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Business Casual Coat help

Jacobs

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I’ve recently been promoted into a management position that calls for business casual wear. Colors allowed are blue, gray, and black, so unfortunately no earth tones. The position is within a distribution center where temperatures can be in the 40s in the morning, so I’d like a recommendation on a coat. For context, there are four other leads who wear basically what is found in the imgur link.



No ties, however, and only one will wear a dress shirt. The basic uniform is chinos and a polo. I’ve already purchased chinos in mid gray, charcoal, and navy, as well as polos in the same except mid gray was replaced with light gray heather. At the same time, I’ve purchased a fleece quarter zip sweater in mid blue, however I’d like to have something in gray as well so I don’t have to wear it all the time, as well as something a bit nicer for days where I might need to dress up a bit.


To me, it seems strange to wear a trench coat or car coat or whatever you call those with just a polo or light fleece under. It seems to me a sport coat is the best bet. However, I’m leery to go the sport coat route because even the highest management in the facility don’t wear one. I’m hoping for a recommendation on a sport coat that’s quite casual, naturally I’m thinking something tweed, rougher weave, patch pockets, minimal structure, as well as any thoughts if I’m heading in the right direction.
 

johng70

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I would absolutely recommend against a sport coat or anything along those lines. Context is important - and working in a distribution center where the majority of employees are casual, you don't want to over-dress and wear a sport coat - you'll definitely give the wrong impression. The fleece concept is not only practical for the environment, it's not going to be a reason for the workforce to have a negative stereotype of you. It's one thing to have a good quality coat to come into and out of the plant but when you're in the plant, stick to the fleece. It's practical and appropriate.
 

KotaB

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You could just get a nice streamlined jacket in a conservative color and rock a sweater underneath, layering sounds like the stylish route if you dont want to wear something like a sport coat. People would be hard pressed to accuse you for "trying to hard" when the layering will be functional.
 

EZB

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Peacoat?
 

johng70

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I would not recommend a peacoat inside a distribution center. Just not functional. I wear a peacoat. But I wouldn't wear it inside a D.C. when I travel to them (my company has several D.C.s and I travel to them every couple years.). Part of being a manager is understanding your employees and their situation - you simply don't want to overdress when you're on the floor. You can dress nicely and have well fitting clothes but you just don't want to dress out of place for the situation.
You just don't want to be that guy that has the reputation of being the "dandy" (not the real word the employees would use, but you get the idea).
It's one thing when I'm coming down from Corporate and just spending a day on the floor to be wearing leather soled shoes and button down shirt / wool slacks. If I were actually working there, that's simply not the way I would dress. It's not functional for the environment and it's too much formality for that work environment. Something the management staff at the plants well understand.
 

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