Does anyone get mocked for over-dressing at work?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by NeedStyleHelp, Jul 24, 2013.

  1. MyOtherLife

    MyOtherLife Senior member

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    Reserving this space for later​

    For now, my advice is to always be polite and turn the tables by simply smile while saying, 'why do you ask?' then be prepared for them to just stand there blinking because most people that will make comments or question you don't even know themselves why they asked. If it is the boss or a supervisor that asks, ask why they ask. The'll probably say something like, 'Oh , well it's just that you don't usualy dress up.' All you would have to say is, 'Well I have my better clothes just laying around at home and wanted to start getting my moneys worth out of them. That should hold them off. As I say, I'll ring in later. I love threads like this one. (rubbing hands together)
    To be continued....
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2013


  2. David Reeves

    David Reeves Affiliate Vendor Affiliate Vendor

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    C'mon it's harder to get fired in government jobs than the private sector.
     


  3. Calder

    Calder Senior member

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    Two anecdotes from working in one particular office;

    I more a suit 4 days a week, and odd jacket & trousers on friday. Nobody else wears a suit (I was once told I looked smarter on a Friday than my co-workers did Mon-Thur), including my boss most of the time. Over time, when people entered the Department needing us for something, they came to gravitate to me. Not so bad, it meant I controlled the workflow more than my technical remit allowed and everything ran like clockwork.

    Until one day when the Chair of the Board comes looking for something (explanation: this is a technical office - IT & systems). My boss is (for once) on the main floor of the department rather than ensconced in his office, and notices as the Chair enters... and walks right past the boss in his cheap polycotton shirt and no tie and up to me to get his problem solved. Which I did, and he went away happy - whereupon my boss asked why he'd sought me out.

    I just replied "I'm wearing a suit". Next week, so was my boss.





    Similarly, I was talking to one of the other team leaders and she asked why I dressed so well. I pointed out that people naturally gravitate to whoever matches their preconception of the person they feel they should be dealing with. Dress in a suit, and you'll end up dealing with people who think they need to be talking to someone in a suit... and more importantly, people who don't think they should be bothering someone in a suit won't bother you.

    "People," I said "Make judgements based upon how you are dressed. Clothes tell you things about the people who are wearing them"

    "What about Jim?" she asked, indicating one of the systems guys, who was waiting nearby "What does how Jim dresses tell you about Jim?"

    "Mostly, what Jim wears tells me that Jim doesn't own an iron"

    *cue the laughter from most of the systems team, and a rueful admission from Jim that he didn't*
     


  4. NeedStyleHelp

    NeedStyleHelp Senior member

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    Kind of. I'll share mine if you share yours :p

    Edit, just in case anyone sees.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2013


  5. Off My Rack

    Off My Rack Senior member

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    I work in a similar government office, where the norm during the summer sadly becomes shorts and a t-shirt. Some people have enough respect to wear dress pants and a buttondown shirt. And the higher-ups will occasionally toss on a tie. I wore a dark suit, white shirt and conservative tie to my interview and on my first day about 9 months ago (my interviewer was wearing a fleece and khakis). My second day, I wore a sportcoat and tie. I was greeted with a "why the suit?" by a lot of my coworkers, along with a "you know you don't have to dress up here." I kindly stated that I preferred to dress this way, and they left it alone. I have continued to dress this way, losing the tie on Friday occasionally, ever since, and rarely hear negative comments. If anything, my supervisors hold me to a higher standard, knowing that I care more about my job, but I'm okay with that.

    I agree with the above comments about not wearing a suit. It climbs too far up the scale of formality. But I understand the respect for your position that rises above the standard set by your office (honestly, an attorney should not be wearing ratty jeans and a t-shirt every day). Find some middle ground, and stick to it. Its always easier to dress better from the day you start, but you can gradually change your look if you choose to do so. It just takes a bit of time, and needs to be a gradual change.
     


  6. NeedStyleHelp

    NeedStyleHelp Senior member

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    David Reeves,

    I have decided that if I ever visit New York, I will look you up, commission something off of you (duh), and buy you a drink to pay homage to the best story I've ever heard! Cheers, [​IMG]!
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2013


  7. VinnyMac

    VinnyMac Senior member

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    You weren't "mocked for taking pride in wanting to look nice." That's a self-serving rationalization. You were mocked because, by your own admission, no one (including you) usually dresses that way, so you stood out like a sore thumb.

    You can keep trying to spin it to make it seem like your co-workers just don't get it, but a big part of being well-dressed is being context-appropriate. There's a lot of space between jeans-and-a-t-shirt and a suit. Find the sweet spot or live with being mocked.
     


  8. in stitches

    in stitches Kung Joo Moderator

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    chided from time to time, but never mocked. while no one else here dresses more than biz caz, they at least appreciate that i do my best to look good.
     


  9. NeedStyleHelp

    NeedStyleHelp Senior member

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    As I posted after, why is it the case that nobody usually dresses that way and has to submit to the culture of the workplace? On my first day, as with other poster's experiences, I had a tie on and was told that I didn't have to wear one (pre-Styleforum days). I abided at the time, but my knowledge and tastes have changed since then.

    You're right in that it was out of the ordinary for me to dress like that, however, why do others feel the need to create a "ceiling", so to say, for how people should dress, and then mock/chide them whenever they try to go above that "ceiling"?

    Btw more clarification, jeans are rarely worn, more trousers and button down shirts. I'll add this to the original post.
     


  10. in stitches

    in stitches Kung Joo Moderator

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    assuming that ones differing mode of dress in no way adversely affects the company, the most common case is when it would make clients/customers uncomfortable in some way, the reason is because fitting in is important. its sucks, but its life.
     


  11. jcmeyer

    jcmeyer Senior member

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    +1

    I often get comments about dressing a bit nicer than expected (typically ranging from "looking dapper" to "you have a job interview or something?"), and most of the time if anyone asks why I'm dressed up I just reply that it's something I like to do.

    But I work in the corporate office, in marketing where being a bit different is expected anyway, and I very rarely see clients - only vendors who I enjoy out-doing as a matter of leverage.

    The one time I did see some clients and was overdressed, I immediately felt like I was giving off the wrong impression. No one said anything, I just felt my look wasn't communicating what the company was supposed to mean to those people and i took note for future instances like it.
     


  12. TM79

    TM79 Senior member

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    I don't wear suits because I'd stand out too much, but I wear a navy blazer or other odd jacket with a shirt/tie/pant combo and I would get asked if I was job interviewing lol...

    I said exactly what MoL wrote - that I own nice stuff and was sick of seeing them collecting dust in the closet so i decided to put them to use.

    I never heard many comments to begin with but that explanation definitely seemed totally fine to anyone who said something to me.
     


  13. NeedStyleHelp

    NeedStyleHelp Senior member

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    No clients, so I would not make clients/customers feel uncomfortable. That is a fair reason, though. I would add over-the-top dressing to meeting a client such as; 3 piece suit, anything too flashy, etc., but a suit and tie, I feel, would be appropriate, in most instances.
     


  14. Hetzen

    Hetzen Member

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    You really don't get it. It's company culture. If you don't like it, leave. You're in an expandable junior role,and frankly, nobody cares what you think and nobody has to change the way they act and run their company to appease you.

    And you aren't stylish or cool or hip or anything by wearing a suit to a place where it doesn't belong. Dressing well and being fashionable doesn't start and end with a well fitted suit. Wear whatever is appropriate for the setting you're in, and do it well. I'd love to wear the suits I own, but I don't wear them to the office where people never wear ties, even the partners, just like I wouldn't wear one to go to a car show with my buddies.

    You just don't do certain things. Get over it.
     


  15. Hetzen

    Hetzen Member

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    Boy you must be the socially awkward guy in the office. If you can't wrap your head around why wearing a suit to your very casual job isn't acceptable, I wonder what other social norms you just don't get and make people feel uncomfortable.

    Like someone on here said a few days ago, and I'm sure before that, dressing well is about making people feel comfortable around you. Making people like you. You're making people hate you, making them feel uncomfortable, and you're coming off as awkward, weird and like you just can't relax.
     


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