What should an architect wear?

Wood Guy

I recall threads on socks and cars, but can't find one on general clothing style. How should an architect dress? Yes, it's a broad question. I'm interested in both general and specific ideas, as well as links to relevant sites (or previous threads, if there are any). 

Aug 9, 19 9:24 am
Non Sequitur
Wood Guy

Excellent, thank you

Non Sequitur

Personally, I mostly rock a solid colour (often bright) dress shirt and some sort of grey-shade dress pant.  All are well ironed and I have an assortment of funky cufflinks and socks to add to the mix.  Good dress shoes are a must but I'll occasionally wear a golf shirt if I know I'll be super busy on a deadline or something.

Sport jacket sometimes, ties never unless it's the office xmas party. 

Life is too short to be boring.

Aug 9, 19 10:06 am

What, we're supposed to wear clothes now, too?

Non Sequitur

unfortunately... our office policy handbook states just that.



Wood Guy

I work from home so I'm not subject to the usual workplace dress codes. But I still usually wear something. Fascism-free, at least!



Aug 9, 19 1:40 pm

That old thread was fun, and then turned frustrating, but I'm happy to see we've actually made some progress in the interim five years!

However, I have regressed, or gone lazy, or something: I used to be totally against bare toes and bare arms in the workplace and now I regularly wear bare arms to work. It's just too damn hot, between climate change and being a mid-50yo woman it's HOT! But I always carry a sweater or blazer in case I have a meeting.

And this week - I'm embarrassed to say it - am wearing shoes that expose my toes. I have an injury that's keeping me from wearing close-heeled shoes and the only heelless shoes i have expose my toes. They're designed by an architect, though! Mohop Shoes, By Annie Mohaupt

Aug 9, 19 4:08 pm
Non Sequitur

Page 3 is good, then is escalates rather quickly.


i never thought i would see the day where Donna sports open toed shoes at work

I definitely feel shame, curt.


currently wearing birkenstocks, ( no socks, unlike my university prof ) jeans and a t shirt, and i'm the boss, but then again it is friday!

Aug 9, 19 4:19 pm

A truss, of course.

Aug 9, 19 5:34 pm

I like ties, so I wear ties. Sometimes even a bow tie. I have never felt uncomfortable and I’ve never heard of a client feeling uncomfortable with my attire. The ties are usually brighter or bolder colors paired with a more conservative colored, patterned shirt.

There are two clothing choices that bother me. 1) People trying to make a “suit” by wearing a black jacket. The shade and weave are usually different from the pants so it is obvious that it is not a suit. What makes it worse is that it is by and large senior staff and principles who I see doing this, so they can definitely afford to go to Macy’s and get a single black suit on sale. 2) Don’t wear a pre-tied tie.

Aug 9, 19 6:11 pm

how is it that they're trying to make it a suit, rather than just a business casual sport coat? coat and pants match too closely?


Black jacket and black pants. Once even saw a black vest added into the mix, and it too was a different shade of black.

atelier nobody

Personally, I'm rather fond of colors - all of them...

Aug 10, 19 12:30 am

When having no meeting schedules with clients, I prefer to wear casuals, it allows me to rest comfortably now and then. A couch near my desk would be very welcome too.

Aug 10, 19 10:48 am

if i want to know if rebar can be cut in a post-tensioned slab, i find a structural engineer who is an expert in that field.  if i want to know how to dress, i find a tailor who is an expert in that field.  it's gotten to the point i don't even dress myself anymore.  i just surround myself with people who hopefully know what they're doing and i do what i can to set them up to succeed.      no french cuffs though.  have to draw a line somewhere, and this isn't Quebec.

Aug 10, 19 11:53 am
Chad Miller

I've always heard two things when it comes to architectural dress . . .

1.  Dress like your boss.

2.  Wear black until something darker comes along.

I disregard that advice for half of the year because it's 100 degrees here in the summer and my boss can wear a sports coat year round, he is clearly cold blooded.  A nice guy, just doesn't get warm.  

Personally I wear an un-tucked short sleeve dress shirt in earth tones.  Nice pants, nice shoes, and keep a sports coat I the office that will go with my normal dress.  I also have long sleeve shirts and ties for initial meetings, interviews, and presentations.   

Aug 12, 19 9:59 am

in contrast, my wife works at a hospital... 

women are "in trouble" for exposing a shin.  In contrast the men (dr.s) have no problem showing off their junk and chest hair through kleenex thin scrubs.

Aug 12, 19 12:47 pm

98% of the time:

6" brown leather boots. Khakis. Brown leather belt. Polo or long sleeve buttoned dress shirt (depends on the weather). 

I probably dress like an engineer.  Don't care. As long as a fanny pack isn't involved, it shouldn't matter. 

Aug 12, 19 2:44 pm
atelier nobody

The classic look.

Aug 12, 19 5:15 pm

I am a fan of the cardigan sweater, its warm in winter, I can open it in summer once I leave the air conditioned office and it hides all my tattoos.

Aug 12, 19 5:58 pm

I would say just about anything if its appropriate ha. 

Aug 14, 19 3:28 pm

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