Are you required to dress up at work? Pressured or encouraged to? Do you resent it?

No hypothetical situation today, mes amies, nor a request for advice; just a desire for feedback.

Yesterday I did an exit interview with a subordinate who’s leaving the company because his wife got transferred elsewhere. “Mike,” who is in his mid-twenties (almost two decades my junior) is a middling employee: not great, but not bad. As we were going through the checklist, Mike asked if I minded his making a personal observation. When I said it was okay, he commented that he’d always been bothered a little by the fact that I wear a coat & tie to work every day. Our division has a business casual dress code, you see, and the fact that I’m usually in a suit made him feel slightly uncomfortable; that, and the fact that I’ve often advised people that if they’re looking for a promotion they should dress for the job they want, not the one they have (hardly an original observation on my point.)

Now, as the above implies, I almost always wear a shirt & tie in the office; four days out of the week it’s a full suit, and when I dress down on Fridays, it means that I’m wearing a sports coat & slacks instead. I like dressing that way; it makes it easier for me to concentrate, it feels more comfortable, and it lets me rip off my tie when I go home, throw it onto other, and jump up and down on it while cursing out my bosses in Yiddish. But that’s just me. Most of the time, the people who work for me aren’t interacting with customers in person, so though I privately think the ambitious ones would be better off dressing up, I don’t make an issue of it.

Which brings us to the thread questions. What’s your company dress code? Is it more or less formal than you like? If it’s business casual, but your immediate boss always wore suit & tie (or the feminine equivalents), would you feel pressured to dress to match?

Our office is business casual (with casual Fridays) and maybe a third of the guys wear a jacket and tie at least occasionally. I never do. I feel more comfortable without them, and it seems doubly pointless to wear a jacket when you’re taking it off most of the day in order to sit in front of a computer.

I’m definitely not an ambitious guy, though. Even if I thought it would impress my boss slightly, I still wouldn’t bother.

I own the business and allow my employees to decide dress code, which they follow. I’m the only slob in the bunch. I wear jeans/khakis and a Hawaiin shirt each day.

For men it’s slacks and tie. I’m perfectly comfortable with that, as I have the most awesome tie collection ever.

My bosses usually wear suits if they’re not wearing scrubs. I’m OK with that too.

We don’t really have any sort of specific dress code at my office.

We do have a public help desk that we must take turns manning, so semi-professional clothing is encouraged for those of us who have to do that, but no one really cares what anyone else wears around the office. Some people wear suits or business-casual, but most of us don’t adhere to any particular level of work dress. Personally I always wear jeans and a button-up shirt. The only real no-no’s are non-plain t-shirts and excessive cleavage, but not being female that’s not an issue for me.

: disregards rest of OP : When am I ever going to see a picture of you in a suit? Do you not know a well-dressed man makes my knees weak?

Ahem. All right, I’ll answer. While I dress in business casual, a lot of my coworkers do dress a little better - but they see clients a lot. On days when they don’t intend to see clients they dress just like me. I do occasionally feel a little odd when they all have a big meeting and everyone is dressed to the nines but me, but it’s not a big deal.

I wear slacks and a nice blouse almost every day. It’s not like I show cleavage. I should wear skirts more often, though.

Major O&G company, we’re business casual so khakis or slacks and dress shirt or polos are the norm. I don’t see many suits, usually just by visitors.

While we do have casual Fridays, jeans aren’t the norm although it is what I wear. in fact when United Way rolls around they sell $5 jean day tickets as a fund raiser.

I should add that there is definitely a dress code here. We had a meeting about it on Friday. I was the only guy there.

I’m upset that I’m not allowed to show too much cleavage, nor can I wear my mini skirt.

Well, I am very pretty. :wink:

I should have added that there are at least two occasions in which my employees must dress up. If we’re going on a site visit–calling on clients in person rather than on the phone–then men must wear suits, ties, & dress shoes, and women dresses with sleeves, pantsuits, and such. I’ve fired people–well, a person–for not dressing properly for that occasion. Also, if my boss’s boss (soon to be simply my boss, yay!) is scheduled to visit, everybody has to dress up, though that may change soon.

Almost all the jobs I’ve had required uniforms and nametags. So I’m very appreciative of being allowed to wear my own clothes here. I could dress down a bit more than I do, but I actually like wearing dresses and heels. I’m a lot less educated than many other people here, so it makes me feel that at least I’m putting my best foot forward.

I’m a girl, so it may be different, but I used to love dressing up every day when I worked in corporate environments. I felt neat and attractive in suit jackets and pencil skirts. I also enjoyed all the suited men around me.

Although: I remember temping once at a minor fashion label in NYC and, even in the accounting department, it was all women (and a couple gay men) who, IMHO, were VERY overdressed for their desk jobs-- expensive wrap dresses, designer shoes, etc. I dressed very appropriately for an upscale office environment but, because I wasn’t dressing super stylish/trendy, I felt uncomfortable in my clothing.

The basic dress code here is “nothing with holes in it”. So long as you look clean, you’re good. In fact, I just went out to lunch with the president and two junior partners and, as we were walking into the restaurant, realized that I was the only one not wearing jeans and sneakers or boots (I have on slacks and loafers).

I have no issue with wearing a coat and tie and wouldn’t mind it as a dress code but to do it here would make me look ridiculously out of place. There are occasions where we’re meeting with clients when a tie is more suited and gives me an excuse to dress up.

I work for an multinational engineering company that makes world class products and is widely regarded and the best in our field. We can wear whatever we want. I guess there are some limits if there is a safety issue and you probably should wear a shirt but someone wearing shorts, a t-shirt and flip flops would fit in fine. That’s how the General Manager dresses most days. I always wear Levis and a t-shirt.

Dress codes are fucking idiotic and are thankfully going the way of dinosaurs.

For non-client facing employees, I always hated having a dress code beyond “neat and presentable.” IE, jeans are OK, ripped/dirty jeans are not. Colored or lightly patterned t-shirts are OK, T-shirts with band names, silly sayings, or other goofy graphics are not. I never understood offices that wanted their employees to wear clothes that they did not like and were not comfortable in, unless there was an actual business reason to do so.

I guess I’d feel a little like the OP’s employee if I were him; it would bother me that the boss dressed nicer than was required, because I’d assume (correctly, per the OP himself) that he’d think the people who dressed up more were more ambitious. I’d feel pressure to do the same myself, for no really good work-related reason other than to impress the boss with something other than my actual work.

For people who interact with clients, that’s all out the window. Of course you have to dress appropriately for that. And if clients are walking through the office with regularity, then I’d expect there to be at least a “business casual” dress code.

For us code monkeys who never see a client, ever, ever, ever? I like wearing shorts in the summer and jeans in the winter. If anything, makes me more productive because I feel like I’m valued for my work, not how I look.

Of course, after working at home in pajamas for 10 years, I’m not sure I could do an office job if I had to. I’m ruined.

Edit: what hajario said.

Current place of employment is pretty laid back. They’re not too crazy about blue jeans, but they don’t seem to sweat it.

Last place I worked used to have a standing rule that if you had visitors or you were doing a presentation or a briefing, you dressed professionally. Apart from than, just don’t be a slob. Then some mucky muck got his knickers in a knot and all jeans and sneakers were banned. It sucked. Then I left, so I didn’t care any more. :smiley:

Maybe you should wear a mini instead, like tdn.

I’m 100% for this as long as there is a basic dress code in place, as in no skirts too short, no holes or torn clothes or dirty clothes. Athena says it right with “neat and presentable”.

Our dress code is business casual M-Th and jeans casual on F, but it’s not really enforced. I sit in front of a computer 8 hours a day so it shouldn’t matter at all what I wear… generally, I try to wear whatever is comfortable and inoffensive.

I’ve been told on several occasions that it would “help” my image if I dressed up more, but I think it’s absurd that it matters at all.

I would be very surprised if we had a written dress code but there might be one somewhere. I suppose if someone wore pants with holes in them and their junk was hanging out or they were covered in week old food stains there could be a problem but I have never seen anyone to that extreme.

The other day the GM was wearing his usual shorts and flip flops and was giving a tour to some Japanese clients who were wearing suits and ties. Somehow they still saw fit to order millions of dollars worth of stuff.

I just remember various incidents, especially the one where the hot chick wore the ultra-mini and all of the men in the office were slavering over her. :rolleyes: And the GM had to tell her that wasn’t appropriate for work, and she was surprised.

I just had to write the company dress code here. It is along the lines of “dress appropriately for your job, check with your supervisor if you have any questions.”

Seasonally and depending on position and event, appropriate dress is anything from a tux to shorts & tees. For myself there is only pressure for working a dressy evening affair or a suit for Board meetings. Mostly I wear jackets & skirts or pants, which is a little dressier than needed, but being in Finance people sort of expect it. I’ve never felt pressured to dress up more than I do at any job - in fact when working in Tempe AZ for a couple years I felt a little pressure to dress down, but not enough to matter.