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Thread: Office dress standards and regional differences

  1. #26
    Cyburbian Plus PlannerGirl's avatar
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    We have to dress nice every day, ties for the men, no jeans etc.
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin

    Remember this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO- HOO what a ride!'"

  2. #27
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    No visible tats, as far as I am concerned. Also, keep the jewelry to a minimum, and we do not need to smell your perfume or patchouli oil, thank you very much.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  3. #28
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    We're "buisness causal," ties optional. We're not supposed to wear jeans except on Friday but people do it. I think sandals are technically against the rules too.

    I forgot my belt today.

  4. #29
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by PlannerGirl
    We have to dress nice every day, ties for the men, no jeans etc.
    Same here...
    Trusting a DC politician with your money is like trusting a hungry dog with a raw steak.

  5. #30
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Cardinal
    No visible tats, as far as I am concerned. Also, keep the jewelry to a minimum, and we do not need to smell your perfume or patchouli oil, thank you very much.
    I agree. And no pierced lips, nose, eyebrows...

  6. #31
    Cyburbian nerudite's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Cardinal
    and we do not need to smell your perfume or patchouli oil, thank you very much.
    Hehehe... you are definitely in Boulder when you start smelling the patchouli everywhere! It sounds like Davis!

  7. #32
    Cyburbian
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    Where I "work" we all go with whatever we grab after showering... ahh the college life
    Ok.. that's just men.. chicks around my university are mostly snobs, if not, they're goths and probably spend 3 hours getting ready....

  8. #33
    Cyburbian Planderella's avatar
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    My office is sort of dressy casual - men wear slacks and polo shirts, sometimes ties. I tend to dress more up and then slowly get casual later in the week. Although everyone else does it, I never wear jeans on Friday. The closest I'll get to that is a denim skirt. Once, I made the mistake of dressing a little too casual (I define that as an outfit that does not call for a blazer or jacket) for my own tastes and happened to be called into an unexpected meeting with an elected official. Now, I rather stay on the safe side and be prepared to look my best for whenever the situation arises.
    "A witty woman is a treasure, a witty beauty is a power!"

  9. #34
    Cyburbian Salmissra's avatar
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    Office casual for us Mon-Thurs, casual Friday. Men - pants, shirt, some with ties, others not. Women - no denim, no sleeveless, in summer straps OK as long as Director doesn't have a problem. Fridays - jeans OK, decent/non-offensive T-shirts OK, tennis shoes, in summer, sandals.

    I tend to be at the middle of the Mon-Thurs group - heels, pants or skirt, nice sweater or top. Friday I don't like to wear jeans, so I'm at the top of the pile then.
    "We do not need any other Tutankhamun's tomb with all its treasures. We need context. We need understanding. We need knowledge of historical events to tie them together. We don't know much. Of course we know a lot, but it is context that's missing, not treasures." - Werner Herzog, in Archaeology, March/April 2011

  10. #35
    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
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    No dress code where I work but we're expected to dress professionally. Polo shirts and Dockers during the week. Denim is worn on Fridays. For public hearings, no less than a sport coat, tie, and slacks.

  11. #36
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Of course, this Bear is not in or associated with a planning office or a public office. Our business does have more than fifty (50) office employees. Until about five (5) years ago we were business dress every day....including ties for all office men, no slacks for women, etc.

    Eventually our culture eroded (thank God) and Casual Fridays struck. Within a year Business Casual became the norm.

    Since I interact at all levels of our organization my daily dress code depends on the plans for the day. Today I went in for about six (6) hours to clean-up some desk issues and go over a few things for folks to take care of when I am away on medical leave.

    Yesterday I was leading a number of meetings with all of our plant and warehouse employees and my dress code was more strict.

    Bear With No Tribal Tats
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  12. #37
    Cyburbian AubieTurtle's avatar
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    Observations from my various consulting gigs:

    UPS HQ - Suits are a must. You are allowed to take your jacket off only when you are sitting at your desk. No casual Fridays.

    AFLAC HQ - Khakis and button down shirts. They have a large display in the lobby with fashion do's and don'ts. Casual Fridays allow jeans but any kind of shorts are absolutely forbidden. (And yes, they have plush ducks EVERYWHERE)

    Home Depot HQ - Wide range of dress here. More women than you would expect wear skirts short enough that you get mooned when they bend over. This might explain the unusually high number of pregnant women around the office. In general, business casual is the rule, though some cube dwellers push this into jeans territory. I don't know how they observe casual Fridays (I'll let you all know after tomorrow)

    Georgia State Tollway Authority - Business casual for state employees, things get a bit more casual for temps. A formal policy had to be developed after the temps started wearing clothes a bit too revealing. The finance/bond guys usually wear ties. Casual Fridays observed by almost everyone.

    As a consultant, I dress at or above the client's norm. I only do casual Friday if I've developed a good relationship with the client and the folks a level or two above me also observe it.

    Back when I worked at a web shop where I almost never saw clients, I'd dress as much like a slob as possible. Oversized t-shirt, shorts, and no shoes weren't uncommon. Needless to say, things around there weren't very professional.
    As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron. - H.L. Mencken

  13. #38
    Cyburbian Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    When I worked with TN and SC at a southern county planning office until 2 years ago: business dress most days, khakis and work polos o.k. on Fridays, forget the jeans. For us women, at public hearings, skirts, dresses, or pantsuits. Now that I'm in Engineering, I can wear jeans every day unless I have to meet with a commissioner. Public hearings, khakis o.k.

  14. #39
    Cyburbian AubieTurtle's avatar
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    According to this week's issue of Creative Loafing, the city of Atlanta has adopted a dress code that prohibits:

    Any item that is patched, torn, tattered or has holes

    • Tight-fitting clothing, including garments made with
    stretchy, see-through or sheer material

    • Leather or simulated leather pants

    • Clothing with offensive terminology/graphics or
    lettering larger than pocket/sleeve-style logo

    • Provocative/revealing clothing, such as spaghetti
    strap dresses, plunging necklines, strapless and
    backless dresses, halters or midriff tops

    • Dresses, skirts (hemlines that are more than three
    inches above the knees) or shorts that are excessively
    short or have front or back slits that are mid-thigh

    • Bib overalls

    • Flip-flops (shower or pool shoes, etc.) or other beach-
    style sandals

    • Novelty buttons (such as “message,” photo, etc.)

    • Jeans are unacceptable for office environments


    Seems to me that if an employee working at the sewage treatment plant wanted to wear bib overalls, they should be allowed. Now a complete police force in overalls...
    As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron. - H.L. Mencken

  15. #40
    White or blue oxford shirts; khakis; Eastland bucks. Friday's are jeans and clean sneakers with city logo shirts unless there is an important meeting. I wear long-sleeves year round (I sunburn very easily). Usually wear at least a tie for BZA, PC and Council meetings, but not required.

    Our admin assistant is buxom and wears very revealing tops. The previous mayor (a woman, btw) wanted us (her male supervisors) to instruct her to dress more appropriately. We told the mayor we would not risk a harassment lawsuit. If she didn't like the attire, she should talk to the assistant woman-to-woman. She didn't have the cajones
    Je suis Charlie

  16. #41
          Downtown's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by GeogPlanner
    Somedays its jeans and a t-shirt. In the summer, I'll bust out a pair of shorts....
    Oh you County Planners!

    We're a more business casual office (Town Planning and Economic Development)- never jeans or shorts or tee shirts (except for women - but the nice fitted dress up tees.) I push more towards the casual side - unless i have a meeting, I'm usually wearing khakis or cords in winter, long skirts with sandals and no panty hose in summer. Fortunately, the Town Supervisor's office is in another building, and she's rarely in our Public Ops building, but when I know I might run into her, I dress up.

  17. #42
    Cyburbian GISgal's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan
    Sounds like nobody here is a krusty kountry planner. I've met several in my short career; is it jjist a figment of my imagination, or are they really common in the Rocky Mountain region?
    Yes and no. My current boss worked in Wyoming and let's say the breed out there is RUGGED. City slicker planners at least his experience with the ranchers was interesting. Most ranchers equate planners with commies (not an uncommon attitude even in ciites); however, it is entirely heightened out there. Making krusty kountry planners rare breeds in western rancher communities/counties.

    The pictures of my boss and his co-workers from that community are quite amusing. He has a full beard, cowboy boots, flannels and jeans. This was office wear. It was common occurance for them to bring there hand guns in to work to buy, sell, trade, and compare notes.

    My boss rolled into Wisconsin wearing a suit and cowboy boots in a rusted up pickup with a gun rack. For a period of years he continued to be RUGGED.

    Ulitimately he left due to the planners are commies attitude.
    “I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward.” - Thomas Edison

  18. #43
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    Spot the token.

  19. #44
    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan
    Sounds like nobody here is a krusty kountry planner. I've met several in my short career; is it jjist a figment of my imagination, or are they really common in the Rocky Mountain region?
    My boss during my second planning internship dressed 'rancher'. Felt stetson during the fall and winter and a straw Stetson during the spring and summer, cowboy boots, jeans and a western shirt. Towards the end of my internship I asked him what part of the West he was from. He said he wasn't from the West. He grew up in the suburbs near Chicago.

    At Western Planners conferences you see some 'cowboy' planners. You are more likely to see planners in upscale recreational garb - Columbia jackets and shirts, Polarfleece, jeans, hiking or running shoes. A lot of the younger planners, at least in Montana, are from the East Coast or Minnesota and come here to work and ski.

    Me, I usually wear a dress shirt, Dockers-type pants and casual lace up shoes. If I am going to do a site visit that day, I wear hiking boots, jeans and a work shirt. For Commission meetings I usually wear my sports coat. It is not required. None of the other planners do. We are a pretty work casual office. No fashion policing is done.
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

  20. #45
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan
    I touched on this a little bit in the interview suit thread, but this would be a more appropriate place to ask. How do you feel about visible tramp stamps/bumper stckers/California license plates -- lower back tattoos -- in the office?

    (sorry women with back tats)
    As a woman with ink, including a lower back piece, I take offense to the "tramp stamp" term. That said, I keep my ink covered in the office since I view mine as very personal and have advised employees to be more aware about shirt sleeve length and shirt tail length. Sadly, there are a lot of preconceived notions about body art in most professional environments. I find it easier to cover up than to have small-minded people pass judgement.

    (Sorry if this comes across as harsh. I've been dealing with stupid crap at the office today and am in no mood to mince words.)

  21. #46
          Downtown's avatar
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    IMO - all ink should be kept covered in a professional environment. But then, mine's on my ass, so I'd be in big trouble were I to have it exposed.

    That said, regardless of whether or not someone has a lower back tat or not, it still isn't an area that I would think should be revealed in a professional environment.

  22. #47
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by plannerkat
    (Sorry if this comes across as harsh. I've been dealing with stupid crap at the office today and am in no mood to mince words.)
    Personally, I don't have a problem with most ink. (No, I won't say "some of my best friends have tats" - I really don't have a problem with it.) However, at a previous workplace, a woan I worked with usually wore low-rise pants and blouses that weren't long enough to be tucked in. Her back tat could be covered, but her choice in clothing made that difficult much of the time. Even if she didn't have a tattoo, her lower back and midriff sholdn't be visible at work.

    Now, with tats that are in more visible locations -- ankles, arms and the like -- it's more difficult to cover them up. A little bit of visible ink, when you're not going out of your way to show it off, is acceptable in my opinion. Why should an emo hipster's ink be treated any differently than the blurry anchors our grandfathers had on their arms? If someone had the letters "KILL" inked across their fingers, or an inked teardrop onby their eye, it would probably be treated much different.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  23. #48
    Cyburbian AubieTurtle's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jordanb


    Spot the token.
    I'm curious what they are all hiding behind their backs. Grant money... tax credits... padded expense account reports?
    As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron. - H.L. Mencken

  24. #49
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by AubieTurtle
    I'm curious what they are all hiding behind their backs. Grant money... tax credits... padded expense account reports?
    No, they clearly all went to boot camp. That is very close to the military "At ease" stance.

  25. #50
    Cyburbian Breed's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan
    Now, with tats that are in more visible locations -- ankles, arms and the like -- it's more difficult to cover them up.
    Of course, we all have to wear our bangs long to cover up the hammer and sickle on our foreheads.
    Every time I look at a Yankees hat I see a swastika tilted just a little off kilter.
    Bill "Spaceman" Lee

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