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  • New job- what to wear?

    I just started at my new job on Monday. I will work as a physician in a Midwest city hospital. I dont do any procedures and all my time is spent talking to patients or at the computer. I don't want to wear a white coat. The dress code says - business casual. I'm 30 yrs old.
    My colleagues are currently wearing dress shirts and pants, ties with no jackets, jeans and polos and I once saw someone in shorts.
    For the last 2 days I've worn a suit, but I feel like I'm overdressed.
    Please advise on what would be conservative enough without looking too formal. and recommend some specific brands I should get.
    Thank you all.

  • #2
    Rishi, wear slacks, dress shirts, and a tie. As for brands, there are way too many to mention...find what works best for you and go with that.

    It also depends on your price range (med school loans still?). I'm assuming your colleagues are not the sharpest dressers, so don't go too strong on the good dressing, but definitely make sure you look and feel good everyday. I would say Banana Republic would have a lot of what you might be looking for.

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    • #3
      Here's a good place to start.

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      • #4
        bjmcgeever has the best advice I've seen so far. Maybe suits are overdressed, but I know that as a patient, I wouldn't want to encounter a doctor wearing shorts. It would make me wonder what else he's not taking seriously.

        Perhaps khakis and a blazer without a tie? It's snappy, but not dressy. Whenever I see someone with a tie and no jacket, it just makes me wonder where their jacket went.

        Another option would be to go the jacketless tie route, but to wear a cardigan in substitute of the jacket. It gives you the outer layer without being dressy. That may not make sense in summer, though.
        Last edited by alan; July 3, 2013, 09:12 AM.

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        • #5
          I also have to disagree with DapperN in one regard. I wouldn't let what everyone else is wearing dictate what I'm wearing and force me to bring it down a notch. As a client-facing company representative, it's your duty to your company and to yourself to put your best foot forward. If that means you look a lot better than your co-workers, that's really not your problem.

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          • #6
            I would not trust a doctor who didn't wear a white coat.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by RishiK View Post
              I just started at my new job on Monday. I will work as a physician in a Midwest city hospital. I dont do any procedures and all my time is spent talking to patients or at the computer. I don't want to wear a white coat. The dress code says - business casual. I'm 30 yrs old.
              My colleagues are currently wearing dress shirts and pants, ties with no jackets, jeans and polos and I once saw someone in shorts.
              For the last 2 days I've worn a suit, but I feel like I'm overdressed.
              Please advise on what would be conservative enough without looking too formal. and recommend some specific brands I should get.
              Thank you all.
              what part of the country are you in and what kind of physician are you?

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              • #8
                I work on a large hospital campus and am around physicians quite a bit in meetings.

                Wear trim pants and a nice shirt. If you go tie-less do button down collars, if you wear a tie go semi-spread collar. Wear your white coat over it. Don't wear a suit...doctor's don't wear suits at work. Wear good shoes, you are going to get recommended to Allen Edmonds here. Most physicians are pretty conservative...I see a fair amount of Rolex's though. Today I was in a 2 hour meeting and the Dr. sitting across from me had a Rolex GMT II with the Pepsi colorway (which will be my first watch purchase in a couple year)...I couldn't stop staring. Maybe I will buy it off him.

                Brands.

                Brooks Brothers
                Nordstrom for shoes/shirts...selection+return policy is good
                Allen Edmunds (shoes)
                Alden (shoes)

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                • #9
                  Congrats! I can't wait to be in your position someday. Everything I suggested is on a relative budget assuming loans and/or the mentality that you don't want to wear your nicest things to a place filled with germs and grossness.

                  Wear nice shoes - it doesn't sound like you're doing surgery or anything particularly messy. That'll set you apart from most of your colleagues. Nothing square-toed. Allen Edmunds are an excellent starting point, this is the time of year for some decent sales on them. Alden will be way more expensive, it's rarely on sale and whatnot (I'd only buy Alden for their shell cordovan). If all you ever wear for work are Allen Edmonds, rotating between dark brown Fifth Avenue, black Park Avenues, dark brown or bourbon Kenilworth, and merlot Park Avenue/McAllister/Randolph/Patriot for your career, you'll have better looking shoes and more comfortable feet than most people you encounter. (You don't need to buy all at once, just giving you some suggestions to acquire over time. Avoid the walnut color as it's too flashy for your described environment; you could go for the Strands in Bourbon or Brown as well!). If you don't want to wear $300+ shoes in the hospital, you could look into shoes from Johnston & Murphy or DSW. There have been numerous reviews on the main site of such shoes/people here may be able to tell you more than me.

                  If it's a button down shirt, don't wear a tie, if it's a spread collar shirt you don't have to wear a tie but if everyone else is, you may want to. For shirt brands, consider Nordstrom (Calibrate or house brand from the Rack) and Charles' Tyrwhitt for sub-$40 shirts with great fit. I think button-downs are perfectly acceptable given the context you've provided. I personally would avoid a point-collar shirt because sans-jacket (or even just wearing a white-coat), I find they're not flattering on many faces and tend to look a bit dated.

                  As a medical student I often go tieless when I'm wearing my white coat but the physicians I work with don't often wear ties either. If you're going to wear a tie, make sure to use a tie-bar, so your tie doesn't flop into patient's faces or otherwise become a carrier of nosocomial bacteria. Depending on your environment, you could wear a knit tie (they're on sale from The Knottery for $12.50 right now and fantastic! Use code 3YEAR for 50% off!), they look good, and IMO still professional. I wouldn't wear expensive shirts or ties to clinic though, just as a matter of principle. Solid shirt - wear a tie with some sort of pattern; patterned shirt - solid tie! You're welcome to do a pattern on both but make sure the patterns are of different scale.

                  Some well-fitting pants will go a long way - on the affordable end look at Lands' End Year-Rounders in wool. I have a pair and they seem very durable and able to handle many wears. Much cheaper might be offerings from H&M, Express, or Uniqlo on sales but I can't speak to the quality of those. Avoid black, avoid polyester (which should steer you away from anything Perry Ellis).

                  As for wearing a jacket - I wouldn't. It's something I've thought about a lot since I like wearing jackets and it feels weird to wear a tie without one, but the white coat is an important designator of who you are and frankly even in a normal clinical setting I wouldn't want to wear a nice jacket around. Let the white coat get dirty! What you can do, and what I do/plan on continuing to do as a physician is to wear a jacket when I step out in the mornings and take it off at the office/in the car (depending on what type of setup you have) and then wear the white coat while seeing patients. This way if I'm heading out after work I've got a jacket already with me and I look and feel complete.

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                  • #10
                    Good advice above.

                    I'd actually say don't wear a tie. Unless you are meeting with admin, you can hold out. You didn't become a doctor to wear business professional everyday. Whatever you do don't wear a jacket around patients.

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                    • #11
                      Thanks for the advice guys, i really appreciate it. Especially the one about the tiebar. Will get one right now.
                      I started getting better shoes 3 months ago and have built up a nice rotation ( no square toes). I've also got 5 wearable suits that fit well and are versatile enough to be worn as separates ( navy, grays and a brown). Am doing ok with well fitting trousers and shirts ( I think). I'm still on the fence about the white coat though. Can you please suggest a jacket( outer layer ) that still looks professional but not too dressed up? I need something to hide my bulk
                      Last edited by RishiK; July 3, 2013, 11:04 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Why no white coat? That's the international symbol for physician. Every top notch physician wears one. I would question any doctor that didn't wear when on campus seeing patients.

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                        • #13
                          No white coat...you better have a stethoscope around your neck!

                          about 95% of the people at my job dress terrible, I wear suits etc. The only time I get flak about my work clothes is when I wear a polo instead of shirt and jacket, the only one that busted my chops was a good friend I work with, and it's just friendly banter. Otherwise, all compliments. So don't think you're over dressing, wear a jacket without a tie to tone it down if you want or just be a bit more comfy. Can't think of a time when I've gone, HA that guys dressed TOO well, what a schmuck!!!


                          Better to be looked over and overlooked

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                          • #14
                            Alan, you make a good point. What I meant was is he shouldn't be over-dressed. As someone who works in the healthcare field (and as with most professions), you don't want to make pseudo enemies because you're THAT GUY who dresses so much better than everyone else.

                            If you're in suits everyday and no one else is, it will make you stand out among your colleagues, and not in a good way.

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                            • #15
                              ^^
                              F em! I'm "that guy", no one says a bad thing about it, heck people think I'm an executive half the time. Do you really care what others think that much? My life is great with or without them and I'd rather avoid negative people, being fun, happy and confident will win people over.

                              Last wedding reception I was at, which was a younger couple and not very formal, everyone was not impressed people wearing shorts and flip flops. I was the ONLY guy in a tux (with leopard print bowtie for a little bit of fun), only one person said anything and it was a feller I have been around a few times as he is friends with the groom. Wearing a cowboy hat with a suit;also not the sharpest tool in the shed...typical chubby military douche. Heck he was not impressed with me wearing a pea coat in winter with "navy pockets".

                              With that being said, I'm not going to dress down because one idiot doesn't like it.

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