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"Business Casual" is such a slipery slope...

Shoe City Thinker

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"Business Casual" is hard to pin down even for someone understands men's tailored clothing such as myself. What the heck is "business casual" anyways? There seems to be multiple competing paradigms yet no clear example of what this is.

Example: I have a job interview tomorrow with an web-based game company. I was asked to dress "business casual" In this context, I'm having difficulty putting something together that is not overdressed. To me "business casual" means understated sport coat, patterned shirt, wool trousers, and brown cap-toed shoes. But there's a risk that I still will be overdressed when the people I'm meeting are in jeans in t-shirt.
 

SkinnyGoomba

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There is a serious risk that you will be overdressed. Its likely that alot of the management in a place like that will wonder if you dressed for a wedding.
 

Shoe City Thinker

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Originally Posted by SkinnyGoomba
There is a serious risk that you will be overdressed. Its likely that alot of the management in a place like that will wonder if you dressed for a wedding.


As I posted earlier today, I was on the hiring committee at my now former job. Similar industry as what I'll be interviewing for tomorrow. None of the candidates wore a suit or a jacket. The guy that had the lowest ego emissions and right skill set is the guy we hired. Not necessarily the most sartorially correct guy got that job. This is IT for a cloud computing company that was pre-IPO stage.

I'll be wearing a understated patterned sport shirt and chinos. I'll wear the sport coat but take it off in the lobby as if I was wearing the coat as a winter jacket. I'm debating on getting a different pair of shoes besides my AE Maxfield loafers in Chili which are my only pair of loafers. Everything else in my wardrobe are serious cap-toe shoes in burgundy or black.
 

Cotillion

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California?

Business casual in Cali for tech companies is usually the range from polo shirt+nice jeans to button down + odd trousers (usually chinos).
 

Vecna

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This is my personal opinion, based on my experience. "Business casual" is certainly more formal than casual. The thing about jeans and a polo is that it is absolutely casual (and plain). I think business casual is in a comfortable zone between casual and semi-formal, ranging from chinos/polo/loafer (which is pushing the minimum) upwards to just below a suit (that being a blazer/OCBD/optional tie/oxford shoe). It is better to be a little overdressed than a little underdressed. I believe the most important thing is to look good, though.
 

Cotillion

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Originally Posted by Vecna
This is my personal opinion and is based on my experience. "Business casual" is certainly more formal than casual. The thing about jeans and a polo is that it is absolutely casual (and plain). I think the dress ranges from chinos and a polo (which is pushing the minimum) upwards to just below a suit (that being a blazer/OCBD/optional tie).
Thats why I first asked if he is interviewing in Cali. In my opinion and experience the first thing to consider when asking about "business casual" is geographical location and what are the typical location specific norms. California tech company's "business casual" is quite a bit more casual than 'business casual' in any sector on the east coast especially NYC ya know? Even for interviews, there really is a pretty huge difference in what the cultural norm for "casual dress" is between the two coasts. Especially when comparing things like California Tech companies with New York financial and advertising companies. I personally think jeans are always way too casual for interviews so its probably best to err on the side of overdressed rather than underdressed for interviews. I have friends that work for tech companies in Cali and polo and nice jeans is pretty typical for work though.
 

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