Just an Intern

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    Intern 101: What do you wear to work?

    Hi Archinect,

    As summer rolls along, I want to do a fun blog post on workwear. I go through this dilemma every morning - What do I wear to work? A lot of firms now are more casual, but do I really wear t-shirts and jeans to work? Plus we probably don't have money to buy fancy clothing, so do I just follow the simple architect-wear-black code? Recently, I realize I tend to wear white with colors, because I think going to work should be fun. But sometimes it's probably a little too much...

    One day I forgot I had a client meeting, so as usual in the morning I wore one of my bright colored pants to work - this time was super bright yellow. We drove to the client's office, where everyone was wearing black suits. My yellow pants were screaming at everyone like "LOOK AT ME!! I AM YELLOW". Even though my boss was fine with it, so did the client, I stopped wearing those yellow pants to work to avoid this embarrassing moment in the future.

    To prevent you from running into this problem like me, I asked my coworkers for help! I took a picture of each of them on a typical work day to show you what architects / designers usually wear on a business casual environment.

    1. The Black & White
    There are some people in our office that only wear black, white and grey tones. Just a simple classic look would work any day of the week. Plus you can mix and match a million different ways!

    2. The Go-To Dress
    For girls, the easiest thing to do is probably to put on a dress. I like wearing blazer over a tube dress that I would wear outside of work (That's me on the right!). Pretty much any dress would work, as long as you are not showing too much. Trust me you don't want to go there.

    3. The Pattern & Kahki
    For guys, it's pretty straight forward. Have a little fun with a patterned shirt and a cool looking watch. I am not a fan of kahki pants, or anything beige in general, but it seems to work in an office environment.

    4. The Business Casual
    If you are adventurous, try a bright colored tie (Yes, they are married). Or a plaid shirt - everyone in architecture wears a plaid shirt at one point in life. It just works.

    5. The Hard Hat
    Here comes the time you have to dig up your work boots. Going on site is fun, but you don't need fun clothing with it. A simple pair of jeans with a shirt would go a long way. Of course, don't forget your hard hat!

    People do judge you by what you wear, especially in the architectural world where everyone is a designer. And also because we are all designers, we want to show our style through our clothes without going over board. May be a simple outfit injected with a little bit of creativity would work - just avoid the yellow pants.

    What do you wear to work? Share with us by posting a picture on the comments below!

    And thanks everyone at KSS for all the awesome modeling. Thanks for reading!

    Follow me @joannlui



    • vado retro
      Jul 16, 14 12:52 pm

      time to give stacy and clinton a call.

      Donna SinkDonna Sink
      Jul 16, 14 9:23 pm

      I think everyone here looks very nice, except for my personal pet peeve which is that visible toes are never appropriate at the office. Toes of either gender, to be fair.

      It can't hurt to dress up slightly more than you think you need to in case you unexpectedly have a client meeting.  But I think your yellow pants probably looked great!  Just wear them with subdued pieces.  Can't ever go wrong with a white buttoned shirt.

      Non Sequitur
      Jul 17, 14 9:02 am

      Grey tones with exceptionally flamboyant socks is my go-to wardrobe with the occasional lego cuff-link thrown in for days when extra flair is required.

      Jul 18, 14 8:18 am

      Do you make your own lego cufflinks?

      Donna - Thanks! That's a good point about visible toes. For some reasons, a lot of people in my office wears sandals in the summer (I am wearing sandals as we speak but it's also a Friday). And I agree it never hurts to dress up. Better look good than bad!

      Non Sequitur - Lego cuff-links just sound AWESOME! Like tint, I am curious if you make your own lego cufflinks?!

      Non Sequitur
      Jul 18, 14 4:27 pm

      tint & Joann... I guess I could make my own, I have enough pieces laying around. Perhaps a local craft or bead/jewellery store sells the little stems in bulk.

      I order them from some Etsy shop (my favourite are the pirate maps) but now you'll have me looking for stems next time I spot a craft store downtown.

      Jul 18, 14 4:55 pm

      NonS, yes, you can find the cufflink stems at bead stores or order them online. I already have some. I'm going to make some for my husband, he is a teacher, his kids love legos, a w e s o m e ! 

      Non Sequitur
      Jul 18, 14 6:03 pm

      Good to know tint.

      I gave some to members of my wedding party a few years ago.

      Jul 19, 14 7:11 pm

      I got no ugly toes....go bare foot in the office all the time......but the office is just next door to my master bedroom.

      Jul 20, 14 1:46 pm

      I work, these days at a 450+ corporate firm, and I still go barefoot sometimes. Dress code is good when clients come around, but is it really necessary otherwise?

      Donna SinkDonna Sink
      Jul 21, 14 9:46 pm

      Problem is, sameold, you never know when a client or potential client is going to come around.  And I also believe that dressing nicely shows respect to your coworkers.

      Please tell me you don't actually walk barefoot on your office floor.  

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Documenting the life between our graduation from architecture school and becoming a licensed architect. They say it's the journey that matters, so here we are experiencing the joy of being a great intern. Follow me @joannlui

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