Re: Interview Attire

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
dressed right.

Sometimes, having to wear a suit(or a uniform) to work isn't such a bad


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