Free Ebook.

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

« Craigslist a Good Way to Find a Job? | Main | Words of Wisdom from Warren Buffett »

August 07, 2008


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

In-house counsel: our code is dress shirt (long sleeve) and dress pants. No tie or jacket required. I would not mind wearing a suit but though my job title might convey it, I really do not have enough money to spend on suits to wear to work everyday. Ideally...I would have 10 suits through which I could rotate but alas, until this point, I never thought of clothing as an investment. I tend to send my extra cash into my savings/investments. I dread to think of what the costs may be for the suits and dress shirts and ties.

So the question is, which investment is more which MAY lead to a better position at work OR investing which MAY lead to more income the old fashioned way? Any suggestions?

I am an elementary school principal. Being the face of the school I am very careful of my appearance. I meet with parents daily and want to project preofessionalism to the teachers, parents, public, and children. However, I also have recess duty, lunchroom duty, and often get "down and dirty" (think art class) with kindergartners. I have to balance all of these things. Living in Arizona, I typically wear slacks, dress shoes and a polo during the hotter months- although I can not tell you how many leather-soled shoes the playground has eaten up! Each morning is an assessment of the weather, special activities, and meetings.

As a consultant in Chicago, my typical dress was shirt + tie or nice slacks and a nice button up shirt. However, I've been on a client in Southern California with a vastly different dress code. The first few days of being at the client, I was overdressed and uncomfortable. However, after being here for about 4 months full-time, I now wear jeans, flip-flops, shorts, and tshirts every day.

The savings on clothes and dry cleaning is *very* nice, plus I'm comfortable and productive all day.

manufacturing engineer: I wear jeans, t-shirts, and the occasional polo. If a customer is visiting everyone will wear a company branded shirt. I don't feel it matters much in a manufacturing environment. Nice clothes will get trashed by lunch.

I think that dressing to impress benefits workers in most industries, but the best computer programmers I have known tend to dress like slobs. I think anyone in that industry would be highly suspicious of a well dressed computer programmer. They don't care what you look like, how you dress, or how many Mountain Dews you drink a day - if you can code, you will be valuable.

As an engineer, I don't meet or interact with customers so during the summer most people wear shorts and short sleeve shirts with running shoes. During the winter blue jeans and long sleeves/sweater become standard. I'm not sure the clothing really matters where I work, but the mindset that might push someone to wear dockers and a tucked in shirt may be consistent with someone who has the ambition to move up.

From what I can tell, there's no difference in pay between engineering and the first level of management - only a difference in breadth of responsibility. The second level of management gets some pay benefit, but you're talking about ~1% of the population and probably people who mostly in the later part of their career. Beyond that there's a lot of competition for very few positions. Those people probably got to where they're at by making a lot of moves and not being in one organization for very long.

I'm a CPA and my daily attire is a button down, long-sleeve shirt and khakis. If I'm going to a client, I'll dress according to their office policy - erring on the side of being more dressed up. I've worked here 5 years this month and only worn a suit 2 times I believe. Very comfortable.

I agree with that statement...the better you dress the more people tend to believe what you have to say.

In the winter months I wear khakis and a button down the spring and summer I wear khakis and either a polo or nice short sleeved shirt. Business casual.

I tend to agree with the statement that clothes are an investment...however I have a difficult time shopping at expensive stores like "Express Men" even though I love their styles. To me, I try to find nice stuff at a reasonable price at places like Kohls, Gap, Banana Republic usually with some sort of coupon discount.

You shouldn't overdress as compared to your client, is what I've always been told. Most of my clients are high-end architects, and they dress in a very casual, stylish, funky way. Crazy haircuts and chunky jewelry, the whole lot. So turning up to meet them in a suit would be inappropriate. But even my non-architect clients dress business casual. Seeing someone in a suit and tie is so unusual around here as to make me slightly nervous, and a colleague wearing one is assumed to have an interview lined up :)

Shorts, t-shirts or short-sleeve buttown-downs, and flip-flops in summer. Jeans and sneakers in cooler months.

...But I work in a 'casual' work environment as a SW engineer

Software Engineer: anything from jeans, t-shirt, and sneakers to khakis and dress shirt. Depends on my mood. The only thing they don't allow here are flip-flops (for guys), and shorts.

I'm an engineer working in manufacturing... I agree with Cam. I wear jeans with polos, or button-ups, and brown casual-athletic shoes. Even in meetings with management and executives I'll wear the same thing. If I have a meeting with Sr. Executives, then I'll wear dress pants and a nice dress shirt. I suspect that even Sr. Executives don't expect you to dress up for them as they all came from the shop floor also.

I've spent my career as the "Big Dog Programmer" in software startups. So, I look the part: shorts, short-sleeved shirt, and sandals when the weather permits, and "business casual" warmer clothes in winter. When I visit stateside customers, I go business casual.

If I wore a suit and tie to work, everyone would think I'm looking for a job or going to a funeral.

But when I go to Japan to visit customers, I wear an uncomfortable (as Japanese offices are always far too hot for me) but very conservative suit so I don't "draw attention".

Software programmer. Stated dress code: business casual. Actual dress code: Casual, and we'll make fun of you for days if you actually dare to wear something nice. (My boss joined in too.) I generally wear jeans and geeky t-shirts.

As a High School Teacher in a rural school district in Western, NY, it is expected that I wear either slacks or khaki's with a button-up shirt and tie. In the winter, you can get away with a sweater but I still usually wear the sweater over a shirt and tie.

I'm a banker, and as a female and a young person I definitely think what I wear to work is very important. If I dress up (i.e. wear suits, heels, nicer and more conservative accessories, etc) then I come accross as more intelligent, older, more experienced, more trustworthy, more ambitious and most importantly - more serious about my job. These characteristics are important to convey to clients but also to my boss and co-workers, and the easiest/most direct way to do so is via my personal appearance and attire. I don't HAVE to dress formally at work, but that's all the more reason why doing so is such an advantage.

I'm a personal assistant to a psychiatrist and a research assistant at his pharmaceutical research organization. I wear jeans and a tshirt pretty much every day. I will be doing an internship for graduate school at a special-needs high school starting in about two weeks, so I'll have to put on slightly nicer clothes to set me apart from the students, but I think I still get to wear my jeans.

I know where Meg is coming from. When I was in corporate world, I felt I needed to "dress" the part, even if it wasn't required. I had to win over people my parents' age and older, and if I looked like I just came off the college campus, I was not respected. Granted, I usually only dressed up when I was doing presentations or meetings. In the office, it was business casual- no jeans allowed and collars required. You do feel different when you are dressed appropriately.

Many years ago, I was a wet-behind-the-ears field rep for a local politician. His secretary (who had years of political experience) pulled me aside and told me always, always, always dress better than your co-workers, your boss and his constituents because people's first impressions are how you look. I told her that was very unfair and she told me that was life, kid. From that day on, I've always gone to work well-groomed, in a shirt and tie and often a sports jacket. And like the article said, that alone has led to many promotions and has fattened my wallet nicely. My current job in government requires me to work in a "casual" environment but I always wear a pressed dress shirt and tie. And in one year, I've been promoted over all of my fellow employees. And they are a lot smarter than I am when it comes to technical and governmental issues! In closing, yes, it is unfair to be judged by how you dress. But as my mentor (God bless her!) pointed out, you only have a few seconds to make a good impression!

I work at a small software company and we don't have a dress code. Most people dress business casual on the engineering side, but it's not unusual to see somebody wearing jeans and flip flops. I even see people wearing shorts and flip flops in the summer, but I wouldn't go that far myself. On the marketing/sales side, people tend to dress much nicer.

Environmental biologist. Out in the desert I wear the typical field clothes (think REI- long pants, sun shirts, boots) which is great because I don't have to think about appearances and I can get dirty.
I work for a government agency though and as my office is right next to the director's, I have to pull out all the stops when I am in the office-- high heels, hair, make up, pencil skirt/blouse or pants/blouse ensembles. Complete 180.

I'm also a preservice secondary teacher in the middle of practicums and student-teaching. As a 4'11" Asian woman who still looks like she may be a high school freshman, dressing up meticulously has definitely helped me stand out and draw the distinct line between me and my students. Sure, I've served in high schools where dress code was casual and I stood out like a sore thumb--but I also believe dressing well is a sign of respect for others around you. I once saw a teacher in wrinkled stained sweats during a fire drill and I can't imagine ever coming to a workplace like that.

My workplace's dress code varies with the department. My dept. has no dress code and the dress is very casual- jeans, t-shirts, flip-flops, etc. Other dept. that have to interact with customers dress up a bit nicer- blouses, slacks, ties, etc. At my job, dressing up really wouldn't have much impact- folks in higher positions are as casual as those below- so you have to find another way to stand out.

I do dress approiate, when I do have to go somewhere, or to an important engagement.

Starting my wealth today or someday.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Start a Blog


  • Any information shared on Free Money Finance does not constitute financial advice. The Website is intended to provide general information only and does not attempt to give you advice that relates to your specific circumstances. You are advised to discuss your specific requirements with an independent financial adviser. Per FTC guidelines, this website may be compensated by companies mentioned through advertising, affiliate programs or otherwise. All posts are © 2005-2012, Free Money Finance.