Monday, August 27, 2012

Navigating a new dress code

I touched on some new job jitters, but I'm starting to get settled a few weeks into the gig. Though I'm in roughly the same industry as I was back in California, I have noticed some notable changes in the dress. The differences are due in part to company culture/environment and in part due to the different sartorial sensibilities of Miamians (vs. Sacramentans).

My observations so far:

Dresses – A popular choice around the office and a good go-to option. Hemlines are also a little more relaxed here.

Walking-friendly shoes – It's a big campus, and I learned quickly to wear comfortable shoes. Those blisters from week one are still fading.

Color – A Miami thing, perhaps? There was a lot more black and gray in Sacramento.

Suits – A rarity in our office, even for VPs. I wore one for the interview and again last week (for a photoshoot), and totally looked out of place.

Jeans – We have casual Fridays, but folks rarely wear jeans. I need to get some non-jean casual pants (do these black skinnies work?).

I've spent most of this first month erring on the conservative side, and it still remains to be seen if and how my old work style will change. Some of it is just personal preference. My wont for a crisp button-up isn't echoed much in my office, but reflects my personal style, so that's something I'll likely keep. 

How much do you change your work style from one office environment to another? What regional/industry differences have you noticed?


  1. black skinnys seem possible as long as they aren't skin tight. i'd stick with khakis or chinos, perhaps in navy or olive green.

    1. Thanks, Joanna! They are not skin tight and are a thicker material (not jeggings like at all). I'm on the lookout for some khakis or chinos...any recs?

  2. I totally understand where you're coming from! Except I'm in the opposite boat. I'm from Florida, and love bold colors and prints. Now that I live in Vancouver, people are generally more casual and wear darker colors too (must be a West Coast thing?). I'm starting a new job next month, and although it's business casual, I still plan on keeping a professional but fun style. I don't mind being more dressed up than my peers-- that's just me! So my opinion is that you should wear whatever makes you feel happy. =)

    1. I don't know if it's a West Coast thing (black reigns in Northeastern workplaces, too, from what I remember), but there is definitely something about Florida that makes me reach for color (the sun, maybe?). I'm all for keeping it fun in the office, and I agree — it's no biggie to be slightly more dressy. Attitude matters most.

  3. I go for a suiting dress, a nice fitting short or long sleeve, knee length sheet dress basically and closed toe shoes. I think that’s always a safe bet in every office environment.I think the key ingredient to looking professional is making sure that everything fits you properly, its not too tight, its not falling off and things like that.


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