TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:Re: Interview Attire From:surfer_924 -at- earthlink -dot- net To:techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com Date:Thu, 21 Aug 2003 06:07:20 -0600
(Tech writing tie-in: HR asked me to help edit their dress code.)
For 20 years in the military, I had the luxury of wearing a uniform to
work each day. I never had to worry about what to wear to work, never had
to guess whether I was over or under dressed, or if what I was wearing was
"appropriate." Never had to worry if my belt and shoes matched, or if what
I was wearing was "too dressy" or "too casual." Shopping for my work
wardrobe took about 5 minutes. I dropped my stuff at the laundry on
Friday, and picked it up, cleaned, pressed, and on hangers on Monday.
My first job after retiring, I interviewed in a suit and tie. I showed up
for my first day of work in the same outfit. I was told "we're business
casual here." I had to ask somebody what that meant.
My next job, had almost no dress code, save prohibitions against
"offensive" t-shirts, tank tops, cutoffs, sandals, etc. Most people went
to work in jeans, sneakers, and t-shirts. I usually showed up in my
business casual. The few times I wore jeans to work, I just didn't feel
right. I didn't really feel right in business casual either. I always felt
either over dressed or under dressed.
My next job after that was the same, and after a year I finally got used
to wearing jeans to work. Now that I was comfortable in jeans, I got on a
new project off-site, where the dress was business casual. Here, business
casual means: absolutely no jeans or denim of any kind, t-shirts,
sneakers, work boots, sandals, hiking boots, or anything else that could
be considered "casual." Khakis, golf shirts, etc. are "discouraged" and
the "suggested" dress is slacks, dress shoes, and a dress shirt (tie
optional). In my six months here, I've seen everything from a suit and tie
to khakis and a golf shirt. I'm back to the same feeling of never being
Sometimes, having to wear a suit(or a uniform) to work isn't such a bad