Business Attire

Throughout my working life in the UK I wore a suit and tie. Here in the US, I have not worn a tie, much less a suit to the office since I started working. The dress code at work stipulates business casual, which translates to not jeans and not tee-shirts. I usually wear a collar shirt, but polo shirts are acceptable. A recent relaxation in code has allowed jeans on a Friday. This may be relaxed by UK standards, but is apparently strict by the norms of Northern California, where jeans and tee-shirts are just fine. It took me many months here before I stopped feeling under-dressed at the lack of a tie.

Recently, we had a week long event at work, to celebrate Californian life.

Monday was sports day; I came to work in an Oakland’s A shirt. The A’s we the most popular choice, followed by the Raiders and the Sharks.

Tuesday was dress like a nerd day. I wore a tee-shirt with a programming joke emblazoned on the front and wrapped tape around the bridge of my glasses. This latter touch was a very common interpretation of the day’s theme.

Wednesday was dress in gold day, to reflect the state’s nickname (The Golden State). I wore a hold colored shirt.

Thursday was hat day, I am not sure how that related to the California theme. I wore my sun hat, that was described by several people as an Indiana Jones hat.

Friday was beach day. It was then that I strode so far from my comfort zone for work attire. I wore swimming trunks, a tee shirt advertising Kenyan beer, and carried a beach towel over my arm. I did not quite manage the bare foot look, but I have never been so under-dressed at work.

None of these clothing choices, stopped me from working normally. It certainly gave me pause to wonder why the tie and jacket is still considered compulsory in so many places.

Published in: on 30 June, 2012 at 16:29  Leave a Comment  

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