THE CHANGE IN PROFESSIONAL DRESS: How has your wardrobe changed in recent years?

  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Jun 01, 2009 3:43 PM GMT
    So here I am, doing a variety of things in my office.. pretty laid back Monday, June often is and only seeing 1 client today. While it is the lightest day of the week, here I am in jeans and a polo shirt... and feeling perfectly comfortable.

    Society is much more casual than a decade ago. I remember when I first became a junior partner, I always.. always.. had on a white dress shirt and tie if I was in my office.... that later was modified to various colors of dress shirts by the end of the 1990's. Part of it was the fact I was the new kid on the block and wanted to make a favorable impression, but you saw many more people in dress mode....

    These days I can say I am one of the more "dressed" professionals in my office building (and even the last one I was in). While I tend to dress a little more casually in the summer than winter... I do still enjoy dressing to the 9's
    in suit, shirt and tie. But, I was asked at the gym recently.. wow, do you work in a bank? They are only ones that wear ties anymore......

    But some employers haven't changed.... banks, TV newsanchors... LOL

    How do you dress to go to work?
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13993

    Jun 01, 2009 3:51 PM GMT
    Khakis/dress pants and a cotton shirt or polo. Occasionally I'll wear jeans on a Friday.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Jun 01, 2009 4:12 PM GMT
    I used to wear a shirt and tie to the office
    Now I wear a scrub top most days
  • silverfox

    Posts: 3178

    Jun 01, 2009 4:24 PM GMT
    Chris I am very excited about these new threads you are starting....

    Great job.


    I used to loathe dressing up in suits. In the past have rationalized that I could "get by" in my profession by wearing Khakis and a Lacoste shirt instead of a suit.

    However, this was just my rationalization.

    People, particularly those that I am meeting for the first time, seem to give me a higher level of respect when I dress up. Plus, though I hate to admit, I feel more confident. Wearing suits in Florida can be a bitch but that is not an excuse for wearing Tommy Bahama ....EVER!

    icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif
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    Jun 01, 2009 4:43 PM GMT
    from scrubs to shirt/tie/dress pants..
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    Jun 01, 2009 4:58 PM GMT
    Crisp khakis and blue (or other colors) button-downs; dress shoes and belts are the norm for me - but ties only when meeting with certain clients (older, more formal) who expect it. Arizona is casual - and hot sometimes - so the dress here is different than in San Francisco. In SF, it is colder, and the norm for me there is suits and ties to meetings.

    It seems funny to remember the early 80s when I was fresh out of Stanford and working at Hewlett-Packard - we wore suits, ties and white shirts all the time - except Wednesdays - when we wore blue shirts - out of respect for our founders - David Packard and William Hewlett - who had retired, but were apt to come into the buildings, walking the halls - stopping to talk with many of the employees. In my H.P. days, if you wanted to be casual, you removed your jacket and hung it on a hanger behind your door - - - but the minute you left the office for a meeting or to go anywhere - you put that jacket right back on!
  • kaccioto

    Posts: 284

    Jun 01, 2009 5:02 PM GMT
    designer suits..

    ironic how my fellow heteros will laugh at you for wearing brooks brothers or anything attainable at a mall..i couldn't even tell the difference as of late.

    in my dream world there are no suits, just pajamas at every function. hmm $8k for a kiton or fund my ira? ahh, sweet office bureaucracy
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    Jun 01, 2009 5:27 PM GMT
    I hate suits. That is all.
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    Jun 01, 2009 5:40 PM GMT
    Im in a tee shirt, flip flops and short! Gotta love working for an internet company!!!!!!!
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    Jun 01, 2009 5:50 PM GMT
    One of my mentors taught me to "dress for the day"

    Working from home as I do, if I'm not seeing clients (like today) then it's shorts & a t-shirt.

    In front of clients, I dress one to two levels above their dress code. Nothing's worse than walking into an extremely casual firm (shorts & flip flops) in my smartest power suit. I might go the crisply-pressed dress shirt, dress pants, open collar and vest route there.

    In a business-casual (khakis and polos) firm I am in a suit.

    In a suit firm, I'm in a suit.

    Attire can be very much a sign of respect, and I walk the fine line between over and under dressing depending on where I'm going.

    My other mentor always told me "if you're overdressed, you look sharp. if you're underdressed, you look shabby". When in doubt, I always go the route of appropriate business attire.
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    Jun 01, 2009 5:53 PM GMT
    Engineers used to wear ties with short sleeve shirts. By the time I got out in 2002, they had dropped the tie.

    Now I wear a t-shirt with either slacks or shorts, depending on the time of year. My company requires that if we wear shorts, we must wear socks that match them as supplied by the company. Twice a year, on Halloween and April Fool's Day, I wear over-the-calf socks that match my t-shirt instead.
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    Jun 01, 2009 5:59 PM GMT
    silverfox1 said...but that is not an excuse for wearing Tommy Bahama

    There's never an excuse for wearing Tommy Bahama. icon_smile.gif
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13993

    Jun 01, 2009 6:02 PM GMT
    COJock1974 saidOne of my mentors taught me to "dress for the day"

    Working from home as I do, if I'm not seeing clients (like today) then it's shorts & a t-shirt.

    In front of clients, I dress one to two levels above their dress code. Nothing's worse than walking into an extremely casual firm (shorts & flip flops) in my smartest power suit. I might go the crisply-pressed dress shirt, dress pants, open collar and vest route there.

    In a business-casual (khakis and polos) firm I am in a suit.

    In a suit firm, I'm in a suit.

    Attire can be very much a sign of respect, and I walk the fine line between over and under dressing depending on where I'm going.

    My other mentor always told me "if you're overdressed, you look sharp. if you're underdressed, you look shabby". When in doubt, I always go the route of appropriate business attire.


    good advice. I was told that generally you shouldn't out dress your boss.
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    Jun 01, 2009 6:45 PM GMT
    We lawyers will be among the last to abandon the suit and tie, just as British barristers never gave up the wig.
    Since I'm in court every day I always wear a dark gray or navy blue suit, white or blue dress shirt, and muted tie. When I'm done in court I lose the tie unless clients are coming to the office.


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    Jun 01, 2009 7:06 PM GMT
    i've gone from spending $30 on shirts to $30 on underwear.
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    Jun 01, 2009 8:14 PM GMT
    I think ties are a waste of fabric.
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13993

    Jun 01, 2009 8:20 PM GMT
    growingbig saidI think ties are a waste of fabric.


    I think they are a great way to accessorize with some color, pattern and personality in what is otherwise a very boring wardrobe.
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    Jun 01, 2009 10:07 PM GMT
    I've been all over the map in the last three years. Up until the end of 2006 I typically wore jeans and polo shirts. After that I went the complete opposite direction and took a job that often required a suit and tie. Now it's business casual... khakis and nice button up or polo.
  • swimbikerun

    Posts: 2835

    Jun 01, 2009 10:20 PM GMT
    danielfromdallas saidIm in a tee shirt, flip flops and short! Gotta love working for an internet company!!!!!!!
    Yup, tshirt, jeans, flip flops, haven't shaved in days...took a shower (I think) the other day...
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    Jun 01, 2009 10:58 PM GMT
    I don't work in an office environment, instead I work for myself (or self-employed as we call it here in the UK). I only wear suits and ties on special occasions. Generally I find wearing a tie rather constricting and uncomfortable, and furthermore, recently here in the UK, wearing a tie seemed to have developed a bad taste. Maybe it is because the tie is worn by political-correct bureaucrats, picky elf-n-safety officers, greedy bankers and their executives, and lately, our politicians who have claimed massive amount from the taxpayer, often on dishonest "Second Homes" property deals and "flipping".
    Throughout the year I wear a casual shirt open at the neck, which I find the most comfortable without diminishing respect from my clients.
  • silverfox

    Posts: 3178

    Jun 02, 2009 1:35 AM GMT
    dancerjack saidi've gone from spending $30 on shirts to $30 on underwear.



    Hey.....great underwear is priceless! icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif