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What is Corporate Casual?

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19 replies to this topic

#1 of 20 OFFLINE   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?

#2 of 20 OFFLINE   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 OFFLINE   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 OFFLINE   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 OFFLINE   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.
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#6 of 20 OFFLINE   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 OFFLINE   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 OFFLINE   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 OFFLINE   MarkHastings


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Posted August 06 2004 - 09:02 AM

I hope so! Posted Image

#10 of 20 OFFLINE   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 OFFLINE   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. EEK! I sound like one of the 'fab five' !! AAGH! Must go benchpress my chevy. Back later.

#12 of 20 OFFLINE   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 OFFLINE   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 OFFLINE   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

#15 of 20 OFFLINE   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 OFFLINE   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 OFFLINE   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 OFFLINE   Shawn C

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Posted August 10 2004 - 03:27 AM

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 OFFLINE   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 OFFLINE   Lew Crippen

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Posted August 10 2004 - 03:58 AM

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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