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Thread: Appropriate attire?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian ssc's avatar
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    Appropriate attire?

    So this may be kind of a silly question, but I am curious what is considered appropriate attire in other planning offices. It seems to me that since we deal with the public on a daily basis, planning staff should dress somewhat professionally. Of course we also go out in the field, so clothing must be somewhat practical for what purpose as well.... Getting a handle on the balance between the two is tricky. But we now have staff showing up in hoodies and oversized "distressed" jeans. Would this be accepted in your office?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian SW MI Planner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ssc View post
    But we now have staff showing up in hoodies and oversized "distressed" jeans. Would this be accepted in your office?
    Uh no. In my opinion, jeans, if worn by office staff should be a darker wash, dressy jean. Or at the very least no tears or super frayed edges. And they should fit so there would be no ass crack hanging out. Definately no sweatshirts.

    Our City Hall is business casual five days a week. This means at the very least khakis and a button up. Some men wear dress pants and a nice shirt, some with a tie. Women wear slacks or skirts with nice shirts/sweaters. Rarely does anyone wear a suit.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian ssc's avatar
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    SW MI Planner - does your city hall dress code happen to be in writing? I would love to see it!

  4. #4
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    We have no formal policy, but it's business casual M-Th (no jeans), and casual Friday (jeans allowed).

    My assistant generally wears golf shirts and khakis and substitutes jeans on Fridays. He'll wear a shirt and tie for night meetings.

    As the department head, I wear a tie M-Th, but change to golf shirt and jeans for Fridays.
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  5. #5
    Some of it depends on where you are at. Where I'm at business casual is khakis and polo shirts because of the climate. Personally, I wear a polo and jeans one day a week. I never wear a shirt and tie. The only ones that do are the lawyers.
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Otis's avatar
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    Neither hoodies nor distressed jeans would be OK. Fridays, jeans are OK, but they have to be in good shape. Some other days I wear jeans if I am going to be tromping around in the blackberries. Ties are for the city council meetings. Usually I wear a nice shirt (almost always button down) and chinos. Other dress comparably.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Business casual M-TH, which means collard shirt, slacks or nice jeans. Our office is closed to the public on fridays, so I have gone in with jeans and a t-shirt, sometimes a henley, hats (never a ball cap but nice "hipster" type hats). On the occasion flip flops during the summer. Hey might as well be comfortable if no one is going to be around.
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  8. #8
    Cyburbian dw914er's avatar
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    It's preferred to wear professional attire in the public eye, so I'll wear slacks, a dress shirt, and a tie. I'll remove the tie on hot days, and I'll add a sport coat or a suit if it is a cold day. Fridays are casual, but because the director doesn't like jeans. I wear colored pants instead and have a polo with the City logo.
    And that concludes staff’s presentation...

  9. #9
    Cyburbian rcgplanner's avatar
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    Our department is a mix of duties with the inspectors mostly wearing jeans and city polos. For office staff the men wear anything from chinos to dress slacks and polos or button down long sleeve dress shirts, while women usually wear pant suits or dress shirts and nice slacks. I usually wear a tie, dress pants and a dress shirt for meetings and alternate between polos and dress shirts other days. Friday is casual with jeans allowed. Some staff wear athletic shoes and untucked polos, but I tend to stick with a dark wash jean, my city polo and a dark pair of dress shoes as I tend to talk with citizens when I work the counter.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian RandomPlanner's avatar
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    Inspired by gtpeach and her statement that it's harder to determine dress code for women than men.

    I agree -- it's definitely less straightforward for a woman to know what 'business casual' means than a man. Formal for a man = suit and tie. Business = suit jacket/ no tie OR button up shirt/ no tie. Business casual = khakis/ button up or khakis/ polo.

    For a woman, you've got many pant style options, many shoe options, and accessories that can really dress up or dress down an outfit. I hate button up shirts so I never wear them, but some women might lean toward a formal work attire being the female equivalent of a man's -- skirt, blazer, button up shirt. For me, that's not my style. So for formal, I might wear a tailored dress, heels, and nicer jewelry; I'd also have full makeup on including lipstick.**

    For a normal work day, I wear dress pants and often a shirt with a cardigan sweater, perhaps a scarf. I feel much less formal without jewelry so I try to wear earrings every day. If I've got meetings, I'll likely wear a blazer instead of the cardigan. For shoes, I am out in the field too much to wear super nice shoes. I often wear nice-ish boots with a decent, larger heel so I can climb things and go through mud if I have to. For Board meetings, I throw a pair of nice pumps in the car and change right before the meeting. In my last job, I kept a pair of pumps and a blazer in my office just in case.

    **But is it fair to say that a woman without full makeup and lipstick is not as formal as someone who is wearing all that?!? NO! It's not fair at all. I'm just saying that for me, that's what formal means. That's what I would wear to a job interview.

    So I guess my question is: how does the dress code differ from men to women? Is it the same? Is it vastly different? Is that fair??

    Discuss...
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  11. #11
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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  12. #12
    Cyburbian
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    This might should be moved to another area of the forum, but YESSSS!!!!! It's hard for women to know how to dress.

    In general, our department is a pretty casual business casual. I try to dress nicely, but as long as you're not wearing jeans, you're usually going to be okay. Business formal - suits and ties. Got it. Business professional, somewhere in between. I feel like there's a lot of leeway here and unless they're going to specifically spell it out, it's largely open to interpretation.

    Here are some other issues I have: I have some problems with my feet that make it incredibly painful for me to wear heals. I feel like heals often make the difference between making an outfit look polished or not when it comes to women's dress codes. I will not spend a lot of money on shoes that I can only wear for an hour or two at most per month, and I think it's unfair that women be expected to wear something that may not be comfortable in order to comply with expectations.

    I'd wear more dresses, but I'd have to either wear flats or boots, and I feel like dresses don't look as polished with that footwear.

    I'm pretty plain jane - I don't typically wear make-up or jewelry. Maybe the argument could be made that women's jewelry is the equivalent of a men's tie?

    I feel like the standard fitted, tailored business-style clothes that are typically referenced as being "business formal" or "business professional" are not flattering on all women. I am far from frumpy, but I'm not going to wear fitted dresses and pencil skirts on any sort of regular basis. Sure, a well-fit suit should be a staple, but should I truly be expected to wear a suit every single time I have to dress up when men aren't required to?

    I just think men can get by with pretty basic pieces, and for women it's not just WHAT you wear, but we also have to put a lot more thought into it based on current fashion trends and what's flattering to our body types.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Plus
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    From my fair county's Personnel Policy (Employee Handbook)

    2.90.280 Personal appearance.
    Dress, grooming and personal cleanliness standards contribute to the morale of all employees and affect the business image we present to our citizens and visitors.
    During business hours, employees are expected to present a clean and neat appearance and to dress according to the requirements of their positions.
    Employees who appear for work inappropriately dressed will be sent home and directed to return to work in proper attire.
    Under such circumstances, employees will not be compensated for the time away from work.
    Consult your supervisor or department head if you have questions as to what constitutes appropriate attire.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by gtpeach View post
    This might should be moved to another area of the forum, but YESSSS!!!!! It's hard for women to know how to dress.

    In general, our department is a pretty casual business casual. I try to dress nicely, but as long as you're not wearing jeans, you're usually going to be okay. Business formal - suits and ties. Got it. Business professional, somewhere in between. I feel like there's a lot of leeway here and unless they're going to specifically spell it out, it's largely open to interpretation.

    Here are some other issues I have: I have some problems with my feet that make it incredibly painful for me to wear heals. I feel like heals often make the difference between making an outfit look polished or not when it comes to women's dress codes. I will not spend a lot of money on shoes that I can only wear for an hour or two at most per month, and I think it's unfair that women be expected to wear something that may not be comfortable in order to comply with expectations. ...
    Here ya go. I have footwear like this in every blue, black, a couple of reds, and some of the tans and off-whites.

    Click image for larger version

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    Unless you are a cocktail waitress or hosting a talk show, there is no earthly reason to wear heels.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by Veloise View post
    Unless you are a cocktail waitress or hosting a talk show, there is no earthly reason to wear heels.
    Word!

  16. #16
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    Our office dress code is business casual with jeans allowed on Thursdays and Fridays (if we pay $1 to charity). We can also get away with jeans anytime there is significant snowfall.

    Most of the guys wear chinos or dress pants most days while the attire among the women is much more varied but it always seems professional and appropriate with a few exceptions.

    I seldom wear jeans as I am generally more comfortable in wool trousers in the fall and winter or linen, cotton, or some sort of blend in the summer. Ties and/or jackets are never required but I wear a jacket nearly everyday and a tie most days as well. While I don't work with the public on a regular basis, I am frequently asked to come advise in meetings with our business development reps or management and county directors so I like to be prepared. Today's attire is #8 shell cordovan shoes, brown herringbone tweed trousers, striped oxford cloth button down shirt and a camelhair blazer (I've been accused of dressing like a 75-year-old man on more than one occasion).

    Quote Originally posted by Veloise View post
    Unless you are a cocktail waitress or hosting a talk show, there is no earthly reason to wear heels.
    Interestingly, the only women in our office who seem to wear heels on a regular basis are the two women who are already about 5'10".
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  17. #17
    Cyburbian RandomPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by WSU MUP Student View post
    ...Interestingly, the only women in our office who seem to wear heels on a regular basis are the two women who are already about 5'10".
    I wear heels every day but I consider them sensible heels -- a boot with a chunky heel is my normal since I'm out in the field quite a bit but today I'm wearing a nice patent leather pump with a pants suit for a court day. I've got a pair of Chuck Taylor's under my desk but I really brought those for the grocery store on the way home.
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  18. #18
    Cyburbian Masswich's avatar
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    We have a City-wide dress code that generally requires professional dress and allows for casual Fridays. Since we don't have central air in City Hall, we have an interesting summer code that allows things that I consider too casual, like shorts.

    Generally we ask for professional dress, long pants or professional skirts/dresses, button down shirts or dress blouses. We allow jeans on Fridays. Ties are sometimes expected but rarely required.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian Plus
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    Not for the office Christmas Party ?


  20. #20
    Cyburbian dvdneal's avatar
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    Just remember, no rubber thongs (actual dress code requirement at some place I worked)
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  21. #21
    Cyburbian RandomPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by JNA View post
    Not for the office Christmas Party ?

    This is a MUST do for Commission meetings and the like!!
    How do I know you are who you think you are?

  22. #22
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by dvdneal View post
    Just remember, no rubber thongs (actual dress code requirement at some place I worked)
    Yeah... that's an unfortunate way to reference flip flops.

  23. #23
    Cyburbian Coragus's avatar
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    My office is pretty casual. If I don't have anything on my agenda for the day, then I might wear black jeans with a decent shirt. If I have a meeting (PC or DDA), then I'll wear a jacket and no jeans. I haven't worn a tie since my interview though.
    What do you mean I can't plan? My SimCity has 390,269 people with a 99% happiness rating (1/23/2017)!

  24. #24
    Cyburbian
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    When I became Director, in the first year I wore business dress M - Th and business casual on Friday. Once I settled into the job and now I wear a sport jacket and dress shirt (with a tie only for the televised meetings) and slacks M-Th; on Friday mostly polo shirts with khakis or jeans.

    My staff dresses in what would be considered professional to business casual. We don't have a formal dress code, but my first year I had a planner who wanted to wear hats and caps around the office all day including to PB meetings...definitely a no-go.

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