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Old 03-24-2013, 04:42 PM
 
75 posts, read 61,891 times
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First off, I have no wardrobe. None. So I'm gonna be buying everything.

So, I got this job, it's in an open office, people sometimes walk around, there's no walls, just a few tables in a room, no glass even. It's an IT department for a hardware development company. Basically there's administrators, helpdesk people, an advertiser, a database manager, a general manager for the department and a few programmers.

They mostly wear light/medium blue jeans, light/medium khakis, black shoes and some even sneakers, checkered shirts, one dude wears a west, one dude wears a sweater and one a black T-shirt.

I see myself as a confident, driven, future-oriented management type guy, however I work as an administrator, which is just a little tiny bit higher than helpdesk and the advertiser, lower rank than anybody else. I just got the job too, but I'd like to look more like the inner me by the end of the week, so the averagely poor first impression wouldn't be left engraved.

According to my personality, I should be wearing a suit, and I love suits! However, that would obviously be an overdressing, not to mention that a decent suit costs ~$500 or so (although, I'm trying to keep the mentality that money isn't an issue - I can borrow and give back when I get my paycheck, so don't take that into account unless it's something insane, like $500 shoes or something).

I just don't see myself in khakis or blue jeans combined with a sweater or a shirt. It's not me, it reminds me of an art guy or a nice "ok, I'll do it, whatever you need" guy. I'm more of a serious type, I'd ask "why?" instead and expect an answer. Nor do I want to look like everybody else, it creates the impression of being a drone in my mind, and I wouldn't feel good like that.

Anyway, so what would you recommend so that I wouldn't stand out as an a-hole by overdressing and that would at least partly reflect my personality? I'm 20 years old thin good bone structure male by the way.

Ask if you need to know something, and I would prefer images and more concrete things, like colors, etc.. Not necessary, but I'd appreciate it a lot.

Thanks!
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Old 03-24-2013, 05:18 PM
 
504 posts, read 633,992 times
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My old boss told me to dress for the next level up. So maybe nice slacks and a button down would be appropriate. Skip the jacket and tie. No harm in dressing how you are comfortable.
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Old 03-24-2013, 05:27 PM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
19,865 posts, read 57,396,542 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LCL111 View Post
My old boss told me to dress for the next level up. So maybe nice slacks and a button down would be appropriate. Skip the jacket and tie. No harm in dressing how you are comfortable.
I agree. Add loafers not lace-up shoes. You can add a sweater over the shirt in winter, a nice v-neck in a conservative color.
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Old 03-24-2013, 07:47 PM
 
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A supervisor where I work wears khaki pants, a white button down shirt, and a red or blue tie. He wears nice shoes. And has a sharp haircut. He looks pretty snazzy, and definitely like the supervisor without being over the top. He has a blue sport jacket I have seen him wear a few times, well cut.
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Old 03-25-2013, 11:00 AM
 
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So loafers, button up shirt (what pattern? And how do you deal with sweat when wearing only a shirt?) and... What are slacks, are they the kind of pants that come with a suit?

P.S. Wouldn't I still look like a drone? Just asking, not stating.

Thanks!
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Old 03-25-2013, 11:54 AM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
19,865 posts, read 57,396,542 times
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Slacks are not jeans or cargo pants. They don't have to be as formal as suit pants, khaki slacks look nice. Go to a department store and look around and ask for help. Dillards or Macys or Sears, someplace like that.

For the shirt, get a subtle stripe in blues or grays, no plaids. I've seen some subtle lavender and gray combos. Just nothing that screams stripes. Or a subtle tone-on-tine check. Then when promoted you can wear it under a sports coat or with a tie. Get as many shirts as you need considering laundry needs.

Any anti-presperint will help the sweat issue.
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Old 03-25-2013, 02:02 PM
 
Location: Evanston
282 posts, read 981,189 times
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Good for you to give a crap about what you wear. Here's a good "look book" for inspiration: Business Casual Looks for Men: Shirts, Blazers & Pants | Nordstrom

IMO, dressing well in a business casual environment comes down to two things: fit and footwear. Typical office "drones" (as you call them) usually have baggy jeans or khakis, blousy shirts, and ugly/dated/cheap shoes. All it takes to "up" the style ante is properly fitted clothes (which don't have to be expensive) and good shoes (which, unfortunately, usually do). As an example, Dockers' Alpha Khaki is an incredibly well-fitting slim khaki that can be had for under $50 on sale. Gap makes great slim dark denim that, again, can be had for $50-$60. Pair that with a slim shirt from Banana Republic or Nordstrom's Calibrate line, for example, and you have an outfit that's comfortable but a cut above. (By the way, I recommend trim fit v-neck undershirts to absorb sweat without showing at your neck.)

After all that, nothing will elevate your outfit like good shoes. Nice loafers, business casual wingtips, semi-dressy boots...all good choices. Check out To Boot New York to see the company that I think is turning out the best styles for business casual these days. (Use for inspiration; you don't have to spend quite this much!)

Finally, a decent watch is a great finishing touch. Look at decent brands (Hamilton, Movado) to see what a midlevel professional might wear, then feel free to look at Fossil or similar brands to bring that look to a more affordable entry level if desired.

Last edited by SloopyJ; 03-25-2013 at 02:22 PM..
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Old 03-25-2013, 03:36 PM
 
75 posts, read 61,891 times
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Thank you both for your answers!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthernBelleInUtah View Post
Slacks are not jeans or cargo pants. They don't have to be as formal as suit pants, khaki slacks look nice. Go to a department store and look around and ask for help. Dillards or Macys or Sears, someplace like that.

For the shirt, get a subtle stripe in blues or grays, no plaids. I've seen some subtle lavender and gray combos. Just nothing that screams stripes. Or a subtle tone-on-tine check. Then when promoted you can wear it under a sports coat or with a tie. Get as many shirts as you need considering laundry needs.

Any anti-presperint will help the sweat issue.
Oh hell, I hate loose jeans and more so cargo pants! As for shirts, since I think examples are better and they are quite easy to find, here's how my imagination images what you've mentioned:

Blue stripes, although for some reason it creates a drony image in my mind. Is it?



Gray stripes, although all shirts I've seen so far were more white and had blacker stripes, almost black:



Here's exactly what the guy interviewing me had, by the way:



Quote:
Originally Posted by SloopyJ View Post
Good for you to give a crap about what you wear. Here's a good "look book" for inspiration: Business Casual Looks for Men: Shirts, Blazers & Pants | Nordstrom

IMO, dressing well in a business casual environment comes down to two things: fit and footwear. Typical office "drones" (as you call them) usually have baggy jeans or khakis, blousy shirts, and ugly/dated/cheap shoes. All it takes to "up" the style ante is properly fitted clothes (which don't have to be expensive) and good shoes (which, unfortunately, usually do). As an example, Dockers' Alpha Khaki is an incredibly well-fitting slim khaki that can be had for under $50 on sale. Gap makes great slim dark denim that, again, can be had for $50-$60. Pair that with a slim shirt from Banana Republic or Nordstrom's Calibrate line, for example, and you have an outfit that's comfortable but a cut above. (By the way, I recommend trim fit v-neck undershirts to absorb sweat without showing at your neck.)

After all that, nothing will elevate your outfit like good shoes. Nice loafers, business casual wingtips, semi-dressy boots...all good choices. Check out To Boot New York to see the company that I think is turning out the best styles for business casual these days. (Use for inspiration; you don't have to spend quite this much!)

Finally, a decent watch is a great finishing touch. Look at decent brands (Hamilton, Movado) to see what a midlevel professional might wear, then feel free to look at Fossil or similar brands to bring that look to a more affordable entry level if desired.
Thanks! I definitely do, but not for others - for me, my need comes from inside, not outside like for most who do, and I love it even more because of that!

I checked the site, to be honest, I didn't like most looks - there was too much color. Color is for the artsy/fun types in my opinion, I'm a serious but unconventional and very non-traditional guy. So I'm not the accountant type, I'm the manager type, the type of manager who's oriented to the future and appears as odd to conventional people sometimes. In short, I don't see myself as any of the examples there.

Yea, I think the jeans are mostly a bit baggy and they're "worn" but no holes and stuff like that. Khakis are bit loose too, same goes for the shirts. Shoes look... Casual. I know even less about shoes than about the rest. I know that I saw some "scaly" leather shoes that were very soft, they cost around $300, but they felt amazing in my hand.

I checked out the Docker's khakis, these I like, but they look almost like indigo jeans:



But I get what you mean by well-fit, you mean that it has to be close to your skin. I agree, it does look much more professional.

As for trim-fit v-neck, is it OK that it has short sleeves? Wouldn't it shine through, especially since the clothes would be well-fitted?

As for boots, I like these, but I have a more square-nosed boots in my possession at the moment:



As for the watch, I wanted one for years, but the decent ones are so costly! I'm definitely going to hold off on one for now, at least not before I buy new comfortable loafers.

P.S. I've been at Gap, I saw jeans that are black, very dark gray and dark blue. I kinda liked the dark blue ones, but I think they aren't as professional, are they? And yea, I mean slim-fit with no discoloration.

P.P.S. When buying anything I look to buy a longer-lasting product that's comfortable, so I would prefer to pay more but get much better rather than sweat in polyester all day long. Going to create a new thread about the clothe quality in a few. Thank you for the very descriptive post!
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Old 03-25-2013, 04:10 PM
 
Location: Evanston
282 posts, read 981,189 times
Reputation: 123
I'd be careful about shoes like that. One, they're a bit dressy for jeans and khakis. Two, brown is way more versatile (and interesting) than black. I'd look for something that doesn't carry a heavy shine but still has structure, like this: http://www.toboot.com/images/shoes/C...g?maxwidth=125. As for the undershirts, I wouldn't worry about them showing through unless your button-down was skin tight, which it shouldn't be.

Oh, and as for denim, I think dark blue is dressier than gray, and (again) more interesting and versatile than black. But that's your call! Finally, I'm not sure what those Dockers are that you showed, but they don't look like the Alphas. The Alphas are a more modern cut.
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Old 03-25-2013, 05:17 PM
 
75 posts, read 61,891 times
Reputation: 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by SloopyJ View Post
I'd be careful about shoes like that. One, they're a bit dressy for jeans and khakis. Two, brown is way more versatile (and interesting) than black. I'd look for something that doesn't carry a heavy shine but still has structure, like this: http://www.toboot.com/images/shoes/C...g?maxwidth=125. As for the undershirts, I wouldn't worry about them showing through unless your button-down was skin tight, which it shouldn't be.

Oh, and as for denim, I think dark blue is dressier than gray, and (again) more interesting and versatile than black. But that's your call! Finally, I'm not sure what those Dockers are that you showed, but they don't look like the Alphas. The Alphas are a more modern cut.
Good point about the boots, but how tight should a button-down shirt be?

As for denim, I actually like the blue jeans more, I like the color.
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