What is the dress code in your office?


I'm starting this thread because it's an interesting topic that has grown out of (and kind of derailed) another thread.

  • Common attire?
  • Banned (or frowned-upon) attire?
  • What size and type of office?  (big? small? corporate? boutique? other?)
Feb 24, 12 1:55 pm

- Business casual (dark jeans common)

- None. Before the layoffs, some guys were wearing hats. Not my thing in an office environment.

- Small, open office.

Feb 24, 12 2:10 pm  · 

Oh fun - I'll start

My office:

Official Dress Code:  Business Casual

Common Attire:  Very design heavy firm so you get quite the dressers.  Like many of them men I prefer nice slacks, button down shirt and blazer.  Jeans on friday.

Banned Attire:  The obvious stuff - nothing unusual.  I even see dudes with face piercing and that seams to fly ok with people.  I feel this is the most leniant I've ever seen a dress code at a firm.

Corporate Firm (More than 40 offices worldwide)

300 Staff in our office

Feb 24, 12 2:22 pm  · 

- Business Casual, jeans on Fridays (I wear them any day, my boss does on Fridays)

- None

- Small architectural studio

I guess that being the only woman here, I get to have different styles. Guys just wear the usual pants + button shirt.

Feb 24, 12 2:35 pm  · 

40 staff in this office Northern California

Corporate (3,000 employees worldwide)

Official office dress code: Biz casual

What people here actually wear: blue jeans, dockers, cubavera shirts, cheap dress guy wears shirts with nike logos everyday, 75% of  the staff looks like they shopped at Walmart 15 years ago, I'm embarrassed when clients walk through the studio.

Feb 24, 12 2:40 pm  · 

- No official dress code. Casual button-down shirts, jeans (worn by both partners and staff), lots of ankle boots, the occasional pair of 'architecty' sneakers. I have occasionally worn a sequined sweater or bright-colored pants without anyone looking askance.

- None. Unspoken policy is that clothes should be clean, fit well, reasonably stylish. Nothing too revealing or ripped/sloppy looking. T-shirts are rare but not unheard of, especially in darker colors.

- Small office in NYC. 15 people, most in their late twenties/early thirties.

Feb 24, 12 3:02 pm  · 
  • Casual attire - jeans, t-shirts, polos - anything goes.  Business casual for meetings.
  • See above - pretty much anything goes.
  • Small, open office of 6 (5 guys, 1 girl) - St. Louis
Feb 24, 12 3:27 pm  · 

    Common attire? Mostly whatever we want sans a white V neck t-shirt which my boss thought was underwear when I came in on a Friday. Casual Friday is more like any other day except more casual shoes. Lots of school colors for the local university come up on Fridays, or game days.

Banned (or frowned-upon) attire? Clean, white, V-neck tshirts.

What size and type of office?  (big? small? corporate? boutique? other?) Small laid back firm with open office.

Feb 24, 12 3:38 pm  · 

common attaire - ranges from suit and tie (interview days) to jeans and t-shirts (what I'm wearing today). overall, we have a couple snappy dressers and most of us are pretty normal (ie boring). 


banned - nothing officially. we're trying so hard to be hip-casual that we have a reasonably good understanding and ability to self-edit without the need to lay down any 'laws'


small laid back boutique firm (quoting my own firm profile). open office. heavy coffee consumption. warehouse space.

Feb 24, 12 4:49 pm  · 

 Common attire

  • business casual, jeans, chinos, khakis, button up shirts

Banned (or frowned-upon) attire?

  • nothing officially, but keep it classy people What size and type of office? 

What size and type of office? 

  • small, 3 person firm, mainly commercial work.


Feb 24, 12 4:49 pm  · 

Just no shorts basically, and nothing scandalous 

Feb 24, 12 5:08 pm  · 

3  experiences// 


- most people wear jeans and a sweater or blank shirt. some people will wear a collared shirt if they have a client meeting. partners wear jeans daily. 

- ive never seen anyone frowned upon. but most people are pretty trendy

-15 person design firm in Munich



-everyone is totally different. some people come in dress slacks and dress shirts. some people come in shorts and graphic tees and flip flops. 

- nothing is frowned upon. we're highly educated peeps, not walmart employees.

-150 person design firm in London



-dress shirts and slacks. jeans on friday only but still with dress shoes.

-not obeying above

- 20 person firm in Houston.... oh america...

Feb 24, 12 5:21 pm  · 

with "2//" - you're a mind reader (the walmart part).

Mar 1, 17 12:42 pm  · 

Business Causal - Slacks, button ups, decent shoes. Dark jeans on Fridays. 

Banned - nothing officially, looking sloppy maybe

Office - corporate/commercial ~120 people in office


1st floor was Interior Design, Planning, Graphics. Basement was Architecture and Engineering.

The 1st floor was noticeably better dressed. Probably because there were more clients, reps, other people coming and going. Plus everyone knows interior designers dress better than architects!

Feb 24, 12 6:04 pm  · 

Every office I worked at, the Interior designers always dress better

Feb 24, 12 6:57 pm  · 

Aren't they all just bored rich housewives getting out of the house???...just kidding.


Feb 24, 12 7:15 pm  · 

Size and type of office: 18 folks total;: residential, offices, restaurant, retail, schools, performing arts, historical, master-planning, civic, churches, and interiors

Common attire: Hmm...usually depends upon hierarchy/age/position within the firm.  Fairly Casual during the week [nice pants or dark jeans with un-tucked button downs;  Fridays can be very casual [t-shirts, jeans & old cons]; On interview days: slacks and jackets w/ button downs [no ties].  Almost always a supplementary sweater or jacket because our building is freezing [the acountant lady controls the thermostat].

Banned (or frowned-upon) attire:  Not specifically stated, but neckties are "banned"...definitely frowned upon.  Shorts and flip flops are highly "discouraged" but that rule could be broken on very hot days.


Feb 24, 12 7:45 pm  · 

my office requires, requires us to wear nipple high pressed and pleated Dungarees.

Feb 24, 12 9:08 pm  · 
1  · 

Right now, as I sit here working in my home office on a Fri. evening, I'm wearing sweat pants and a sweat shirt.  But they match.

Feb 24, 12 11:44 pm  · 

Firm - 50+ person firm. Major Metro area California

Dress  -  Typical attire - Men, Jeans (in all colors and conditions) or upscale pants. Tee shirts (including partners) & all sorts of shirts. I've seen shoes run from flip flops to sneakers, to neat modern leathers.   Women, usually looked better, and their attire ran from modern skirt & tops, to jeans & jackets. Shoes tend to be comfortable & stylish.

One caveat was the interns - Usually from overseas. Guys had horrible graphic tees and some girls looked VERY inappropriate - Stilletos and short shorts.

Banned - Nothing. I used to joke we had graphic standards but no dress code (and its true).

Feb 25, 12 1:15 pm  · 


Feb 26, 12 12:22 pm  · 
Token AE

Business casual/ business formal/ site visit gear. Jeans are ok any day of the week.

No shorts or sandals/ flip flops. Ever.

350 person A/E firm in Boston

Feb 26, 12 7:27 pm  · 

from wsj link above 



Feb 26, 12 8:06 pm  · 

One of my old planning professors used to mock the fancy-sock-wearing of architects.  Now, after working for one and also seeing the photo above, I'll at least have to give him that point.

Feb 26, 12 8:16 pm  · 


say what? we never dressed that way at SOM-SF - my boss wore jeans

Feb 26, 12 10:08 pm  · 

dark jeans and a black tee...

Feb 27, 12 10:01 am  · 

Dress code? Here?

Adults in the office are allowed dress themselves.  Children, however, are expected to follow their mother's assistance.  This is strictly enforced.

Don't make us call your mom, yo!

Feb 27, 12 10:12 am  · 

mustaches required. men and women.

Feb 29, 12 4:44 am  · 

Official Dress Code: Suit and Tie to Biz Casual

Common Attire:  Casual

Banned Attire:  t shirts sneakers

Feb 29, 12 8:23 pm  · 

small office mostly staffed by women

casual - jeans and polo shirts. Jackets and button-downs for important meetings

Mar 1, 12 8:47 am  · 
Kamu Kakizaki

dress well with taste. my reason for leaving engineering. 

Mar 1, 12 11:13 pm  · 

Considered, careful, poignant.

It's a large ,but design-oriented firm, so you see a lot of people dressing towards what they think is expected of them. Of course you get the senior partners in dress shirts and slacks (or suits on special occasions) but there's also joe schmoe designer in expensive denim and a vintage flannel. People like to dress as their peers do.

What's potentially more interesting are the people who dress looking ahead to promotions. You can sometimes tell who is outrageously ambitious and who hides that ambition simply by what they wear. Of course, there is always those dark horse workaholics who seem to get promoted no matter what they choose for attire. :)

Jul 7, 12 12:01 am  · 

    Common attire?

casual to overly casual in the summertime (some people walk around in bare feet.)

    Banned (or frowned-upon) attire?

Nothing. some people wear typical office biz-casual, others show off tattoos. One person has dreads.

    What size and type of office?  (big? small? corporate? boutique? other?)

Medium sized (30) public space, landscape architecture and urban design firm in Berlin.

My boyfriend works at a well known arch firm here and they dress like hungover teenagers. I don't understand... there is no sense of having a professional environment. We try to dress nicely to put forward a professional image but it seems like it is completely wasted on Berliners.

Actually it seems like everyone in Berlin dresses from their grandparents' closet (and not in a funky vintage way either).

Oct 9, 12 3:52 am  · 
Maria M

•Common attire?

anyhting goes... we have the usual mix: over 40 guys dressed the same way they used to in their student days... posh boys in chinos... student girls in short dresses with holes in them... a trendy east londoner dressed like Maggie Thatcher... a director with suspenders and no dress sence...

•Banned (or frowned-upon) attire?

nothig obvious though we did have a secretary who used to wear dresses that looked like short "seductive" underwear, hideous transparent stuff with fluff and frills - desite not being blessed with a good figure... people stared but still no one said anyhting to her... also, its kind of an unwritten rule to dress up for meetings and presentations. some people keep their smart clothes in the cupboard in the office.

•What size and type of office?  (big? small? corporate? boutique? other?)

London-based, medium sized, private design-led practice, 30 staff and shrinking by the day...

Oct 9, 12 4:25 am  · 

i asked this question of my firm before i was hired, they said

" we wish to be respectful of designers' personal style"

so basically you can where whatever you want,

converse, toms, sandals, t-shirts, sweaters, jeans.. everyone has days they dress up and down just cause..

dress nicely when there is a client meeting is all i was told..  i love it

Chinese firm in Shanghai

60 person firm

im guessing the only things that would be banned are such garments witch leave your naughty bits exposed (but its china so thats not really a problem)

Oct 9, 12 5:50 am  · 

Common Attire: Company logo graphic t-shirt, button-down shirts, nice jeans, work pants, steel toes boots.

Best combo is Black Dickies work pant/ black button-down combo. 


Banned attire: Shorts, other t-shirts, open toe shoes, jewelry that can catch on machines or parts


Size and Type: Small design-build firm.

Oct 9, 12 3:29 pm  · 

I own a hotel and I have dress code for the staff there. The staff in each department has special uniforms based on their work. For example the female staff in the guest care department has frocks with the hotel name printed in them. Similar is the case for each staff in my hotel. The uniforms were specially made from Club Ink in Toronto. 

In any industry it is better to bring a policy of dress code for staff.

Aug 11, 15 6:19 am  · 

One member of the cleaning staff in our office was wearing a t-shirt with the logo of a competing firm here for a couple weeks. I thought it was funny, but eventually the management asked her to stop. She seemed to think it gave her more credibility - showed she had industry experience :)

Aug 11, 15 6:54 am  · 

-people workout in the morning (by bike / gym / running ) then shower at the office (yes, we have 2 shower rooms at our office) and change into their work clothes. Some change into their jeans, others into suits, and some even keep their shorts on during the day. I workout in the morning and come into shorts, since I shower at the gym and am still drying out. i'll bring a change of clothes but sometimes forget to change. there are no dress codes even though its stated in the handbook. everyone leaves extra clothes at the office in case there's an occasion where we need to change for an event or someone spilled a drink on themselves.

-big company

Aug 11, 15 4:15 pm  · 

What about facial hair? How does your office react to that?

Aug 12, 15 4:20 am  · 

i shave once a week (full beard after 2 weeks) and wearing the typical architect black shirts with jeans today. my wife finds the all black hilarious but if i wore a white t-shirt under the black button shirt I would look like a priest.

Aug 12, 15 7:49 am  · 

Not unless you wear a white turtleneck. 

Aug 12, 15 12:16 pm  · 

@midlander: that's hilarious.

Aug 12, 15 2:31 pm  · 

Casual to buisness casual. I dress casual because I am in the field alot. Mechanial Engineer.

Aug 14, 15 6:42 am  · 

For me,I usually choose wear business suit in black.or bandage dresses.

Dec 9, 15 8:44 am  · 

Whatever the hell we want, people come in with muddy boots, crocs, slippers, jogging bottoms, sport shirts, chino's and whatever you want.

Dec 9, 15 9:00 am  · 


Dec 9, 15 9:13 am  · 

^what happened to his leg? shark attack swimming in the Med?

Dec 9, 15 10:47 am  · 
Non Sequitur

I'd leave the pants off if I had a scar like that.

Dec 9, 15 10:50 am  · 

That's actually a pretty convincing argument for decorative scarification.

Dec 9, 15 10:50 am  · 

less is more.

Dec 9, 15 11:04 am  · 

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