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Old 04-05-2012, 09:35 PM
 
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See the movie "Annie Hall" by Woody Allen for the best representation of this subject.

Beyond that, yes, the west coast (btw, not just CA, but WA and OR) tends to be more laid-back when it comes to business dress. Most, (not all), companies allow informal dress. Not shabby, but business casual. This is the norm up and down the west coast.
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Old 04-06-2012, 09:07 AM
 
Location: Florida
398 posts, read 621,798 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pw72 View Post
See the movie "Annie Hall" by Woody Allen for the best representation of this subject.

Beyond that, yes, the west coast (btw, not just CA, but WA and OR) tends to be more laid-back when it comes to business dress. Most, (not all), companies allow informal dress. Not shabby, but business casual. This is the norm up and down the west coast.
my last company in California, shorts / sandals were definitely appropriate. Same with hoodies/jeans. I've worked in other regions and it was much more formal. And the East Coast and Midwest offices were much much different.
The west coast office was heavy on programmers/graphic artists/designers while the other were heavy on marketing/sales/advertising/financials maybe at a 6:1 ratio inversely or so...maybe it had something to do with it.
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Old 02-21-2013, 08:48 AM
 
104 posts, read 366,601 times
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Even though this is late, want to give my observations.

Back in the early 1990's, I worked for an Indianapolis based company and we bought a facility in New Jersey. We also had facilities in other states as well like Alabama, Michigan and Ohio. I took my first business trip to NJ like in April 1991 and before I went there, we were given pointers on how to deal with the folks there

- Dress nice including weekends. Leave the blue jeans at home
- We had to be very formal in our work and we had to be very demure
- Anything that had to be done, you had to get permission and be approved before doing the task

The people in NJ were pretty uptight and when we were there, it was work and you were not suppose to enjoy yourself. Basically the whole time, we had to walk on egg-shells. After the two week trip, we got back, nice to leave ! LOL About two weeks after we got back to Indy, we got called in and got read the riot act since the NJ folks filed all sorts of formal complaints.

In the early 2000's I worked for a large corporation and we had counterparts in Gaithersburg, MD. Considered an old IBM shop. We here in Colorado always wondered if the people in G0burg did anything else other than work. And when they visited our Colorado facility, they always dressed up even on weekends. In fact I had to go in on a Saturday and I showed up in shorts, t-shirt and sandals and they filed a formal complaint about my dress. I got called in and my response was I am there to get a job done, not be a fashion model and working the weekend took time that I can spend as a break from work and family and additionally told them, I was not being paid for the time worked.

To be very upfront, if I was going to be required to live on one of the coast, I take the West Coast hands down especially with the informality, relaxed dress code requirements and the "live to work" mindset versus the East Coast "live to work" and "if you are awake, you better be working" mentality.
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:29 PM
 
Location: West Coast - Best Coast!
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I live in the Seattle area. I work in the marketing field. I wear jeans almost every day, as do my colleagues. They are fashionable jeans, but still, jeans. Our colleagues in our east coast offices wear dress attire every day. In fact, our company's employee manual states that jeans may be worn on Fridays, but otherwise business attire is expected. HA! Our office and the San Francisco office just ignore it...don't know about the LA office. It would be odd to require business attire in our industry in this city.

That being said, I don't think anyone can claim that people on the west coast don't work as hard as those on the east coast. In fact, I suspect the reverse is often true. The cities most known for relaxed attire on the west coast are Seattle, Portland and the Bay Area (really just Silicon Valley) - cities with major tech industries. And anyone who knows anyone who works at a company like Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Cisco, etc. knows that those people work their butts off. Work is by no means 8-5. It is for that reason that I think companies here are often willing to overlook casual dress in the office. People are working like slaves in cubicles for you, the least you can do is let them be comfortable while doing it.
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Old 02-21-2013, 03:17 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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The only difference I noticed on the West Coast was that people out West are never in a hurry to get things done. I realized that a lot of the West coast customer service is about being friendly, but taking forever to do something. On the East Coast, you would never be able to drag your feet to the degree the do in the West.

As far as corporate culture is concerned, the West Coast is VERY laid back. This is a good thing, because people are more willing to help each other out, and there isn't as much backstabbing. Atlanta and DC corporate culture, you definitely better check you co-workers backs for daggers. People most definitely stab you in the back without thinking twice about it. People on the East are all too willing to throw each other under the bus.

The corporate culture out West are mainly newer companies. Tons of them are from dot coms, and a lot of them are in industries that are failry new. So the people there are more laid back, and people are friends in the workplace. On the East though, people are genuinely just co-workers. I will say East Coast Indians and West Coast Indians seems a bit different. On the East Coast, they seem more assimilated in the workplace. They'll come to work and talk about football. On the West Coast, they're much more tied to India, and haven't really picked up a lot of American culture.

There are some interesting difference between the two coast. I think some are overstated. I think the main thing is that people out West just seem a lot faker. It's really annoying really.
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Old 02-21-2013, 03:20 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
4,370 posts, read 5,143,425 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BellevueNative View Post
I live in the Seattle area. I work in the marketing field. I wear jeans almost every day, as do my colleagues. They are fashionable jeans, but still, jeans. Our colleagues in our east coast offices wear dress attire every day. In fact, our company's employee manual states that jeans may be worn on Fridays, but otherwise business attire is expected. HA! Our office and the San Francisco office just ignore it...don't know about the LA office. It would be odd to require business attire in our industry in this city.

That being said, I don't think anyone can claim that people on the west coast don't work as hard as those on the east coast. In fact, I suspect the reverse is often true. The cities most known for relaxed attire on the west coast are Seattle, Portland and the Bay Area (really just Silicon Valley) - cities with major tech industries. And anyone who knows anyone who works at a company like Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Cisco, etc. knows that those people work their butts off. Work is by no means 8-5. It is for that reason that I think companies here are often willing to overlook casual dress in the office. People are working like slaves in cubicles for you, the least you can do is let them be comfortable while doing it.


I've noticed this too. I've worked on the East Coast most of my career. When I first started out here in Seattle, I had my slacks, a button up, and dress shoes. Even if a worked with a company that didn't have a dress code, it was never considerd a bad idea to dress in business attire. Although few offices I worked with out east enforced a dress code, the assumption was dressing well was a good way to be taken seriously. Out in Seattle people wear shorts, jeans, t-shirts with witty saying, etc. I know I kind of stick out like a sore thumb, because I love to dress in business attired. I also have a Movado watch, and more than enough people noticed it.
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Old 02-21-2013, 03:25 PM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
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Quote:
Originally Posted by branh0913 View Post
I think the main thing is that people out West just seem a lot faker. It's really annoying really.
Maybe they just aren't as rude and in your face, aggressive as East Coast people.
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Old 02-21-2013, 03:31 PM
 
Location: Huntington Beach, CA
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having worked on both coasts, I think the work ethic is better in California. It may look a bit lax since we can wear sandals, shorts and casual shirts, but Californians seem to use their time more efficiently so they an get out of the office by 5.

Ad agencies in New York: I would usually be done and out of the office by 8pm
Ad agencies in California: I am usually out of the office by 5 or 6.
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Old 02-21-2013, 03:34 PM
 
Location: West Coast - Best Coast!
1,977 posts, read 2,869,215 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by branh0913 View Post
I've noticed this too. I've worked on the East Coast most of my career. When I first started out here in Seattle, I had my slacks, a button up, and dress shoes. Even if a worked with a company that didn't have a dress code, it was never considerd a bad idea to dress in business attire. Although few offices I worked with out east enforced a dress code, the assumption was dressing well was a good way to be taken seriously. Out in Seattle people wear shorts, jeans, t-shirts with witty saying, etc. I know I kind of stick out like a sore thumb, because I love to dress in business attired. I also have a Movado watch, and more than enough people noticed it.
One can wear jeans and still look nice. I work in an ad agency and people definitely care about how they're dressing. They just care to dress more trendy-casual than business attire. Of course that all goes out the door when we have a client meeting.
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Old 04-18-2013, 07:41 PM
 
Location: Hollywood, CA
1,576 posts, read 2,536,725 times
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These videos tell the differences quite easily.

East Coast(Wash DC). More formal in dress.

Hey, D.C.! What song are you listening to? - YouTube

West Coast(Seattle). More laidback in fashion.

Hey Seattle! What song are you listening to? - YouTube
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