Dressing for work

When I was a Data Management Analyst, for the first few years we had to wear ties to work; except on Fridays, when we could wear jeans and open-collar shirts. Eventually, we were allowed to dispense with the ties. I always thought it was stupid to dress like that, since we didn’t have any contact with the public. We didn’t even have regular contact with the Company Honchos. Why bother dressing like that? Jeans were comfortable. A co-worker’s boyfriend went to work for the company I used to work for. She said that he said, “People practically come to work in their pyjamas!” (You almost couldn’t get into the offices without a clearance, so there was definitely no interaction with customers unless you knew they were coming; and then you could dress for the meeting.) But wearing chinos and an open-collar shirt was much preferable to wearing a tie. I’d even put on a suit occasionally just to keep my co-workers wondering.

Now that I’m (under-)employed at a company that makes automated entry systems, I never know what I’ll be doing during the day. As an “Estimator/CAD Artist” I often make “sales calls”. I spend a lot of time in front a the computer drawing pictures. But I may, at any moment, be called to help move metal around the shop. I may be sent to a site to help with a gate installation. Once I was set to digging a trench. And there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s good to get out of the office and work with my hands.

But, as when I chafed at having to dress in “business casual” every day, I’m now getting sick of wearing jeans every day. I can be sure of getting some dirty work whenever I wear a nice shirt. The boss thinks this way: “I want to look as if I’m just about to go to work, but not as if I’ve been working.” I saw him apologise to someone on a sales call for wearing nice trousers and a nice shirt. (“I don’t usually dress this way, but I had a meeting this morning.”)

I’ve worked at places where jeans were okay, and I’ve worked at places where ties were expected. Now, working in a place where jeans are expected or even required, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’ve be more comfortable if I were employed in a setting where a jacket and tie were the norm. (Of course, given my background, I’m more suited to a data processing position – which would pay more anyway.)

So I would rather have an “office job” where “business casual” is expected, and where I could wear a suit if I wanted to. I would rather work in a job were a suit is required than in one where a suit is verboten.

How about you?

[sub]I do like my job. It’s new and different to me. As I said, it’s fun to get “out in the field” occasionally. People like me. I’m getting paid to draw pictures. But I’m only making half of my previous salary, which is not such a good thing. I’m checking the employment ads every day, but I would not readily quit my current situation. I’m a loyal person, and it would hurt the boss’s feelings if I left. Still, I have to look out for numero uno. [/sub]

I wear a suit and tie every day of the week, even though Fridays are “business casual” here except for upper management.

I follow the rule: Dress like your boss or his boss, not like your co-workers. I’m not ever called on to do tasks where it would make sense to be causally dressed (your ditch digging example), but I am often called on to meet with legislators, business leaders, and the like. I feel like I make a better impression in a suit, even on Friday.

I wear skirts and dresses almost exclusively. I dress as well as my boss and her boss (both female), though they tend to wear pants. I don’t dress “up,” exactly – I wear sandals in the summer, loafers in the winter – but I’m more comfortable dressing for work.

I notice a generational difference here – the women here in their 30s and 40s tend to dress nicely, the 20somethings tend to wear jeans and T-shirts ( :eek: ). Ditto for the men – 30s and up wear Dockers and shirts with collars, 20somethings jeans and tees.

BTW – little contact with the public; though we’re not a “closed” office, we don’t have clients coming in or anything like that. Some of my freelancers drop off work in person, but unless I’m interviewing, I’m not necessarily seeing anyone other than my coworkers.

The boss wears jeans every day. His shirt tails are often out. And he is no stranger to physical labour.

Me too. “Ah cleans up real good!” Unfortunately in my present situation, a suit is right out.

I HATE business casual. It’s torture to me. They pay me pennies and expect me to dress business casual? NO way?

That having been said, I normally wear nice slacks and blouses*. Not really dressed up, but not casual either. Jeans on Fridays. And skirts 1-2 times a week.

But I hate pantyhose, stockings, high heels, etc., etc.

*The first time I wrote this I wrote “louses”. I’m glad I caught that.

I never have been a power suit kinda gal. Hate wearing nylons. That being said, this has been the first year of the “relaxed MissTake” at work. We rarely have face to face contact with our clients, unless we are coverage. We no longer attend court. So I have found myself becoming more casual. Jeans, nice sweaters (no t-shirts or sweatshirts), capris. I think I’ve worn a dress twice this summer, when I used to wear nothing but.

Of course now that I have become more casual in my dress, the Boss boss has decided we’ve all become too lax and a change in dresscode is looming on the horizon.


I’ve had jobs that ran the gamut from ‘anything dressier than jeans and a t-shirt would be silly’ to ‘anything less than a suit and tie would be frowned upon’. By far my favorite way to dress for work lands solidly in the middle: Business casual. Polo shirts and kakhi pants and semi-casual shoes (Ecco makes the best!).

Jeans and t-shirt? Come on. That’s what I wear on the weekend. That’s no way to dress 7 days a week. Suit and tie? Blech. Too much hassle. Put it all on in the morning, take it all off when you get home, hang it up, fold it up, ironing, etc. etc. I found myself enjoying business casual so much that I could wear it all day and not notice. I was just as comfortable in the same clothes at home after a long hard day at work.

Nowadays, I have to lean towards the suit and tie side of things: not a suit and tie, but dress shoes, dress pants and a button-down shirt is my current uniform. Not nearly as comfortable, and more required maintenance than I approve of. Oh, well. The money’s good. :slight_smile:

I’d prefer business casual, but the company I’m contracting at is going full suit-and-tie next month. I’m going to have to start paying for dry cleaning with no increase in pay, and I have absolutely zero interaction with outside people. Just other people stuck wearing suit-and-tie…

When I consult, I wear a suit and tie, otherwise I wear business casual. I wear jeans when I know I’m going to be doing physical work (moving servers). My wife complains that I dress too formally, but I find jeans and especially tee shirts uncomfortable and unbecoming.

Do y’all get the feeling that we Dopers aren’t, ya know, typical? As the T-shirt says: “I live in my own little world – but it’s okay, they know me here.”

Twicks of course we’re not typical. We’re dopers. Everybody knows dopers are the cool kids of the message board/internet world. :smiley:

We’re business casual in the offices here. Direct care staff are more jeans and tshirts, though we have moved to a “uniform” type of dress for staff who provide personal care in residential settings. The uniform is a shirt with the company logo and kakhi pants or skirt. Believe it or not, those that wear the “uniform” like it. I guess the combination of it being easy to decide what to wear to work plus having the shirts provided helps.

Anyhoo, it’s business casual in the offices and dress up when you know you need to. I wear the whole suit and tie thing when I need to. Personally I think I look rather fetching in suit and tie, but’s that’s just MHO. I also like the polo or button down shirt and kahkis too. Like Rufus Xavier said, I’m just as comfortable at home in that as I am at work.

The one thing that saddens me about my choice of careers is that I usually can’t dress up. I’m an organic chemist, working for a proff at my school. I have to wear pants, and jeans take acid better than anything else that offers the comfort of them. T-shirts or the occations madras shirt. Basically, I dress like everyone else, including my boss. We only dress up when we have big meetings or presentations.

I work in an office with IT engineers in my direct area. We have the business casual look. I wish I could just wear whatever moved me that day. I would still wear dresses sometimes. But I’d wear jeans, too.

Whatever you do, don’t wear a tie with a short-sleeved shirt. It really screams “Sears Off The Racks”.

I love my job. I mean, I like the work and all, but I also love it because I get to wear (just about) anything I want. I rarely feel like dressing up up, but sometimes I’ll wear a cutey-booty little skirt or something (no hose–I’d hate a job that made me wear hose). Mostly I wear chinos, jeans, or cords. Yesterday I wore cargo pants and a t-shirt with an iron-on that said “California”, and my husband was shocked that I’d worn that to work. I say, hey, some people around here look like they’re on their way to wash their cars, so I look damn good by comparison.

I work in Silicon Valley, for a large company whose CEO has said that the only reason for a tie is to protect one’s buttons from soup. I wear Dockers, no tie, but that is because I got used to not wearing jeans from 20 years ago. The only time I ever wear a suit is when I’m up on the podium of a conference - lots of people don’t wear suits anymore even when giving talks, and no one wears them at workshops.

In fact, knowing the Valley, I didn’t wear a suit when I interviewed for this job, and it was no problem.

Lots of people wear shorts - but I’m too old to be comfortable with that. My boss never wears jackets. His boss, who is #3 guy in the company, seems to wear them about 50% of the time, probably when he has high level outside visitors.

I save a ton on clothes and cleaning bills working here.

I haven’t worn a suit in so long I’m not sure if the ones I have still fit.

It’s kind of amusing here. We have no official dress code at all, but people are usually pretty reasonable. All the good little worker drones like me in business casual, happily going about our business, and upper management looking like they’re on their way to a funeral. It’s not just the dark suits, but the expressions on their faces (the situation is always dire).

I really don’t want to have to buy new suits.

I wear shorts and Birkenstocks every day. Man, do I love my job!

I think I’m fairly intelligent and somewhat sociable, but I never saw the correlation between dress and intelligence, professional abilities or personality.

I wear jeans and t-shirts. I work at a blue collar job, and I’ve been working it so long that I’m not sure if I could ever learn to wear anything else. My ideal job would supply coveralls to keep gunk off of my jeans and t-shirts. A while back, I decided to clean up my image so I bought new shirts to replace the ones wth holes in the armpits.

I work in a ‘progrssive’ office where dress is always ‘Friday Casual’.

I am senior management, and while senior mgrs usually wear jeans, I usually wear slacks and a nice button down shirt.

As a rule, I avoid ‘dockers’ and I avoid Polo style shirts. I prefer slacks/dress pants and a button down shirt. I’ll resort to a polo shirt if it is a nice polo sans “I got this free poloshirt insignia” and there is a very casual atmosphere for some reason (rearranging offices, hardware, etc)

I work as a retail cashier in a VERY small college bookstore, so our “dress code” is no holes, no open toed shoes (though my coworker can’t seem to fathom that if you drop a box of books that weighs forty pounds on your toes, your flip flops aren’t going to offer much protection) and no shirts advertising competing colleges.

I’ve upgraded to polo shirts and I always wear khaki colored jeans, so I usually look nice, but not ‘dressed up’.