(Closed) How do you decide what to wear to work?

posted 5 years ago in Career
  • poll: How do you decide what to wear to work?
    I take my cue from everyone else and dress on par : (22 votes)
    55 %
    I have the most professional wardrobe in my office : (9 votes)
    23 %
    I dress slightly less formally than the partners/senior staff : (4 votes)
    10 %
    I have other answers : (5 votes)
    13 %
  • Post # 2
    2375 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: June 2014

    We’re the same way at my office – business casual. So normally, I wear dress pants with a nice blouse and cardigan or a more casual jacket. Something like these options still look sharp, but they’re not suit formal.



    Post # 3
    1670 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: Disneyland - January 2016

    Pretty much everyone in my office is super casual- jeans, t-shirts, sweaters, boots (for those who have to go out to the plant). We did have one guy who used to wear collared shirts but he left a few weeks ago. I’m usually the dressiest of the bunch, but since everything is so relaxed what I wear actually isn’t really all the formal. I mostly wear skirts (usually down to my knee and A-line, if they’re shorter I try to remember to wear tights), dresses, blouses and heels. Personally I don’t mind being the most dressed up, no one really notices or says anything, and if they do it’s with a positive note since it’s nice seeing something a little different from the norm. I absolutely hate jeans and t-shirts, so I’m not about to start wearing them just to fit in.

    Post # 4
    1556 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: May 2014

    MsGinkgo:  I’m one of few females in my industry, so I have a fair amount of leeway.

    When I first started, 9 years ago, I tried to match the khaki pants & golf shirt look of my male colleagues, but always felt frumpy. After a couple months of working, I started wearing skirts and dresses more often and after the first few times of people asking if I was going on an interview & me saying that I just felt like wearing this today, no one asked, and I felt comfortable in my skin. 

    Nowadays, I find myself wearing black pants and flats with a shirt & cardigan more often than not, but that’s because I’m pregnant in my first trimester and my skirts don’t hit at the right place and a few of my dresses have become too short with my growing bosom. Maternity as a professional should be an interesting adventure.

    Post # 5
    2514 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: February 2015

    MsGinkgo:  I am definitely on the more formal side of my work place.  But my bosses all dress that way, and I’d like their jobs sooner rather than later.  So I dress that way.  

    Skirts, dresses with a blazer or cardigan, dress slacks, blouses with a cardigan or blazer, some knit wear (not a lot, I’ll be honest, I shy away from it.)  I definitely err on the side of conservative with my cut/hems.  

    Post # 6
    714 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

    I work in a large public accounting firm where the average age of non-partners is probably about 30. The average age of the people that I actually go out to clients with is about 26. So we are a bit more casual that you would normally expect to see. Also, I feel that girls can get away with wearing a larger range of outfits.

    I generally wear slim cut dress pants with a nice top and cardigan or a sweater, a skirt and nice top with a cardigan or pashmina, or a dress with either a blazer or pashmina. I find most of my clothes at Banana Republic, RW&Co, Express, H&M and Joe Fresh (public accountants don’t make much money!). I have a black skirt suit that I bought just-in-case but I’ve never worn it. And I have a whole bunch of crisp dress shirts hanging in my closet from my last job that just don’t fit in here. I feel like if you’re under 40 and a woman you can get away with a lot more “fashionable” pieces. 

    Post # 7
    3185 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: August 2019

    My job is pretty lax. It’s just business casual. No suits unless its one of the owners. I get to wear jeans any day of the week

    Post # 8
    14977 posts
    Honey Beekeeper
    • Wedding: June 2011

    It’s a huge variety where I work.  I used to dress in dress pants and nice top or sweater… and now I just wear pretty much the same type of tops, but jeans instead.  Most people are in jeans and a polo or button up (most are men, I work in engineering).  The manager and lead levels and higher are business causual, khakis/dress pants and a button up.  Suits only for big customer meetings.

    Post # 9
    280 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: April 2016

    I work in the financial field as an exec assistant. Our company is “business casual,” but the CEO likes his traders to wear dress pants and button-ups. He’s kind of weird though because he is very strict on “bright” colors and patterns, so the men all wear either blue or white shirts. The women in my office wear dress pants and nice tops, or work appropriate dresses. Fridays are “casual” according to our handbook, but I think I am the ONLY one that wears jeans (they are nice, dark rinse with no holes or tears). As one of the youngest in my office, I originally had a hard time figuring out what to wear to mesh with the others, but have found that the best stores for getting nice looking professional clothing are: Loft (try and find an outlet!), Express, White House Black Market, and Kohls (their designer collections like Vera Wang). 

    Post # 10
    262 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: May 2015

    Bahahahah.. scrubs <3 

    i occasionally envy a nice dressed business woman. But when you have conversations like this  and difficulty choosing makes me glad I Don’t have to worry at all

    Post # 11
    719 posts
    Busy bee

    I think I remember from the engagement ring / profession thread that you’re a lawyer, is that right?

    The men in my office wear suits or dress shirt and slacks.  Not many women here other than the support staff, but my go to is the mix matched suit dress or skirt suit.  I feel more polished in a dress/skirt vs. pants and I feel more mature in mix matched pieces vs. the “I’m straight out of college” black/navy/dark grey suit.

    Don’t be shy about being overdressed, IMO.


    Post # 12
    2013 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: October 2014

    At 27, I’m one of the youngest people in my office (except the student workers, who wear jeans & hoodies to work), so I tend to dress a little more “trendy” than most of my colleagues. Many of the men wear suits, especially if they are higher up on the supervisory chain, like directors, chairs, and deans. Some men wear khakis or dress pants with button-downs or nice polo shirts, and most of the women wear slacks or khakis and nice sweaters & blouses. Fridays are “dress down” days, and some people take it to the limit (old jeans, baggy tee-shirts, CROCS!). I stickwith dark jeans and a nice top, and maybe a pair of dressy boots.

    On a typical day, I wear black or gray dress pants, a nice top/blouse, and a cardigan or blazer. You will never catch me in khakis. I like to accessorize, so I will usually add a statement necklace or a patterned scarf, and my usual jewelry. I wear dressy flats most days, rarely heels/pumps. I shop for work clothes at Express, JCPenney, H&M and The Limited.

    Mrs-mcm-0507:  I’m very jealous of you.

    Post # 13
    2120 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: October 2015

    I work for a federal agency, but since my office is in Indiana, we are pretty casual. We’re not allowed to wear jeans except for Fridays, but I typically wear pretty casual clothes. Heck, this fall/winter I’ve been wearing the tunic/long sweater and leggings look pretty much every day. I’ll usually wear that or some slim ankle length pants and a button down. Today I’m wearing skinny jeans and a red plaid button up shirt.

    Suits look out of place here – those get saved for meetings in DC!

    Post # 14
    2890 posts
    Sugar bee

    I was concerned about wardrobe when I started working in my office. Technically, I’m a Public Service employee, but my office is in a college and it’s usually a place where people dress more casually (except for formal occasions). I had no idea how to dress on my first day, so I went for black pants and neutral color shirt/cardigan combo since I didn’t own a suit. I quickly noticed men and women didn’t equally dress up. My male collegues dress very casually: jeans and plaid shirts. My (female) boss and my other female collegue never wear jeans, they always wear neutral colors and well-adjusted professional attire (although, not suits). I guess you could call it conservative business casual. Last Friday, after much hesitation, I decided to wear a plum (which could arguably be considered a neutral color) skinny pant with dress shoes, a conservative black blouse and a grey cardigan. Nobody said it wasn’t appropriate, but my gut feeling is that this is as far a stretch as it gets. And for the sake of looking professional and eventually climbing up the ladder, I’d rather remain on the formal side of business casual.

    I have a capsule wardrobe for the office, so everything can pretty much be mixed and matched. My basics are black, white and grey, but I also own ”accent items” which are navy blue, dark raspberry pink or purple. It’s colorful and trendy without being too out of place with the office’s implicit female dress code. 

    Post # 15
    87 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: December 1969

    Teacher at elementary school – Black/charcoal sturdy slacks in a bootcut or relaxed cut style. I am too curvy to wear anything tight and not look inappropriate, and skirts don’t work. A nice top, sweater or such. Anything that’s easily washed.

    Playing for church – either dark dress pants or rarely a skirt, a reserved blouse.  I usually play cello, thus no skirts.  I can play piano and pipe organ.

    Symphony – black dress pants, white or black button down dress shirt, black blazer possibly. 

    Performances with friends –  jeans, lace trimmed tank top in dark colors, possibly button down shirt, my nasty big black boots that are beat to hell but hold up to getting abused by my end pin.  Only time my hair is down.  It’s a mess to untangle, but oh well.

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