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Old 01-26-16, 11:43 PM   #1
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What's business casual in S.F. Bay Area nowadays?

It's been ages since I've stepped into an office environment. Looking to make some contacts and contracts. What's considered "business casual" in this area? Should I add a tie to one of the following outfits?

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Old 01-27-16, 01:04 AM   #2
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What business? For some of these people it's a competition to have the t-shirt with a nerdy cartoon which is just barely not so obscure that you can't get the joke
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Old 01-27-16, 03:03 AM   #3
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Government contracts. Going to get some grants for energy and transportation research. Also providing some outsourced IT management and cloud-services.
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Old 01-27-16, 08:17 AM   #4
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Go into the city and do some 'recon' of the attire folks working in the businesses you're interested in are wearing.

I'd stay away from a full suit, and Mark Zuckerberg's famous 'gray t-shirt and jeans' combo, but wearing a tie & sport coat is always a good default option.
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Old 01-27-16, 08:44 AM   #5
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Government contracts. Going to get some grants for energy and transportation research. Also providing some outsourced IT management and cloud-services.
sounds a lot like golf shirt + dockers but maybe SF is different from the rest of the lower 48
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Old 01-27-16, 09:01 AM   #6
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Government contracts. Going to get some grants for energy and transportation research. Also providing some outsourced IT management and cloud-services.
Yeah, that sounds like a place to dress seriously.

At my employer, the standard middle management uniform is a long sleeve blue shirt and khakis, and they keep ties and blazers in their cubes just in case. Those of us who might have to go out on the production line and kick the tires often wear nicer jeans and boots, but still some shirt with a collar. I prefer pressed dress shirts which I then wear open and sometimes roll the sleeves, but plenty of coworkers wear collared short sleeve pullovers like polos, sometimes with a sports look to them.
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Old 01-27-16, 09:07 AM   #7
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check out Ryan Reynolds wardrobe in the movie "Definitely Maybe"

this was my favorite combo. I believe he was wearing dark but not black slacks
http://www.newnownext.com/wp-content..._maybe_009.jpg
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Old 01-27-16, 04:10 PM   #8
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When in doubt, I would say erring on the side of dressing a bit more formal would obviously be much better than under dressing for the occasion.
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Old 01-28-16, 12:44 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the suggestions! I'm going with khakis and a long-sleeve shirt. Maybe the lavender one.


Here's What The 'Smart Casual' Dress Code Really Means | Business Insider

And stepping it up a notch to "smart casual" with a sport coat.
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Old 01-28-16, 02:18 PM   #10
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Go into the city and do some 'recon' of the attire folks working in the businesses you're interested in are wearing.

I'd stay away from a full suit, and Mark Zuckerberg's famous 'gray t-shirt and jeans' combo, but wearing a tie & sport coat is always a good default option.
Funny how that full suit has gone the wayside for all except lawyers and bankers... As an engineer, generally working on a computer, with very very limited customer contact... I wore aloha shirts and shorts for a good 20 years... as a manager in the same game, I put on khakis and nicer printed shirts...

The last time I interviewed in a suit... I was told, "no suit required" afterward, and that some of the interviewers thought I was a bit "stiff" for wearing a suit. Now for an interview, I wear slacks and button down shirt and perhaps a jacket.
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Old 01-28-16, 02:20 PM   #11
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When in doubt, I would say erring on the side of dressing a bit more formal would obviously be much better than under dressing for the occasion.
Not so... that tie can be seen as "too stiff."

But then the OP mentioned government work... I think those folks still dress in full suit and tie. "Business casual" for them is no vest.
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Old 01-28-16, 02:22 PM   #12
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When did it stop being this?
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Old 01-28-16, 02:24 PM   #13
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Man, the psychology of this stuff gets deep quick... like what it cost vs what style it is and who can tell the difference, being more junior but more formal and looking like a supplicant, etc. One of the reasons to be an engineer is to opt out of all that. Some days I don't even put on my engineer costume.
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Old 01-28-16, 02:39 PM   #14
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my interview for my current job was in August. I wore a dark sport jacket, chinos, white shirt & favorite tie. Met the owner of the business who wore a suit and the general manager who was in a polo shirt. during the interview I said: "I hope I'm not overdressed" they both chuckled and the owner said: "during the season you dress like me, in the off season you dress like him"
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Old 01-28-16, 02:43 PM   #15
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Funny thing is, the executive attire in the Bay is a LOT more casual than all this.
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Old 01-28-16, 02:43 PM   #16
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Man, the psychology of this stuff gets deep quick... like what it cost vs what style it is and who can tell the difference, being more junior but more formal and looking like a supplicant, etc. One of the reasons to be an engineer is to opt out of all that. Some days I don't even put on my engineer costume.
Amen brother. There were days when I worked at home in jammies...
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Old 01-28-16, 03:09 PM   #17
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Man, the psychology of this stuff gets deep quick... like what it cost vs what style it is and who can tell the difference, being more junior but more formal and looking like a supplicant, etc. One of the reasons to be an engineer is to opt out of all that. Some days I don't even put on my engineer costume.
I wore pants and shoes to work today but the meeting got cancelled. Now look at me all dressed up and nowhere to go.
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Old 01-29-16, 09:24 AM   #18
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I've been wearing hospital scrubs for the last 8 years. Many of my coats, dress pants, polo's, shirts etc. have gone all moldy in my closet. I'm not sure what I would do if I had to wear real clothes to a job again.
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Old 01-29-16, 09:39 AM   #19
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Ask the internal HR contact who is setting up your interview what the attire policy is, it's a normal question to them and shows that you are trying to fit in to their culture.

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Old 01-29-16, 12:03 PM   #20
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1960s Batman could get you vintage cool points, but the newer costumes are all black. Avoid Superman. That would look silly in an office.
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