and testing, as well as Manufacturing a short car ride away. We do everything from some pure R&D to new product design, and all the engineers are multi-talented and tasked with diverse projects. I spend very little time in the plant (usually only if I am troubleshooting a Manufacturing issue) but a reasonably significant amount of time (20-30%) in the Shop and various Labs, where, because I have training and experience, can do hands on work if I desire to and need to. As a mechanical, I work with a lot of components, and not in a nice and clean field, it is rough and tumble, doing everything from assemblies to both performance and pure testing.

    Dress code is a bit more than buisiness casual. I am always in a tie, usually have a jacket, and wear a suit, perhaps twice a week, more if I have a presentation or am meeting a client/customer/contractor. If I am in the Shop or a Lab, I may often roll my sleeves, and I will tuck my tie inside my shirt if near machinery. I am therefore a little bit better dressed than most of my colleagues, and this has been noticed and commented upon. You have to have to have to be very down to earth and treat everyone well if you dress 'better' than most of your colleagues or it can seem like you are trying to be (or worse, are announcing you are) better than them. Your treatment of your colleagues (and especially, especially, engineering support staff, from designers to technicians) must always be with respect and an understanding of your relative experience level. Everyone has something they can teach you, especially the techs who work with the product daily and know so much about it but may be relectuant to offer that information because engineers often treat them like crap and/or forget to give credit where due.

    Have a spare tie(s) and a neutral colored jacket at work at all times. If you get called into a meeting when the CEO or Director of Engineering is there, you want to be able to take your attire up a notch in a flash. Keep your shoes in good shape. Keep communication with other disciplines in your firm as much as you can. Talk to senior engineers about how they keep records on the type of projects the firm has -- adopting a good system is better than developing one from scratch.

    While my comments are not exclusive to attire, neither is attire alone exclusive to how you are viewed by your colleagues. I hope the perspective was of value. I love engineering and find it a very beautiful and challenging discipline that allows for the rational application of imagination -- we are the dreamers who can make it happen. No field has been 'done to death.' Good luck.

    ~ H
     
  8. MillionaireTeacher

    MillionaireTeacher Well-Known Member

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    A civil engineer doesn't paint roads.
     
  9. OxWing

    OxWing Member

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    Would it be inappropriate to wear nice non-bal boots like the AE Malvern or some RM Williams craftsman in a business casual environment?

    Would that be a problem if I wanted to throw on a tie and jacket?
     
  10. Huntsman

    Huntsman Well-Known Member

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    I wear them all the time.

    You have still not explained what Business Casual is in your workplace? What do the other engineers wear? Does attire differentiate the Senior Engineers from the line project engineers or the Manufacturing engineers?

    If nobody wears ties I think you are going to the a singularity. Probably not good. A nice jacket is rarely wrong, especially as the weather is colder. In summer, it's harder to get away with.

    ~ H
     
  11. james_timothy

    james_timothy Well-Known Member

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    Our bosses always wear jackets and sometimes suits, whilst many employees wear street-style t-shirts, jeans or even baggy pants (yes, even our PhD:s do that [​IMG]).
    Particularly the PhDs. Forum leadership excepted, of course.
     
  12. Moss

    Moss Well-Known Member

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    Northside
    I would play up the advantages your work setting provides. Try cordovan chukkas (fits the industrial setting, given cordovan's history with work boots). Add patch pocket sportcoats, sweaters, OCBDs, and chinos/cords/flannels/calvary twill/ and you are set. Add in some linen/chambray in summer.
     
  13. MyOtherLife

    MyOtherLife Well-Known Member

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    Pleats rule although they may upset people. [​IMG]

    +1 I'll stand with you on this..but if you go triple pleats, I don't know you.
     
  14. MillionaireTeacher

    MillionaireTeacher Well-Known Member

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    Q: What do you say to a well dressed enginner whose systems/calculations keep failing?
    A: You're fired.

    The more concrete and **measurable** your skill set, the less relevant your clothing.
    The reality is, if you're a sh*tty/mediocre engineer, no pair of shoes or pants are going to make you look better.

    The point is, you're not in a position where you are selling youself to strangers
    (you don't need to fool prospective outside clients into thinking you're wealthy and successful).

    Moral: My advice is to build a basic "Jcrew" wardrobe for now, and focus on becoming a great engineer.
    Save the monocle, pocket squares, and checkered red pants for the weekends.
     
  15. CashmereLover

    CashmereLover Well-Known Member

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    Particularly the PhDs.

    Forum leadership excepted, of course.


    Probably all their ambition goes into the research (or whatever their PhD means), rather than style.

    +1 I'll stand with you on this..but if you go triple pleats, I don't know you.

    Agree, double is (more than) enough. [​IMG]
     
  16. Levator Superioris

    Levator Superioris Well-Known Member

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    Jan 18, 2009
    I am in Biomedical and see customers. I get to put on my suits.... [​IMG]
     
  17. james_timothy

    james_timothy Well-Known Member

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    The more concrete and **measurable** your skill set, the less relevant your clothing.
    The reality is, if you're a sh*tty/mediocre engineer, no pair of shoes or pants are going to make you look better.


    You'll just be promoted to management faster.

    This, of course, is the beginning of self-loathing to any good engineer.
     

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