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Large Company Business Casual Dress Code. Help!

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    Large Company Business Casual Dress Code. Help!

    Okay, so I will be interning this summer with a very large company as an R&D researcher. The dress code is described by the arbitrary and dreaded term "business casual". It will be summer so it is going to be fairly hot for the majority of the time. I want some suggestions of what to wear on a daily basis. Right now I'm thinking mostly chinos, button down shirts, and maybe a lightweight casual sportcoat. As far as shoes go, maybe some dressier chukka boots, loafers, or wingtips? Keep in mind that I don't want to push the envelope too much since I will just be an intern.

    Also, does anyone have any suggestions for a good tailor in Cincinnati?

    Thanks!

    #2
    It took me some time to figure out business casual but I find it's pretty simple now. Get yourself some button down shirts and make sure the fit is spot on. Sweaters are a great way to elevate a business casual look but its not really sweater season any more. Chinos can work depending on how casual your office will be but make sure to keep them ironed for that crisp look. Throw in the odd pair of dress trousers now and then too to keep things interesting. Make sure they're not black though. Navy or grey work nicely. Top it off with some nice shoes. I think keeping the pants and shirts simple but wearing really nice pairs of shoes creates a sharp look without standing out too much. Also, get yourself a pair of wurkin stiffs collar stays. Most people don't wear ties in business casual environments. The wurkin stiffs keep your collar from going all over the places due to the lack of a tie. Lastly, don't get lazy once your start working there and realize that everybody dresses like crap. Just because nobody else looks put together doesn't mean you need to follow suit.

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      #3
      I'd say first day show up in chinos, button down shirt, and something like dressy chukkas.
      I work for a large corp, business casual. The standard is loose khakis, polo, and a step above sneakers (sometimes sneakers). Jeans are a pretty common sight.
      I go chinos to gray dress pants, polos to button downs, and suede chukkas to AE McTavish or Lubbock. Chinos, polo, suede chukkas I'm a slight notch up from average. The gray dress pants, button down, and McTavish wingtips and pretty much only the upper execs are better dressed. Sometimes I'll wear a sport coat. The second I put on a tie (do this maybe once a week) I'll get comments like crazy about what's going on? Why are you wearing a tie? Do you have a presentation today?
      So skip the tie the first day.
      Measurements: 6'2", 173 lbs, 16" neck, 35/36" sleeve, 42" chest, 32" waist, 33.5" inseam

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        #4
        Jazzocaster's pretty much got it. The safest, most universal definition of business casual means chinos, a button-up shirt, and decent leather shoes.

        Cotton chinos are a basic staple in the pants department. You might occasionally want to throw in something different like a linen or wool trouser. If others in the company wear jeans as part of business casual, you can also wear crisp, dark denim, but I wouldn't wear it more than once a week even if it's common practice. Don't be tempted to wear distressed or light-colored denim, even if others do so.

        Stick with long sleeve, button-up shirts. A polo is really just a glorified t-shirt and a short-sleeved button-up looks dated and unprofessional. Start with simple colors or patterns until you get a sense of what's acceptable in your workplace. Save the picnic table gingham until you know for a fact that it will be ok. You can almost never go wrong with a white or light blue OCBD. If you get bored of wearing the same shirts every day, you can start to experiment with ties, vests, sweaters, sweater vests, and sportcoats.

        For shoes, stick with leather or a nice suede. Chukkas and other dressier boot styles are fine. Loafers are fine as long as they aren't too casual. Something like a penny loafer with a sleek, modern shape will go over better than a casual-looking driving slipper or boat shoe, for instance. Business casual is a perfect environment to wear more "casual" dress shoes like blucher styles or wingtips. Something very formal like a black captoe oxford might look out of place unless you wear it with wool trousers.
        Ben

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          #5
          Where do you live?
          I think there is a slight difference between East Coast and West Coast business casual

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            #6
            How about some nice white jeans?

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              #7
              I currently work for a large corporation with a similar dress code (though we did really well last year and they gave us a casual dress code for the year). I think what you are planning to wear sounds just fine. Wear that at least for the first couple of days, and gauge how people dress and go from there.

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                #8
                My only suggestion is after you realize most people are wearing shitty khakis, $50 dress shoes, and a polo or short-sleeve white button up... Don't get lazy. Being well dressed can set you apart from your peers and people will take your more seriously. As an intern, you are probably looking for full-time employment or at least a solid recommendation.

                You're also probably going to hit a lot of Happy Hours with the other interns, so looking good works on two levels.

                I'm by no means a master of style or anything, but I've definitely done better because I didn't let myself get sloppy like a lot of my coworkers that just rock the 'uniform.'

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                  #9
                  It sounds like others have taken care of the dress code side of your question... As for a Cincinnati area tailor, try Paul Cariaga, whose shop is called "Alterations While You Wait" in downtown Glendale. He just tailored a BR suit I picked up recently. He did a really great job, and was great to work with. Probably not the cheapest option, but he knows his trade.

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                    #10
                    Originally posted by DerekH View Post
                    My only suggestion is after you realize most people are wearing shitty khakis, $50 dress shoes, and a polo or short-sleeve white button up... Don't get lazy. Being well dressed can set you apart from your peers and people will take your more seriously. As an intern, you are probably looking for full-time employment or at least a solid recommendation.

                    You're also probably going to hit a lot of Happy Hours with the other interns, so looking good works on two levels.

                    I'm by no means a master of style or anything, but I've definitely done better because I didn't let myself get sloppy like a lot of my coworkers that just rock the 'uniform.'
                    I agree. It's the idea of "Dress for the job you want, not the job you have".

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Yea, as a college student I know all about the sloppy dressing of people wearing clothes that aren't even close to fitting.


                      Anyone have versatile shoe recommendations that I can rotate out through the week?


                      Currently I have Clark's DB in grey suede and brown leather. Some J&M driving shoes and some rock port captoe oxfords in burgundy. I'm not looking to spend too much but definitely want to have some nice shoes that stand out in a classy way. Maybe the AE shoebank?

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by sabrown View Post
                        It sounds like others have taken care of the dress code side of your question... As for a Cincinnati area tailor, try Paul Cariaga, whose shop is called "Alterations While You Wait" in downtown Glendale. He just tailored a BR suit I picked up recently. He did a really great job, and was great to work with. Probably not the cheapest option, but he knows his trade.
                        Thanks, I will definitely give him a try. I'm not too worried about cost with this, as long as his efforts produce good results.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Teej View Post
                          I agree. It's the idea of "Dress for the job you want, not the job you have".
                          At the same time, you don't want to noticeably overdress your boss unless you expect to get his job soon.
                          Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society. ~Twain

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by DXLi View Post
                            At the same time, you don't want to noticeably overdress your boss unless you expect to get his job soon.
                            Can't stress this enough. There is such thing as overdressing for the job.
                            The only reason I can overdress my manager is because I only see him twice a year. I'll overdress my team lead because he errs on the extremely casual side of business casual and is very easy going. If my team lead had a certain way of dressing and was prickly I would never overdress him unless I had a presentation or another job interview.
                            Measurements: 6'2", 173 lbs, 16" neck, 35/36" sleeve, 42" chest, 32" waist, 33.5" inseam

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Xeones25 View Post
                              Can't stress this enough. There is such thing as overdressing for the job.
                              The only reason I can overdress my manager is because I only see him twice a year. I'll overdress my team lead because he errs on the extremely casual side of business casual and is very easy going. If my team lead had a certain way of dressing and was prickly I would never overdress him unless I had a presentation or another job interview.
                              Word! The key concept in dressing for an office is focus your reputation on your skills and good work, not your personal appearance. When you go to meetings, you want people to remember your ideas, not your poppin' poplin.
                              Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society. ~Twain

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