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What is Corporate Casual?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Carl Miller, Aug 6, 2004.

  1. Carl Miller

    Carl Miller Well-Known Member

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    I'm starting a new position within my gov't agency, and have been told the proper attire for the job is corporate casual.

    I've heard the term a million times, but as someone who has worn jeans and sneakers thru my entire career, I'm not sure exactly what corporate casual means. Any input?
     
  2. Phil_L

    Phil_L Well-Known Member

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    You may want to start off in a button front shirt and slacks. Think of it as a suit without the jacket and tie. If the office seems more relaxed, try a polo and khakis. Jeans are usually a no-no in most corporate casual environments except on pre-designated dress down days.
     
  3. LDfan

    LDfan Well-Known Member

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    being a fellow gov't employee corporate casual for men is usually Levi docker type pants and a 'polo' type shirt.


    Jeff
     
  4. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Well-Known Member

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    I work for a state agency and our "coporate casual" is khakis and button front shirt, unless it is summer and then you can wear polos. If in doubt, call human resources.
     
  5. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Well-Known Member

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    As for all jobs, exactly how you dress within the guidelines has a lot to do with how you wish to be viewed (do you wish to be considered for promotions—especially management, for example).

    If you want to be both a bit upwardly mobile, but at the same time not be seen to be out of step with other employees, some suggestions:

    ·Always wear a long sleeve shirt with a collar (even in the summer) In the office you will be cool enough and you can roll your sleeves up on the way home.
    ·Wear a navy blazer or a spot coat to work. These look well without a tie, won’t label you as a suit, but also allow a bit better appearance if you need to attend a meeting where most everyone is a couple of levels up. Alternatively you can just keep one in your office or locker at work.
    ·There is a big difference between cotton khakis and casual, wool slacks. The later are available in a variety of colors, styles and patterns and weights (try a weight and weave known as tropical worsted for summer wear—these will be cooler than cotton or synthetics). Plus wool slacks look much better at the end of the day than cotton ones. You might think about 3–5 pair, so you can switch and allow them a bit of time to rest between the time you wear each pair.
    ·Avoid knit or polo shirts.
    ·Never dress more cheaply than your peers. I have seen some casual work places where the employees were pretty high on the pay and intellectual scale—and which they may have worn slacks and sweaters, those sweaters were often of the several hundred dollar variety.
    ·Also don’t dress up too much. Try to fit in with the casual atmosphere, but also be comfortable with how your boss’s boss dresses and peers dress.

    However, if you are the best thing since sliced bread, you can easily ignore all of the above. Or if you have no intention of thinking of a management-type move, I’d not worry too much about any of this.
     
  6. Seth_L

    Seth_L Well-Known Member

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    I'm glad all the jobs I've had they were more concerned about how I did my job when they gave out promotions rather than how nicely I dressed.
     
  7. Daren Welsh

    Daren Welsh Well-Known Member

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    I'd say a nice pair of slacks with a silk bathrobe wrapped around up top.
     
  8. Randy Tennison

    Randy Tennison Well-Known Member

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    Real Name:
    Randy
    This is directly from our website, regarding proper attire.

    TOPS
    Please wear
    Blouses
    Dresses/jumpers
    Suits/pant suits/sports coats/blazers
    Oxford shirts
    Polo shirts
    Sweaters/cardigans
    Turtlenecks
    Sleeveless dresses or blouses with cardigan or blazer

    Too casual for office attire

    T-shirts and sweatshirts
    Rugby shirts
    Tank tops
    Crop tops
    Chambray/denim shirts
    Halter tops
    Sleeveless blouses
    Denim jumpers/dresses
    Backless or spaghetti-strap dresses

    Avoid wearing excessively worn clothing in the office. Clothing should be clean, pressed, and wrinkle-free, and without holes, stains, or frayed areas. Shirts should always be worn tucked in.

    BOTTOMS
    Please wear

    Tailored wool or dress slacks
    Dockers/khakis/cotton twill
    Skirts no shorter than three inches above the knee
    Skorts (split skirt) sets

    Too casual for office attire
    Shorts of any style
    Leggings/stirrup pants
    Jeans of any color
    Denim skirts
    Sweatpants
    Capri pants

    Avoid clothing that is too revealing or tight-fitting.

    FOOTWEAR
    Please wear

    Dress shoes and boots
    Loafers/topsiders/leather deck shoes
    Dress sandals

    Too casual for office attire
    Sneakers/tennis shoes
    Casual sandals (i.e. Teva’s, Birkenstocks) or thongs
    Boating/canvas deck shoes
    Slippers
    Hiking boots/Doc Martens

    Socks or hosiery should be worn at all times. However, hosiery is optional for women wearing skirts greater than knee length or slacks.
     
  9. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Well-Known Member

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    I hope so! [​IMG]
     
  10. RobertR

    RobertR Well-Known Member

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    Several months ago I came to a meeting wearing a white shirt and tie. I was the only agency representative to do so. Since then it's been strictly jeans for me, and it's that way with almost everyone else here.
     
  11. Eric_L

    Eric_L Well-Known Member

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    Remember, it is more acceptable to be over-dressed than under-dressed.

    Casual in my office is like this (though I wear a suit if I have an important meeting)

    Pants - Poly/wool - pleated. Usually brown.

    Shirt - Polo If I'm not seeing any clients. Cotton button up if I am.

    Tie - Some cotton shirts look really cool with a tie! (Plus it can be removed if you wish)

    Sportscoat - Camelhair. Nice.

    Shoes - Leather. NOT deck shoes. Often the same type I wear all week.

    BLACK SOCKS!

    Remember leater to leater, metal to metal.
    Black belt, black shoes - Brown Belt Brown Shoes
    Gold buckle, Gold watch, Silver Buckle, silver watch.

    NEVER wear suspenders AND a belt.

    EEK! I sound like one of the 'fab five' !!

    AAGH! Must go benchpress my chevy. Back later.
     
  12. Scott Tucker

    Scott Tucker Well-Known Member

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    When in doubt where slacks, long sleeve button up shirt, dress shoes, and maybe a tie. Then check out everyone else to see what you can get away with.
     
  13. John Miles

    John Miles Well-Known Member

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    On casual Fridays, I sometimes wait until noon before changing out of my bathrobe. [​IMG]
     
  14. Carl Miller

    Carl Miller Well-Known Member

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    Thanks everyone! I think I've got a good idea of what I need to buy now. Except for one thing...

    About the silk bathrobe. Do you have to change out of it after noon, or can you wear it all day? [​IMG]
     
  15. DonRoeber

    DonRoeber Well-Known Member

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    I work for a university. They're pretty happy if we come to work wearing clothes.
     
  16. Kenneth Harden

    Kenneth Harden Well-Known Member

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    I say show up to work in a superhero costume.
     
  17. LewB

    LewB Well-Known Member

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    Corporate casual is what 'the suits' now wear in an attempt to fool you into thinking that they are someone else.
     
  18. Shawn C

    Shawn C Well-Known Member

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    I always thought that if a company demanded that you wear a suit and a tie to work, they should pay for your dry cleaning bills.

    I could never work somewhere that I had to wear a tie. They make my neck break out something awful and I end up with zits all over my neck from them.
     
  19. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Well-Known Member

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    wow, i wear shorts, t-shirts and birks to work. dressing down for me is wearing flip-flops.

    guess i'm lucky.... :b

    if you still have any questions, why don't you call your contact at the agency and just ask them?

    i will say this though. clothing does make an impression. i've actually done some casual testing/observation myself. here's what i did:

    i dressed like usual and walked around my building, into the cafeteria, etc. people rarely moved out of my way or even acknowledged me. then, i got kinda dressed up (pants, oxford shirt, nice shoes) and did the same thing. people looked at me, smiled, stepped aside, etc.

    my theory is that people assume, if you're dressed up, you're more likely some sort of authority figure.
     
  20. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Well-Known Member

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    I rarely wear a tie these days, but I wore one every day for many years.

    I’m guessing that your shirt collars are too small. A collar to be worn with a tie should not fit tightly when buttoned, but be loose enough to be comfortable (and not so loose as to look sloppy). In practical terms this amounts to about ¼” more than your neck measures. You might buy even a bit looser depending on how much your shirts shrink.

    Many men buy shirts with too small collars, because they like the look of emphasizing their neck (it looks bigger with a small collar). This is fine until you try to button the collar. A second reason for too small collars is the aforementioned shrinkage—and a third is that we sometimes continue to buy a size that fit us ten years ago, but sadly no longer. [​IMG]

    In short, if you have a hard time buttoning your collar, it is too small (to be worn with a tie).
     

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