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Difficulty finding clothes that transition from outdoors to office

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    Difficulty finding clothes that transition from outdoors to office

    Probably the biggest challenge I've had since trying to improve my personal style starting last June is figuring out what to wear on those days when I'm working outside in the morning (I'm a biologist so spend a lot of mornings in the field looking for bird nests, conducting habitat assessments, etc.) but have to come into the office for the afternoon. For days when I'm in the field all day I have no problem wearing my dorky synthetic hiking clothes (baggy pants & synthetic tees, mostly) but on the half field/half office days I'm trying to wear clothes that are functional but at least somewhat stylish. I tried wearing simple long sleeve tees and henleys as a base layers only to realize they don't flatter my body type very well (highlight my stomach too much) so I'm thinking I need to accumulate a collection of lightweight casual button-up shirts that work both outdoors as well as in town. I'm hoping that the Uniqlo broadcloth shirt that's supposed to arrive tomorrow fits this bill. For pants I'm going to try eschewing the REI-style cargo pants (comfortable and functional but way too baggy for around town) and get some basic straight-fit jeans. Someday I'd like to get a good pair of rugged chinos for fieldwork (Orvis or Bill's Khakis) but I can't really justify $80+ pants right now.

    In any case, just wondering if there are any other guys on here like me who work outdoors as much as they work in the office and what clothes they've found that successfully bridge the gap between field and office.
    Last edited by MattRicketts; April 3, 2013, 05:15 PM.

    #2
    Jeans, ocbd, field jacket, rubber soled leather Chelsea or chukka boots.

    A sport coat with flap pockets can work in place of the field jacket.

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      #3
      Ditto the above. And/or bring a change of clothes. Get back to the office and swap out the jeans for some chinos, for example.

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        #4
        Yeah, I tried wearing one of my JCP OCBDs in the field once and it just didn't feel right (sleeves too tight, looked too dressy for "field" use). If the Uniqlo shirt arriving tomorrow is a good fit perhaps I'll try one of their more casual-looking OCBDs (green or gray) next.

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          #5
          @Matt: Have you considered getting a waxed Filson Jacket? I think it's great for your uses since the tincloth is resistant to thorns, repels rain, and you're suppose to actually get it dirty so that it builds the "look" that people associate waxed jackets with. Looks great around the office too. Here's an example from a past WIWT:

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            #6
            Originally posted by Acousticfoodie View Post
            @Matt: Have you considered getting a waxed Filson Jacket? I think it's great for your uses since the tincloth is resistant to thorns, repels rain, and you're suppose to actually get it dirty so that it builds the "look" that people associate waxed jackets with. Looks great around the office too. Here's an example from a past WIWT:

            I'd love to get a Filson jacket like that, it's just a matter of budgeting for it. Where did you get yours and how much did you pay? Don't tell me you thrifted it for $10 or I'll go nuts. ;-)

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              #7
              Hey Matt,

              I'm outside every day tramping over hillsides and in the office every day.

              I bought a bunch of OCBDs off of my work's portal and had them tailored and wear them like crazy with jeans, cords, or chinos that I wreck on a daily basis.

              For footwear, I've got Merrells and destroy a pair pretty quickly.

              I put on a crappy canvas jacket when I'm crawling through bramble and put on a sleek water resistant jacket for client meetings. And always a hard hat!

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                #8
                In my last position at my job, I would spend a lot of time going back and forth between outdoor / field work and customer meetings. In these cases, customers knew you were there to do field work, so they understood why you weren't in a suit, but you still wanted to look presentable for them.

                I had found some Merrells once that were completely light brown, aside from the black hiking sole. They didn't look great, but were a really good blend.

                I have found the LL Bean chinos to be fairly durable, although not the most flattering fit. For $40, they'll last through anything. I had one pair that was great for this stuff because they were a dark green color, and almost nothing showed on them when they got dirty.

                I usually wore a synthetic North Face (or similar) button up shirt. A lot of advantages over cotton, a lot of downsides. But I think you will be able to find button down shirts that work. Roll up the sleeves and they feel a lot less restricting.

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                  #9
                  I like wearing long sleeve tees or thermals under my shirts too so that if I'm going to get really dirty, I can drop the nice shirt on top, do whatever, button back up and go about my day.

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                    #10
                    Originally posted by Acousticfoodie View Post
                    @Matt: Have you considered getting a waxed Filson Jacket? I think it's great for your uses since the tincloth is resistant to thorns, repels rain, and you're suppose to actually get it dirty so that it builds the "look" that people associate waxed jackets with. Looks great around the office too. Here's an example from a past WIWT:

                    Odd position for pooh bear.....

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