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Old 02-13-2007, 06:41 PM
 
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Just thought I'd throw out this topic -- what cities do you find casual and what cities do you find formal? Largely, I mean in terms of dress -- are suit and tie the norm for business or going out to a nice restaurant, or can you get by in a golf shirt or sweater with khakis? Also, in terms of interaction.. which cities seem more casual or formal? The difference between calling someone Mr. or Mrs. so-and-so and seeming very rigid, or calling people by their first names and treating them like friends.

Overall, I have found Southern California to be a little more formal than I expected, particularly when it comes to dress at restaurants, etc. There are some places where jacket and tie seem expected, and even some very casual places have dress codes.

Denver is very casual -- jeans work almost anywhere, and I believe the Brown Palace is the only place in town that requires a jacket. Work attire is very casual.

Minneapolis/St. Paul is pretty casual for the most part, jeans and sweatshirts work when going out. Work attire still seems casual in most areas.

Any thoughts on your -- or any -- city?
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Old 02-13-2007, 06:49 PM
 
Location: Journey's End
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Interesting question!

I've lived primarily on the East Coast. Informality became the norm more than 20 years ago (NYC, Boston) although a few restaurants, the opera, and movie openings still brought out the formal wear.

Here in the SW, I don't think I've seen anyone formally dressed, and some undressed.

And although this is the General US form, I just thought I'd mention that the last time I was in Italy (recently) people were much more formal in their attire, so much so that I commented on it several times.

I'll be interested to hear what others have to say about their city/region.

Thanks for raising the issue.
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Old 02-13-2007, 07:55 PM
j33
 
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when I visited Seattle, it was very casual.
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Old 02-13-2007, 08:44 PM
 
Location: Oregon Coast
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Default Casual

I like casual better. There's not a lot of dressing up here on the Oregon coast. People wear some beach wear during summer. During winter it's sweaters or sweatshirts. The people act casual and friendly. Maybe that goes along with casual wear.

Last edited by Waterlily; 02-13-2007 at 09:51 PM.. Reason: spellin'
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Old 02-13-2007, 08:53 PM
j33
 
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Actually, I enjoy dressing up. When I go out for an evening, I enjoy wearing nice clothes, heels, skirts, etc. (not to mention where I work isn't all that casual and I can't show up in jeans or too casual of clothing). It doesn't bother me all that much. In fact, I would feel a bit uncomfortable showing up at a nice restaurant in too casual an outfit.
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Old 02-13-2007, 09:44 PM
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
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Interesting thread. The most formal city that I've been in was Washington D.C. It seemed most people in resturants, hotels, etc were wearing a pressed shirt and kahki pants with a belt. But you also had tourists wearing I Love NYC t-shirts and jeans. But for the most part, this city seemed to be the most formal I've been to.

The most informal would be Fort Lauderdale. Many people were wearing t-shirts, shorts, and flip flops. Almost no suits unless you went to one of the upscale, business hotels.
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Old 02-14-2007, 12:58 AM
 
Location: In exile, plotting my coup
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In the D.C. area, particularly in D.C. itself, I would say the work environment is in general very formal. Outside of work, not so much. For example, if you go out to an Applebee's in the suburbs outside of work hours, sneakers, jeans and sweatshirts or t-shirts fit right in. If you're going out to a bar of club in Adams-Morgan, or a nicer restaurant however, then people dress accordingly.

In general, the more rural the area, the more informal it seems has been my experience. As far as cities go, I found Austin and San Antonio to be pretty relaxed and informal in terms of attitudes and attire. I've never been there, but I'd imagine Honolulu to be quite informal as well.
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Old 02-14-2007, 11:50 AM
 
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I attend national conferences for my job on an annual basis. It's always struck me how people from different parts of the country dress. Generally, Northeasterners, Californians and Sotheasterners are the dressiest. People from more rural states (midwest, plains, Rocky Mountain) dress the most casually. Everyone else, in between.
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Old 02-14-2007, 12:16 PM
j33
 
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Ben -- I've noticed that too. I attend academic conferences and the staff and faculty from the large rural Midwestern schools and west coast are the most casual. Those of us who work and teach in urban schools (like I do) are a bit more dressy just out of pure habit (oh and I work by the financial district in Chicago, which is a sea of suits, heh). In looking at my wardrobe I pretty much only have business casual clothing, a few dressy 'going out' outfits, a couple pairs of funky blue jeans, and then clothing I'll only wear while gardening, playing sports, doing housework, or painting. Because of this, I generally have a habit of wearing nicer business casual clothing pretty much whenever as that is 90% of the clothing that I own.
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Old 02-14-2007, 01:07 PM
 
Location: Haddington, E. Lothian, Scotland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j33 View Post
when I visited Seattle, it was very casual.
You're spot on jj. Even the investment bankers wear Birkenstocks with their suits in Seattle.
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