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What is Corporate Casual?


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19 replies to this topic

#1 of 20 Carl Miller

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Posted August 06 2004 - 05:44 AM

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?
Carl

#2 of 20 Phil_L

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Posted August 06 2004 - 05:50 AM

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 of 20 LDfan

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Posted August 06 2004 - 05:51 AM

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


Jeff

#4 of 20 Jeff Gatie

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Posted August 06 2004 - 06:21 AM

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 of 20 Lew Crippen

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Posted August 06 2004 - 06:42 AM

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.
¡Time is not my master!

#6 of 20 Seth_L

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Posted August 06 2004 - 07:30 AM

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 of 20 Daren Welsh

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Posted August 06 2004 - 07:44 AM

I'd say a nice pair of slacks with a silk bathrobe wrapped around up top.
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#8 of 20 Randy Tennison

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Posted August 06 2004 - 08:25 AM

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.
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#9 of 20 MarkHastings

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Posted August 06 2004 - 09:02 AM

Quote:
BOTTOMS
Please wear
I hope so! Posted Image

#10 of 20 RobertR

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Posted August 06 2004 - 09:12 AM

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 of 20 Eric_L

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Posted August 06 2004 - 10:46 AM

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.

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#12 of 20 Scott Tucker

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Posted August 06 2004 - 11:17 AM

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.
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#13 of 20 John Miles

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Posted August 06 2004 - 04:45 PM

On casual Fridays, I sometimes wait until noon before changing out of my bathrobe. Posted Image

#14 of 20 Carl Miller

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Posted August 07 2004 - 04:36 AM

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? Posted Image
Carl

#15 of 20 DonRoeber

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Posted August 07 2004 - 03:17 PM

I work for a university. They're pretty happy if we come to work wearing clothes.
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#16 of 20 Kenneth Harden

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Posted August 09 2004 - 07:25 PM

I say show up to work in a superhero costume.

#17 of 20 LewB

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Posted August 10 2004 - 12:14 AM

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

#18 of 20 Shawn C

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Posted August 10 2004 - 03:27 AM

Quote:
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.

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 of 20 Ted Lee

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Posted August 10 2004 - 03:48 AM

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 of 20 Lew Crippen

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Posted August 10 2004 - 03:58 AM

Quote:
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.

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. Posted Image

In short, if you have a hard time buttoning your collar, it is too small (to be worn with a tie).
¡Time is not my master!





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