Dressing for work in Belgium?

So I’m leaving in a few days for my new job at a software development company in Belgium. I’m from Canada. I’m about to pack, and I’m wondering: what clothes do I bring? What do I wear to work? I emailed the company, and they said:

“no shirt and tie needed: casual is fine.”

So, uh, what’s anybody’s best guess as to what ‘casual’ means in a European business setting? I’m guessing just a halfway-nice shirt and trousers, but I’m not sure. I know companies where it’s t-shirt and jeans, and others where it’s dressy, just without the necktie. And I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a difference in opinions about ‘casual’ across the Atlantic.

Additional notes: I’m male, and on a student placement testing the software, in case that has any bearing.

We have a casual dress code at work, and for me that usually means a casual shirt and jeans or other casual trousers. T-shirts are generally fine too, but it’s best to steer clear of any controversial logos.

My suggestion - first day, wear a decent open-necked shirt and dark jeans or trousers with respectable shoes. Then adjust downwards once you see what everyone else is wearing. It’s better to err on the side of smartness first day.

I suggest turning up in a suit and tie for the first day…

… that way, everybody will come up to you and say " You must be the new guy!"


Based upon my visits to Belgium, casual looks something like this.

But seriously. As a rule of thumb, Europeans tend to dress either darker or more colorfully than most norte americanos. Given the choice in Dockers pants, for example, I’d steer you more toward a charcoal color than the tan khaki. On the other hand, you’ll probably find more bold colored work shirts – especially with suits – than you’re used to, but there’s no need for a new wardrobe.

Oh, but I’d recommend getting a real pair of casual shoes, instead of wearing white sneakers to work. These tips might help you fit it a little better, but I really wouldn’t sweat it too much. Dress like you’re going out on a date with a nice girl and you’ll be fine.

Actually, I think it’s more like this. :smiley:

Seriously though, a pair of nice jeans (not tattered and torn) and a polo shirt or collared shirt without a tie should be fine. I work here in the Netherlands, and attire for us is casual. Most of us wear something like that.

Right on. I think I already have the required equipment, then: collared shirts, casual shoes, dark pants.

Thanks a bunch!