Office Dress Codes

You know working at the theme parks is great because you know EXACTLY how they want you to look. You get handouts on acceptable hair styles and facial hair, they tell you what kind of shoes to wear and when you get to work you put on your work clothes (which they subsequently also wash for you). However at the newest job the dress code has been a bit of trial and error.

By nature I’m a t-shirt and jeans kind of guy, and unless it’s cold outside I’ll be in flipflops. This doesn’t exactly fly at work. The jeans are okay, but as I learned t-shirts are not. So I’ve always had a polo shirt or a button up shirt or something ready to wear for work. Today I put on the polo shirt but as the weather is getting nicer I threw on a pair of cargo shorts and flipflops and headed off to work.

I knew the outfit was a bit casual. But I’m a code monkey who sits in a cubicle and has no interaction with anyone who is going to judge our company by what I wear, so I figured I’d be okay.

My boss was talking to me and he suddenly noticed my attire and went “Nuh uh, jeans and no flip flops.” He didn’t send me home to change thankfully, I’ll just sit out of the view of most people, take a bit of a long lunch and generally try to avoid anyone who might disapprove and then with a lesson learned I’ll just begin packing another pair of shoes for work so I can put my flip flops on when I leave.

I dunno, I guess I just think it is silly for someone like me to follow a more restricted dress code. I mean I know it’s pretty lax as it is, no ties or suits thankfully, but compared to my normal way of life it is just a bit of a difference.

So what do you guys wear to work? Anything you hate?

I wear a uniform to work. This is the fourth round of uniforms in the 1 1/2 years I’ve been working here. First we wore black and whites (tux & bow tie), then we wore these dull greyish khaki polo shirts, then we wore these awful grey silky polyester shirts that made us look like we are all mechanics, now we wear the most awful double knit polyester shirts that you can simultaneously sweat to death and freeze to death in, all while itching like you have poison ivy. Did I mention they are black with a big yellow stripe down the center so we look like a bunch of bumble bees? They are so unflattering to the women that we have a woman that is pregnant and is getting pretty big, no one even knows she’s pregnant. I can just wear a tank top underneath them and forego a bra because not only can no one tell I’m a girl, if you can discern any sort of breast, it appears as a uniboob.

Oh, and we have to wear badges (between the first and second button) which every time we lean over, flip around. But we get yelled at because our badges are backwards.

Oh, and they pill/stain/snag etc.

No flip flops? I’ll take it!

For YEARS, I was in jacket/tie, or suits at work. First in sales, then managing commercial property downtown.

A friend talked me into interviewing for a job with his bus company. I met the regional VP in his office. I took a morning to go in and interview, then was going to work downtown straight from there. So I was in a jacket and tie.

Sat down with the VP, and the first thing out of his mouth was “Hey, that’s a nice tie”, delivered almost as facetiously as he could, given that he was in khakis and a sweater.

Since then, I have yet to wear my first tie to work. Most days when school is in, it’s casual pants - khakis, drawstring cotton, corduroy or whatever, and a sweater, polo or short sleeve button down, depending on the season. In the summer, shorts.

Shoes are either the warm Timberlands, or once it gets above 45-50 on a regular basis, the Top-Siders.

Fridays, I have established as casual days. Jeans and whatever the hell I feel like.

We are an accounting/admin department in a large non-profit and it’s relatively relaxed, even among top management. No jeans though, except maybe on Fridays. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone in a suit, in the three depts I’ve been in, but I assume some folks have to wear them (development or investment types). The most my bosses would wear would be ties and sport coat over their chinos.

My “uniform” is khaki/brown/black chino-type pants, and blue or black knit top (tailored/structured tee-shirt, basically). Over the winter I wore clogs; today was the first day I broke out my toe-uncovering Birks and I have to check in with my boss about that. I sometimes anoint my own Fridays as casual day, but it’s not official.

Telecommuter. I sprung for fresh undies today.

Flip-flops are bad, bad, bad. :slight_smile: Distracting and annoying as most people seem to think the point of them is to make as much noise as they can when walking. And they look worse. They are for beach wear or bathroom wear, IMO. You may be perfectly silent in them, I dunno. And I do know how to walk in them without making noise (tighten your toes, people, so the slipper moves with your foot and doesn’t slap against your foot each time) and I still won’t wear them to work.

I do wear sandals ten months out of the year. But they are pretty, decorative sandals and I like to think I have nice feet.

My work is business casual, so I mostly get by with slacks and blouses, or skirts and blouses sometimes…I don’t find most of it annoying, as I don’t particularly like jeans. But I do loathe pantyhose with a passion that’s got to be at least several suns’ worth.

You know, Sandals would probably be just as comfy for me, but the truth is that with my big honkin feet - I go cheap and I buy the flip flops. I did instinctively silence my flip flops when I stepped inside, but it was still just the look of them which the boss did not approve of. However, they are comfortable and I do love to slip me shoes off while I work and these make them all the easier.

When I worked in a corporate setting I always wore pantyhose, heels, and skirts or dresses, or nice slacks. Never flip-flops! That’s way too casual.

When I worked for the Evil Control Freak Assholes (who kept the basic office supplies I distributed to students LOCKED UP so I couldn’t perform my job), they had a written code that included no open-toe shoes. This was an office! They were afraid a blueprint would jump off the wall and break some toes. That place is in my top 3 worst gigs I’ve ever had.

Another code monkey here.

I agree with the OP - the whole dress up thing when you never see a customer and all you do is sit in a cubicle and code is just silly.

That said, the first half of my career there was usually a “business casual” dress code. That boiled down to no jeans, no shorts, no t-shirts. Khakies and polo shirts were the norm for male and female.

Then I got a job at a Very Large Software company, and nice jeans and shorts were OK. I don’t think anyone tried for flip-flops, but unless they were loud, I doubt it would be a problem. Plain T-shirts were common, but nobody wore t-shirts with writing or logos on them. I don’t think it was a company policy, it’s just that people sort of just decided that they weren’t going to push it any farther than it already was. It was pretty laid back.

I was the first real employee at my current job. The other two guys in the office - the CEO and a high level consultant - both wore suits and ties every day. I told them I’d go with business casual but I wasn’t going any farther than that. Then one day the consultant showed up with jeans on. Since then, I’ve been wearing nice jeans, along with the occasional khaki.

Around the same time I decided to work at home. Never did get official approval for it or anything, I just started doing it (it helps that a full 3/4 of our company is based in another state where they don’t have an office and everyone works at home). Now I’m at home a minimum of 2 days out of the week and usually 3 or 4. So I’m with Hal, except most days I don’t even wear undies :smiley:

Right now I’m wearing jeans, a pretty T-shirt (European tees tend to be prettier and hardier than American ones, which is funny since anyway they’re all Made in Thailand) and espadrilles. My other espadrilles are pretty dressy, but this particular pair isn’t. I’m a consultant for a Spanish firm, currently on location in the tropics. My clients wear uniforms, the people I’m training right now are all blue-collar. Being too dressy would just mean an additional barrier.

I worked for a big chemical company in Philly for a year. (For people from Philly: the huge, horrid lump that’s right in front of the federal building). I’d been hired abroad and had been part of the team for over a year before I saw The Bank. I’d heard the name, but didn’t know what it meant until I got there: our offices weren’t “in” Home Office proper, they are in the ground floor and used to be a bank - you can still see the sign, probably. I know you could two years ago.

One day some old crow sends a note reminding everybody of the Home Office dress code. No jeans, no sandals, no T-shirts; women must wear narrow skirts and high-heeled pumps. Yeah rite, I don’t get paid enough to renew everything on some office crow’s say-so, specially with stuff that makes my Hispanic Hips look like I ate the table and shoes that my doctor has forbidden. The boss, who usually wore slacks but that day had come in jeans, an embroidered tee and sandals, came over looking kind of worried, asking “have you seen the letter?” and one of my coworkers said “yeah, but it doesn’t affect us, you know.” “Ah no?” “Of course not! We’re not IN Home Office, we’re in The Bank! C’mon, do we EVER sign in with the guards? No we don’t! Because they’re at the door…” chorus “to Home Office!”

So the nerds at the bank, most of whom spent more time in factories than at the office anyway, continued wearing our jeans. And sandals. And T-shirts from Zara instead of blouses from The Gap.

Jeans are considered part of business casual through most, if not all, of Europe.

I’m with AuntBeast. I’d love to wear jeans and sneakers, but I have a uniform.

Company-issued polyester pleated pants that are always 10 inches too long.
Company-issued polyester button-down white shirt that is to be kept spotless in a food environment.
Company-issued polyester kelly green vest that is so damned hot and pills like no one’s business
Company-issued polyester tie.

This is for a job where I am very active, inside and outside, in FLORIDA where it gets REAL DAMN HOT and I still have a two layer POLYESTER outfit on top. And I undoubtedly make less than many of you.

So I don’t want to hear any complaining about not being able to wear jeans.

At the ice cream place, we were forced to buy black polo shirts (girls didn’t even get the company’s name on them!) for an exorbant price, then we had to wear nice tennis shoes (with ice cream? Are they kidding me?) and khaki’s. Needless to say, after working for a few weeks the black polo was quite faded from washings, the khaki’s were in a sorry state, and the shoes were covered in ice cream drops. They began to relax around that time too, so as long as everything was clean it was all good.

The latest place I worked we had a semi-strict policy. All black, head to toe. Shoes had to be heels of some sort (althought I got away with nice tennis shoes), black slacks, black nice shirt, exc. Hair also had to be styled nicely, and we had to wear makeup. They had makeup in the back if we forgot to wear some. Nails technically had to be painted, but with my short bitten ones they let me slide with clear polish. That job sucked.

Next job is “business casual”, which was defined up there. It looks like it’l be lenient, which is a very good thing.

The worst I ever had to deal with was a VP who defined casual friday as not wearing the vest with your three piece suit. I really hated that job.

Right now, I telecommute. So my office attire is pajamas…

However, when I am the real office, luckily we have a laid-back dress code. We don’t regularly see clients, so it’s business casual. I usually wear Birkenstocks - sandals in warm months, clogs in cold. We get to wear jeans on Fridays. The guys wear kakhis and casual shirts the rest of the time, and I will wear a casual skirt and shirt usually. Never ever ever any pantyhose or heels!!!

I absolutely hate dress codes. Especially ones that say that women can’t wear open-toed shoes. That’s pretty much all I have in warm months! Or pantyhose/stockings. No way! And for men, ties! Ties are so last century! Seriously, I can’t imagine having to wear those.

Some dress codes are cool but silly at the same time. My boyfriend is in the military, so he wears camoflague BDUs and combat boots most days. Except he is a computer guy, so he basicly sits in an office at a computer all day. So it’s kind of silly, being in your run-of-the-mill office, but looking like you’re ready to go to war at any moment!

I work in advertising. I might get in trouble if I wore Saran Wrap without underwear. We pitched a Jeans client once, and we all wore boxers. No pants. To show how badly we needed jeans.

Here at my job we have a fairly typical business casual policy. You almost never see a suit or tie on anyone, and sportjackets are only slightly more common. We’re not supposed to wear jeans except on Fridays, but people do, sometimes, and those slackers down in Creative Services do every day! :slight_smile:

I generally start dressing down and break out the jeans in midweek. But I try to compensate by wearing a sportjacket, and I haven’t had any complaints. I think we’re just about at the point where simply having your shirt tucked in means you’re business casual.

Oddly enough, in perusing the new company handbook just released, I saw nothing about the dress code. They’re probably revamping it into something stricter, or maybe more lax. Time will tell.

Bambi I live in Florida too though a ways north of you and I have to say, that is cruel and unusual punishment.

I hate polyester.

Where I work it’s business casual for me all the time but that’s supposed to mean no jeans. I wear jeans every Friday because I think the no jeans rule is stupid. So far no one has called me on it.

In my corporate environment it’s business casual, which means chinos or slacks and a polo or golf shirt for guys. Some guys (including myself) come in a blazer but take it off inside. I do it because I like the look of it, and since I usually wear some kind of jacket anyway unless it’s in the dead of summer, a blazer works for me.

I don’t mind this kind of attire. I guess I’d prefer to wear jeans everyday for comfort, but I like the way I look in nicer clothes, so I’m not opposed to the dress code.

But I’m amazed at how far people stretch the casual Friday thing- it’s casual, not sloppy. I’ve seen women in clear stripper heels, capri jeans that were several sizes too small, and tube tops. If that’s what you want to wear on your own time, knock yourself out. But in an office? Yikes.

We don’t have a dress code. However, I try to always wear nice clothes to work. Most days, I wear slacks and a nice sweater or button-down, dressy shoes, and dress coat if needed. I try not to wear jeans more than once a week. (Today is that day this week. I’m in nice jeans and a cardigan.) I find my dress pants are more comfortable than jeans anyway. I never wear sweatshirts or T-shirts to work, though many in my office do. I’m a little more casual in the summer when I bring out the khaki pants and sandals.