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Thread: "Silicon Valley Casual"

  1. #1
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    "Silicon Valley Casual"

    I have to travel for work and the required dress code for 2 weeks is "Silicon Valley Casual", with request for polo or button down shirts.
    I see slim fit jeans, T shirts and casual tennis shoes are the framework, but I want to buy clothing I will continue to wear afterwards. I dont want to spend $200 on skinny jeans and shoes.
    Does anyone have affordable recommendation on a few basics that I can mix and match while I am there?
    i.e. 1. Black, gray, dark blue or khaki colored pants acceptable?
    2. Is it still silicon valley casual if I dont get skinny jeans and instead get an athletic cut or tapered?
    3. Are any low top casual shoe okay? Vans, Nike, etc if they are solid color?
    Thanks!

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    Can we get some more info?

    What do you wear now to work? What do you wear casually?

    What jeans or other pants do you own? What casual shoes do you own?

    You seem a little fixated on skinny/slim jean, but unless you're wearing super baggy jeans, I don't see why something as standards as some 501s in a neat, dark color wouldn't cut it.

    And I think anything sneaker wise would be pretty okay short of old running shoes.

  3. #3
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    Don't overthink it. Pretty much any combination of conventional jeans+button down/polo+sneakers will fit in fine. Also, tech people don't really wear skinny jeans.

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    Varsity Member mebejoseph's Avatar
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    I've never heard of a dress code specifying skinny jeans. What do the husky dudes wear? Skinny jeans on them would look silly.

    Like others said above, reasonably trim fitting dark jeans will look good almost anywhere anytime jeans are appropriate.

    You probably already have shoes that work with those, I'm guessing.

    You're probably fine with chinos as well.

    What types of shoes do you already own?

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    Varsity Member mebejoseph's Avatar
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    Okay, I just did some reading about this Silicon Valley Casual thing, and you've already broken the first rule.

    The key to Silicon Valley Casual is apparently looking like you didn't put any thought into what you're wearing. Posting on a fashion forum is waaaay to much thought.


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    Silicon Valley Casual that specifies anything at all involving buttons and not just jeans and a zippered hoodie is not true Silicon Valley.

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    The idea of someone specifying a Silicon Valley dress code is ridiculous - the Silicon Valley dress code is about what NOT to wear - suits, ties, nice adult-dress-code items like wool trousers. Funny thing is, the rebels intentionally dress up in suits and such precisely to be different.

    For engineers, the Silicon Valley dress code is probably ”whatever you wore in college” (literally). For people on the business side, it’s “stealth wealth” - intentionally casual but expensive stuff. For early stage startup leaders pitching Sand Hill Road VCs, it’s probably a mix of the two — i.e., try to look a bit formal, but don’t look too rich unless you're starting a new company because you cashed out of your last successful startup post-IPO. For CxO folk, it’s whatever you establish as your personal brand (turtleneck+levis for Steve Jobs, hoodie for Zuckerberg, James Bond Villain for Larry Ellison, etc.).

    Honestly, the TV show Silicon Valley is shockingly on point regarding wardrobe - it is pretty obvious that they’re listening to actual Silicon Valley veterans on the writing staff like Dan Lyons. Not sure if any of this helps... good luck and let us know how it turned out!
    Mark

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    casual, casual chinos and a short sleeve button down are fine.

    If you're VP or above, throw a blazer over that or dress it down with a t shirt. Canvas sneakers.

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