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I have accepted a new job at a particular company. The company has casual attire (Jeans, T-Shirt). I have even seen some people wearing shorts (I would pass on that!).

Since, I will be joining as a new employee how I should be dressed for 2-3 months. Should I still wear formal attire (full sleeves with dress pants).

Also, how can I make a good impression as a new employee? I will be in a senior level position and I will be responsible for training other employees on certain technology.

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This might be two questions, unless your last paragraph is only about dress. Related: workplace.stackexchange.com/questions/10733/…, workplace.stackexchange.com/questions/4078/…. –  Monica Cellio Jul 25 at 22:15

6 Answers 6

up vote 16 down vote accepted

I would not be afraid to dress down a little from dress pants and sleeves. For the first week or two if you stuck with nice jeans and mixing up "polo"shirts and dress shirts you should be safe. And over time you should be able to settle into something you are comfortable with. I am a fan of always being a bit more put together than the group, but not way over dressed.

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Look at what roles of similar seniority dress like, is it casual, a little more formal? Your best bet is to dress along the same lines as your peers. (or ever so slightly nicer if you're concerned) but if they all dress casual, then you'll seem out of place if you don't do the same.

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Good suggestion! Employees of the same level and above wear jeans and T-Shirt or Polo Shirt. –  john doe Jul 25 at 20:56
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Wear some slacks and a long sleeve shirt the first day. The second, dress like your supervisor was dressed. –  System 360 Jul 26 at 0:53

I am this site's in-house expert on "homeless casual". Here are my rules:

  1. To dress for comfort and for practicality is to dress for success - you're going be in those clothes 10 to 12 hours a day.

  2. If the weather is hot, you want to dress to let the perspiration evaporate, unless you are one of those who appreciate the finer points of broiling in your own clothes.

  3. Your clothes are part of your toolset, just as your laptop and your mobile devices are. I don't do much crawling on the floor as a systems engineer anymore, eating dust bunnies, but these occasions fully justify my camo t-shirt, black BDU pants and black SWAT boots :)

  4. As an engineer, I am trained to keep my tools in tiptop shape - I prefer tools that are easy to keep in tiptop shape - t-shirts because I don't to deal with "ring around the collar" and in general, clothing that is fast-drying, requires no ironing and can take punishment.

  5. You're dressing to convey a message about yourself. The question is, what message do you want to convey? Choose. The message I want to convey is "Smart. Competent. No nonsense. Hard ass" Decide what message you want to convey and I think that which clothes you want to wear becomes obvious.

It's up to you to work out a style that combines comfort, practicality and makes a statement about you that you are happy with. I suspect that you will undergo a fair amount of trial and error before you settle down to a style that you are comfortable and happy with.

I'll note that if you are in a customer facing position, you have the added complication that the company also expects you to dress to represent the company. And of course, your dressing to represent the company is an overarching priority to your company.

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My philosophy is to always dress business casual for the first few weeks of a new job (unless otherwise stated that they are business/ business formal (though those arent usually technical jobs anyways). So for you, slacks, a nice button down shirt, no tie or jacket.

Even though most people in my group wear jeans every day, I always try to wear slacks and a nice top. I am younger so I do this more to make sure everyone takes me seriously, though for you I doubt that is an issue.

Once you become established somewhere then it's okay to bring out the jeans so long as they are nice (I tend to think only dark wash jeans are apporpriate, but that's just me) and a good button up.

I tend to follow the person directly above me. In my old job he never wore jeans except on Fridays so that's what I did. Here at my new job he wears jeans. Perhaps in a few months I would feel well established enough to wear them but not yet.

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I think it's always better to come in on your first day overdressed. You'll have to deal with some jokes about wearing a tie or being too dressed up, but you'll set the standard. I would encourage you to dress nicely (button-up and slacks) at least once a week, even if you have to deal with jokes.

Looking more professional than your peers is never a bad thing. If it gets you noticed by bosses, all the better.

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@GarrisonNeely: It's easy, in casual-dress environments, to step over from 'looks the part' into 'way overdressed and not a team player'. This is not to undercut your valuable point that dressing nicely can be useful, rather it is to address the point that in some casual-dress cultures dressing too nicely can set one apart in a bad way. –  Nahkki Jul 28 at 19:14
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Dressing nicer on a regular basis means you never have to explain the nice dress when you have an interview for the next job. –  thursdaysgeek Jul 29 at 18:48

If you think you're going to start out working in small groups, you may want to dress slightly better, but not much better than the others. The goal is to fit in as soon as possible.

For the days/times you'll be conducting training, I would definitely dress a little better than jeans and would probably wear a shirt with a collar.

Be aware of any after work activities (drinks, diner, outdoor activities). There may be some functionality to the casual wear.

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