Dressing Down At The Office And Elsewhere

by Grace aka costofcollege

The trend toward more casual dressing draws mixed opinions.  I mainly like it, but sometimes it goes too far.

For the love of God, stop dressing like crap

… So while you can hold on to your crop tops and ratty band tees, you may also think twice about where and when you wear them. After all, if you dress better, you’ll feel better.

Recently while enjoying sushi at a “nice” local restaurant, I couldn’t help but notice the guys at the table next to us who were dressed like this guy, but with team logo tank tops.

20150811.TTankTop2

 

I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s sometimes a bit confused about appropriate dress.  Lately my questions have been more about men’s sartorial style.

What does “business casual” actually mean at your workplace?  This seems to be common garb for the men I’ve seen lately on their way to the office.  Later when the weather turns cooler, many will add a blazer to their look.

20150809.TBusCasual3
Is the “3-day beard” look acceptable at your office?  Even if you don’t look like Ben Affleck?

20150809.T3DayStubble

And can men wear shorts everywhere these days?

Do you trend toward casual or more dressed up?  How do people dress at your workplace?  Do you care how other people dress?

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112 thoughts on “Dressing Down At The Office And Elsewhere

  1. My industry is super casual but also fashion-conscious. Work wear in my office runs the gamut from cargo shorts & t shirts with ironic sayings to very hipster fashions to full sleeve tattoos to business suits depending on the department and the occasion. There is facial hair of all types.

    I wear mostly jeans in the cooler months, with some dresses & skirts thrown in. A lot of casual dresses in the summer for comfort in the hot weather. When I have client meetings, I’ll isually wear a dress. I don’t even own dress pants anymore.

    The one thing you rarely see is the man uniform of button down shirt and khakis. And khakis on women? Almost never.

  2. I hate dressing up at work. I can’t concentrate when I am uncomfortable. That is why I get a lot more done when I work from home.

  3. When DH and I started dating in the early/mid 90’s, he wore a shirt and tie to work every day. I can’t remember the last time he wore a tie to work – it’s definitely gotten more casual (he’s a structural engineer).

  4. I totally agree, I hate what people wear these days. Looking nice does not have to mean being uncomfortable. My husband dresses like the guy in the picture above – button down and khakis with nice sweaters over top during the winter. I mostly wear dresses or skirts to work and on weekends I’m in nicer jeans, ballet flats or riding boots and a nice top. I wear t-shirts/yoga pants around the house and to exercise. And don’t get me started on what kids wear to school.

  5. What does “business casual” actually mean at your workplace?

    No shorts or shirts with writing on them.

  6. My office has:

    business attire – which still ranges from a formal suit for men or women (but women can go with pants or skirt) to dress pants or khakis/blazer tie for men and dress, skirt or dress pants and a nice top (not revealing)/sweater set/blazer for women.

    business casual attire – which means you are still interacting with the public – khakis and a polo for men and pants/skirts/dress for women with a top that is not considered a “t-shirt” and no spaghetti straps. Friday, this can even be stretched to nice jeans.

    casual/Friday attire – which means you are in the office an not interacting with the public. Jeans, tshirts, more casual pants, but rarely shorts unless they are long bermudas on women.

    Basically it is up to you to determine which day requires which from you. When I was in the office daily, 90 percent was business casual, and 5 percent each of the other two. I was often a bit better dressed than my peers and more likely to be dressed like my boss. However, my job could be a bit unpredictable and I could have to fill in for my boss, so I always wanted to be on the safe side!

  7. My inner monologue is always telling me to dress up, probably leftover from early in my career when I looked very young and my aversion to being mistaken for the admin. Now, we have no admins so no longer a risk, I guess. If I’m dressing up a little, I wear a dress with cardigan or skirt and cardigan, always with flats. I don’t love jeans, so rarely wear them to work. I have a lot of casual pants in different colors that I find more comfortable than jeans. I will admit at being a little (silently) critical of the 40yr old men in cargo shorts and t-shirts. You’re a professional! But like Mooshi, I’d be at home if I had the choice, working from the couch in my yoga pants.

    Management in my company wear jackets for men, and a mix for women. I dress more when I will be interacting with them, but many days I only work with people in other states via conference call. I could be in sweats for all they care.

    On a side note, I’ve started a new role (promotion, so yay) but the guy training me just had a sudden medical emergency that will keep him out indefinitely. I am now thrown in when I know nothing, and don’t even have access to his files, which are on his laptop. I’m completely winging this, and am too embarrassed to ask what some of these acronyms mean. I dread every time I see a new email come in. I am so looking forward to the end of this work week and copious amounts of wine. And maybe chocolate.

  8. I usually wear something like this
    http://www.talbots.com/online/browse/product_details.jsp?id=prdi35240&defaultColor=9925&N=10537&No=72&selectedConcept=&_=1439566511192&Nrpp=24&Nr=AND(OR(product.siteId%3ATalbotsSite)%2COR(product.catalogId%3Acatalog20002))

    On the whole dressing at the office has become casual. We wear a lot of dresses in the summer and this year women are increasingly showing up in maxi dresses with some sort of sweater/jacket to cover up on the top. In other offices in the city which are more formal, dresses with a jacket and heels, men in the shirt and slacks like Coc posted. No one in shorts or jeans except on a Friday.

  9. My office is business attire if meeting with clients. The women business attire is more casual than men. The rest of the time is business casual, except this summer which is casual. Just no rips or writing on them.

    If L is around I could use some shoe help. I have very cold feet and slight bunions (yay me!), so I don’t like to wear open toe shoes at work. But I don’t know what shoes I can wear with dresses and skirts, so in the summer I still only wear pants. Any advice? One inch heel at the most.

  10. Wow, Ivy, that sounds very liberal. You have me wondering industry and location.

    Yesterday I was down in the Wall Street area for happy hour, and the outdoor bar area was a sea of men mainly dressed in white or pale button downs with khaki or darker trousers, looking much like that guy in the picture. The women wore muted tones, and I stood out wearing a bright top with a light-colored skirt. Lots of black, even in the middle of summer.

    Shorts in the office still is something I find it hard to accept, except for those “crazy” tech guys.

  11. Lemon, I’m the last person to give fashion advice, but I share some of your issues. I’ve embraced oxfords to wear with skirts and dresses, particularly because I can usually tighten them to fit my narrow feet. They’re not particularly sexy, but it’s a look that often works well. A daintier style is nice.

  12. I wear track pants every day so I can’t speak to work, but what makes me crazy is when I go out or to a party, the women are dressed to the nines and the men are in jeans and a button down! It looks ridiculous. If I am wearing heels, he had better at LEAST be wearing khakis, no pleats! Don’t even get me started on the men with the bejeweled jeans as if that somehow makes them more formal!

  13. We are very West Coast and if anyone cares what anyone else wears, they don’t mention it. I overheard someone ask our site manager (manages 1500 people, often wears shorts) why he was dressed up one day and he explained that he had to meet with the governor’s representative so he decided he’d better step it up a little.

    I like the shoes and casual-for-women suggestions, because I may have to dress up more in a future job and it would be good to have clothing that fits post-children.

    I went to a funeral for a colleague last weekend and it was clear that none of us dress up much- men were in blazers that went out of style at least 20 years ago.

  14. Atlanta Mom – it isn’t that I’m anti wedge or flats, its that I have no idea what style looks good with skirts and dresses. I have no eye for shoes in regards to coordinating with an outfit. I basically think that any closed toe shoe I would pair with a dress would looked too “sensible”.

  15. Lemon – I also have bunions but I do wear sandals in the summer. I find Merrell run wide, and softwalk comes in wide. My shoe shopping MO is to get like 10 pairs from Zappos and try them all on and then send 9 back or repeat if I have to send all 10 back. I also have a pair of silver oxfords from Tom’s that I got 1/2 size up and they are wider.

    I wear everything with skirts that I wear with pants except for the big chunkier oxfords – mostly ballet flats and sandals in the summer, boots in the winter. I get wide widths or stretch the shoes before I wear them.

    So for work I mostly wear business to business casual – full suit or non-matching blazer (print or texture) with pants/skirt. I ALWAYS wear a blazer since I am still the youngest female attorney in the office and the blazer makes everything authoritative, plus my office is always FREEZING so it keeps me warm. No heels though, and definitely no hose (tights, yes).

    Off-duty for summer I wear a t-shirt (non-ratty) and shorts (athleta). When it gets cooler I will wear jeans, then jeans or leggings in the winter with a dress and sweater or fleece over.

    DH works at home so wears ThinkGeek t-shirts and shorts or jeans depending on the season. If he has a meeting he wears a “VC outfit”, which is a dress shirt (striped usually) and dark jeans with those Nike sneakers with the black upper and white curvy sole.

    I do wish we went out more so I could wear more fancy-casual outfits!

  16. College town, tech businesses – pretty much anything goes around here. But since I work in a more business-y university office, I try to keep it business casual. Several years ago I knew someone who worked in an upper-admin office where men were required to wear ties (and some equivalent dress code for women), but I’m not sure if that policy still stands.
    Typical day: stretchy black pants with a bright blouse/top/sweater
    Dress up for meeting with big-wigs: sheath dress with a jacket, heels or boots (winter)
    Friday with no meetings and the boss is out: cropped pants and an oversized linen tunic
    February day with high temp of 7: meetings or not, it’s jeans, boots, and the warmest sweater I own

  17. I work in a business casual office but I tend to dress more formally most days. In the summer, mostly dresses and skirts with a jacket, bare legs, low wedges or sandals. My office has regular dress-up days in the cooler months when ties are required for the men and women are expected to turn it up a notch. Dress up means different things to different people. For some women, it means 6″ heels and sequined tops. I’m not kidding.

  18. Lemon, would Mary Janes work? They fit my criteria of having less than 1″ heel, closed toed with non-skid soles and they have a strap so they don’t come off if I’m in the fab with overboots on. I think they’re out-of-fashion right now, though.

  19. The one thing I’ve noticed at work is that the high powered women at work dress like Sheryl Sandberg – very natural looking, no heavy make up, simple hair and clothes. I guess it started with the tech male executives and now it seems to have spread. Even the women who used to dress up are dressing down in that tech type of look/style.

  20. CofC,

    I think she means True Religion jeans. They were popular among the douches a few years ago.

  21. Memorial day to labor day I usually dress like the guy in khakis CoC posted except I wear genuine wool slacks. Sometimes with a tie. Rest of the year is dress shoes slacks dress shirt tie. I always have a solid color blazer in my office but hardly ever wear it. Except between christmas and New years when even jeans are ok.
    I can’t actually pull off the 3-day stubble well so I shave M-F and usually saturday night.

  22. Grad school was very casual – jeans and t-shirts; board shorts/gross t-shirts for boat days; overnight experiments = yoga pants.

    This job is business casual. But I can get away with some casual stuff. Over Xmas, I wore skinny jeans, a tunic top, and converse sneakers. Basically my rule is “would I feel uncomfortable meeting the governor?” If my answer is no I go with it. Today I have legging style pants (they are thick cotton with a button and zipper – feel like leggings but are structured), and a thin sweater-like blouse, and keds with a lace-like overlay. Shoes from payless, outfit from H&M. My usual wear is pants (either business or jean-like) in black, gray, or beige with fun tops. My shoes are usually dansko clogs, or flats. I don dresses and skirts during the summer. I have one dress that’s way too short to be worn alone. I pair that with leggings and flats. In the fall, I wear a flyaway cardigane

    At home I wear jeans, capris, or shorts. I sometimes where my “work” shirts with casual bottoms to dress down. T-shirts make a strong appearance.

    My wardrobe has doubled since graduation – work and play.

    DH works in a lab – his play clothes are his lab clothes. He does have a decent business wardrobe because I realized he’d either go to functions requiring dress clothes, or need to present at meetings. His field is very formal at meetings (comparatively to mine where field clothes are wholly appropriate).

  23. I had lunch today in the headquarters of a major american bank. I was very underdressed, and I was grateful that I only ran into one person I used to know.

    Even though it was a summer Friday, they all looked just right in smart casual. The guys were all wearing some kind of button down. Some were more fashion forward than others, but no golf shirts.

    A lot of cute dresses on the women. I didn’t know I would be here when I left the house earlier today, so I was in flip flops and cropped jeans. Very casual, but many people don’t care in the summer.

    We just got invited to a wedding in October. Barn in Connecticut. There is a section on their web site devoted to the definition of fun, comfortable cocktail attire.

  24. Advertising. So casual, artsy, trendy, tending toward overly casual with some departments.

    I have ugly feet (bunions, running, etc), but I like open toe wedges for summer. The styles where most of your foot is covered but your toes peek out. Then you are avoiding straps, but still summery. Cole Haan makes some leather ones. Tom’s makes canvas ones (which are on sale for a great price on the Costco website).

  25. I’ve mentioned my foot pains before. I still need to have a second opinion. Those TB wedges I could prob only tolerate to walk to my desk in, then would need to switch shoes. The ballet flat style has no support, flats kill my feet. I am wearing Clarks shoes, very plain and boring but comfy.

    I wear athletic shoes almost everywhere for comfort reasons. DH does the same.

  26. work attire: casual M thru Thurs, dress pants, skirts, dresses, don’t see many people in suits or ties.

    we can wear jeans and tennis shoes on Fridays

  27. My current job has business casual attire, which I love. However, I’m moving to a department which is much more formal and uptight. I’m kind of annoyed that I’m going to have to step it up a notch, and am trying to figure out how I can look more formal without sacrificing comfort. I think a few comfy skirts will do the trick.

    Question–I wear riding boots to work in the winter with skirts and have had a terrible time finding reasonably priced, but quality tights. Most of the ones I get tear or get holes in them after 1-2 wears. Any advice?

  28. Houston – I buy leggings. I’ve had luck at H&M selling thin leggings (thick tights). I have 2-3 pairs now.

  29. I have those Cole Haans as well, but in a lower height. They are some of the most comfortable dress shoes I’ve owned, and I also have bunions. I know I got the suggestion here, so thank you to whoever recommended them.

  30. The lower wedge Cole Haans are cute. Can I assume that the Tali Grand Lace style would work with skirts and dresses? Again, I am horrible with accessorizing with shoes. And do Cole Haans last? I don’t want to spend $180 and have them start to look worn after a few wearings.

  31. I think Cole Haans last very well. But I hardly ever pay full price. If you sign up for emails from the Cole Haan website, the frequently run 25% off sales. They are also often on sale at Nordstrom or can be purchased at Macy’s or Bloomingdale’s with one of their coupons.

  32. I wear ballet flats from Land’s End all the time. Some are peep-toe, like the ones I’m wearing now.

    I wear dresses more than half the time, but do also wear pants, preferably of a sort that looks dressy but can go in the washer. I rarely wear suits, but I wear jackets pretty regularly. Jeans or shorts, never.

  33. I was reading the article and the comments (I know: never read the comments) and came across this:

    Heck, in Hawaii, they wear shorts everywhere no matter what kind of an event, year round.

    No. No, we do not wear shorts everywhere for every event. The guys in my office wear the standard downtown business wear of aloha shirt and slacks, but for court or similarly formal occasions a jacket is expected. Formal evening occasions do involve black tie. (And people don’t do the white jacket thing like Casablanca, even though you’d think we’re plenty tropical enough to warrant it, but it’s just not the done thing.)

  34. Tee, hee and totally off topic. I guess this may be may be for the males who know jackshit about wedges.

    As I am feebly attempting to work on a beautiful South Florida summer day (I’m not fooling anybody), I have the PGA Tournament on in the background. Something has to be on, and somebody needs to be watching golf. I am sure I’m one of three.

    I just saw something wonderful. My second favorite golfer, John Daly is quite simply a pig. He is noted for, among other things, being obese, using his cigarette butts as golf tees and his outrageous clothing. If you are me, you gotta love him.

    He also has a temper. Today, he hit three golf balls into Lake Wisconsin, or whatever that they call that Lake that Ris loves so much. When the third ball went into the Lake, in a predictable act of bad behavior, Daly heaved his golf club about 100 yards, over a cliff, into the Lake.

    Well, there was a boat out there. It backed up a bit, and a kid– about 11 or 12 years old– climbed to the back of the boat, put his arm into the water and fished out the club. Of course, the crowd saw this and when the boy triumphantly raised the club let out a massive roar.

    Good for the kid!

  35. I could wear scrubbs everyday, but they fit me terribly and I hate feeling like I am wearing pajamas. Well, I hate it when I am trying to get work done. Scrubbs are designed to fit a 40-year old man with a significant pot-belly. When I wear scrubbs, I begin to resemble that demographic. I mostly wear long skirts and thin blouses that can go under a white coat. One group I worked for required ER docs to wear business professional (including ties for the males). They felt that patients were much happier with the service and impressed by our awesome care when we looked put together.

    I love the VC uniform — we talk about that outfit at home, but have never had a name for it. DH went to SV a few years ago for a big customer meeting. The four guys were all wearing trendy jeans (but not bedazzled), athletic-like shoes (that had never seen any kind of strenuous physical activity), button down shirts (striped for most, DH had something patterned and hip). DH wouldn’t have noticed, but I bet all but him would have worn some fancy socks, too.

    In tech, even at his current old-economy company, he usually wears jeans and a clever shirt. It has presented a problem in the past when he needs to upgrade to interview attire: fancy jeans and button down shirt – hard to be incognito in the office.

    For shoes, I love fluvogs, by the way. Funky, but not too loud.

  36. I stopped wearing shorts except for sports/exercising at about age 50, and I think most other women should consider doing this also. Christie Brinkley and Sharon Stone are among the exceptions. (Did you happen to catch Sharon Stone’s (photoshopped) nude pics today?) Okay, that’s very an ageist and sexist attitude, but I see what I see.

    After the Toyota discussion earlier this week, I don’t think I’ll even bother test driving the Toyota Rav4 I was considering.

  37. PTM, that’s awesome! CoC – the jeans anonymous posted are EXACTLY what I was talking about. Still popular with middle aged douches.

  38. I regularly wear shorts on weekend days — my “never” on jeans and shorts referred to at the office. I don’t expect to stop at 50, either. Actually, it never occurred to me that shorts in general might be considered an age-related garment. (Some styles look too young, like Daisy Dukes.)

  39. Hijack….my kids started school yesterday. By which I mean they showed up at school with their backpacks, pens, paper, various and sundry school supplies. All day yesterday, apparently for all their classes, the teacher went over the various syllabi. In no class for three kids (7 teachers each), did any child recieve a text book. I am irked that we have to start school so early. I am doubly irked that the kids go to school and don’t do any schoolwork. I am a just unreasonably cranky?

  40. In the article, the writer referred to people wearing PJs on an airplane! Well, when the consumers (or airlines) decide to stop squeezing us all in like cattle, I’ll consider wearing clothing that is less comfy than my yoga pants and a t-shirt. I do agree with the author about Broadway though, people should dress business casual at the least. However, I have to let it slide for daytime performances during the summer… NYC tourists probably don’t have enough time to go back to where they are staying to change.

  41. PTM – my DH is also one of the 3 also “working from home” with the PGA Championship on in the background. :)

  42. Murphy – I’d be cranky at how early the kids are starting, but that depends on when school ended (early May? mid June?). If they don’t do any fancy learning tomorrow, then I’d be irked. From what I remember, only in college did we get to learning on the first day.

  43. VC = Venture Capital. Ada nails the look.

    DH wears cowboy boots every day to work. It works in Texas. He usually wears dress shirts with either slacks or jeans.

    I am starting to agree on the shorts thing. I bought two pairs of shorts and haven’t worn them once this summer. Flowy skirts (long or shorter) seem more comfortable for the heat.

  44. As I’m not a fan of dry cleaning, I have multiple pairs of these pants which I pair with a printed top, blazer or sweater. Looks like they only have the plus size in stock right now which I’m hoping is just temporary as I buy new pairs every couple of years. The only downside is that the sizing is inconsistent so I typically buy multiple sizes to find the right pair.

    http://www1.macys.com/shop/product/style-co.-plus-size-solid-wide-leg-pants?ID=450375&CategoryID=34053#fn=sp%3D1%26spc%3D7%26slotId%3D7%26kws%3Dwide-leg%20style

    Both men and women dress more fashionably in London than Seattle, no surprise. I’ve slowly made some upgrades to my wardrobe but everything here is so expensive and I hate the way British stores merchandise.

  45. I wear shorts still, but they’re long shorts. Come down close to my knees.

  46. “But I don’t know what shoes I can wear with dresses and skirts, so in the summer I still only wear pants. Any advice?”

    DS’ friends wear Chucks. And they’ll be available with arch support!!

    One of his friends wears Doc Martens, but those look way too hot (as in temperature).

  47. “men were in blazers that went out of style at least 20 years ago.”

    I’m a bit surprised that you would know that they went out of style.

    I don’t know if I would; after all, I’m the guy who handed down my interview suit from 30-odd years ago to DS, and think he looks better in it than a lot of the other kids in his speech and debate tournaments.

    BTW, back when you were in debate, did the guys all wear suits? Did you see some odd outfits?

  48. “work attire: casual M thru Thurs, dress pants, skirts, dresses, don’t see many people in suits or ties.
    we can wear jeans and tennis shoes on Fridays”

    Jeans and tennis shoes aren’t casual?

  49. Finn, most guys in debate wore suits. I didn’t see many odd outfits, but Iowa is pretty conservative and you weren’t going to win if you dressed outlandishly.

    I don’t know how I know the blazer was out of fashion by 20+ years, I just know- probably the fabric, loose fit and pattern of the fabric. It’s the same way I know that the maternity tops currently in fashion (tight, stretchy) would not fit in at my current workplace, so I wore old tunic-style sweaters for the last month of my pregnancy. I’m not L, who can tell you which year a woman’s T-shirt was in style, but I am aware that the unisex vendor polos that I’ve been given don’t have their logos optimally situated for a nursing mother.

  50. WCE, I didn’t necessarily mean outlandish.

    In DS’ tournaments, the guys pretty much all wear suits. Some of them have very nice suits that look very new, and perhaps tailored.

    But a lot of the guys’ suits pretty clearly look like they were using whatever was available to them without buying a new suit. Many of the suits are ill-fitting, and I’ve seen things like tuxedo jackets paired with dress shirts, neckties, and non-matching pants.

    These are the type of odd outfits about which I was wondering.

    So by contrast, I think (although I could easily be wrong) that DS looks good in my suit, given that his body type and size are very close to what mine was, so it fits him well, and I chose a very basic cut.

  51. Finn– It was all suits and similar dresses/styles for the girls when I did speech & debate. And among those of us without a lot of money to spend for new, high end things, there was a lot of “this fits well enough” from TJ Maxx & the like for tournaments. But that was in the dark ages. I haven’t seen what gets worn lately, although based off of judging local mock trial, there is a wide variety of what seems to be considered appropriate dress code.

  52. Finn, among the novice guys, I think there was a lot of wearing whatever was available. White dress shirt, dress pants, dress socks and tie were mandatory for guys in choir and quite a few guys dressed up for church, so probably more guys had appropriate dress clothes already. Among varsity debaters who were likely to be my competition when we broke to quarter-finals, most had at least a Ross/TJ Maxx level suit or blazer/slacks that had been purchased for them.

  53. Lemon – be aware that Cole Haan runs v narrow. I need a wide in the air tali (that is as high as I wear for any length of time and I only wear those for big meetings) and then I need to stretch them.

  54. 20 yrs ago men’s suits had pleated pants and were v baggy overall compared to now. Double breasted was more prevalent than it is today and so was that oogy dark green/olive color, kind of halfway between green and grey.

  55. L– My dh *loves* that color. That, and that weird shade of tan/orange that I consider baby poop brown. Love the man, but those colors? Sigh.

  56. I could wear scrubbs everyday, but they fit me terribly and I hate feeling like I am wearing pajamas. Well, I hate it when I am trying to get work done. Scrubbs are designed to fit a 40-year old man with a significant pot-belly. When I wear scrubbs, I begin to resemble that demographic.

    Ada, have you looked at scrubs lately? There are a zillion different styles for women, many of which are tailored to be very flattering.

  57. I am doubly irked that the kids go to school and don’t do any schoolwork.

    When have they ever done actual work on the first day? Certainly not when I was in school.

  58. I am not sure the origins of this, but it is an unwritten rule that physicians never purchase scrubs. I have seen a few docs (mostly male) wear team logo scrubs. I may have even purchased some maternity scrub pants. However, the tailored and/or patterned scrub is solely the domain of nurses and support staff.

    I suppose the assumption may be that if you are wearing scrubs it is because you do work that requires the hospital to wash you laundry; if you are wearing non-standard scrubs, then you should be dressing professionally. In residency, surgeons are notorious for beating this cultural norm into the trainees – there is shaming and such for anyone showing up at conference, clinic, the bar around the corner from the hospital in scrubs.

    Anyway, I am happy in my long skirts. And less likely to be mistaken for support staff.

  59. Also, does anyone have a good source for long skirts, not jersey? Casual enough for preschool pickup, dressy enough to pull off at work (which is not a big stretch in my town).

  60. Ada, do you mean you want something made from a woven fabric rather than a knit fabric? Either way, I’d probably just look at Ross or Marshall’s or somewhere and pick out the color/fabric that appealed. (Yes, I know Ross is a circle of hell, but there’s one convenient to me.) Long skirts are generally forgiving in fit, not the kind of thing where I need to look for a preferred brand.

  61. HM – Yes. I was at the Rack today and actually couldn’t find what I was looking for. Relatively unpatterned, not form-fitting (my relative lack of waist benefits from a good a-line – and I find the knits look worn after a few months of washing). I have tried to look on line, but my usual places don’t have what I am looking for and a more general search leads to a bunch of discounter sites (like rosegal, sammydress, etc.) – places that I don’t trust the quality of customer service/product.

  62. PTM–Your recap made me laugh, especially as I read it moments after catching the video clip while DH was watching the Golf Channel. I read him your synopsis; he enjoyed it, too. :)

    I am in a similar industry to Ivy; for my department, I need to thread the needle between smart, creative, and client-facing (aka instilling trust). Yet at a client meeting, I have seen the more tech-oriented folks show up in cargo shorts. This is very different from my post-pregnancy day-to-day wardrobe: dresses 80% of the time…one less decision to make and seems fairly put together. Though our dry cleaning bill has increased as I walk greater distances and open up the stroller in my “nice” dresses. Oh well, better to wear them while they’re still in style. :)

    I used to really like the Cole Haan Air Bria flats…comfortable and stylish, but they would stretch after a season–generally, a good commuting shoe. Has anyone come across a good “commuting hat” (basically, something that is not a beach hat that can shield my face from the sun fashionably)? I have been relying on baseball caps, which clash with dry-clean-only dresses…but are much easier than remembering to reapply the mineral sunscreen!

  63. Ada – how long is a long skirt? I wear suiting skirts in tall so that they cover at least most of the kneecap. I might also try etsy because that way you can customize the fabric if you want. Also try Modcloth – they have a bunch that hit below the knee. http://www.modcloth.com/shop/skirts

  64. PS – I like the Tilley hats because I have a giant head. If I get a regular hat in “large” it does not fit.

  65. Hmmm I should check out Tilly hats. I have a giant head too.
    I got a upf sun hat from amazon that is wide rimmed but not floppy. Amazon seems to have a large collection.

  66. Off topic but I had to share.

    I had a dream last night that Rhett sent me $25k to put into a Vanguard account for my family. I tried to give it back but he said no. Rhett, if you would like to make that dream come true, the Bank of Rhode is always open for deposits! :)

  67. Thanks – I love modcloth and anthropologie – but they are a little fancy and bold for everyday wear, even for work (it’s a profession where cargo pants are considered dressing up.) I need something that can sit on a park bench and stare at my phone when I should be interacting with my snowflakes.

    I am looking for something more like this: http://www.trendsgal.com/p/wholesale-product-1162055.html?currency=USD&gclid=CODRjfSLrMcCFRSIfgodJMIL8g

    but not necessarily the quality of things available in lots of 50 – somewhere between $6 per skirt and $250.

  68. HM – I love the Shabby Apple site – I will try it. I took a hiatus from wearing skirts because none of the designs/shapes excited me but Shabby A. seems to have lots of fun skirts.

  69. Finally! After 20+ years of dismal holiday gift giving and receiving duties, our family has agreed to a white elephant gift exchange. This will be so much nicer, even if the the local charity will receive less loot from us in the weeks after Christmas.

  70. An update on my kids’ schools….apparently, the school will hand out textbooks sometime after the middle of the week. I didn’t really expect them to do much on the first day of school, but burning a whole week? I know I am just ranting, but it is so irritating.

  71. HM- I love it! Woonsocket is a working class town with working class problems. I was just there this week. It was fine during the day… I could replace Woonsocket with a few other places too.

  72. Murphy, what are they doing during this week? I don’t necessarily equate “not handing out textbooks yet” with “not doing anything worthwhile”. Maybe they are just wasting the week, but maybe not.

  73. Murphy I sympathize with your rant. IME schools waste so much of their students’ time.

    For some classes I would have been happy if my kids had textbooks at all, instead of stapled together handouts or poorly organized pages from various sources posted on the school website. Last I checked they spend almost $25k/pupil annually.

  74. DD,

    So far, they have gone over the syllabi. Kids who need their schedule changed and getting changes. There has been a lot of talking amongst themselves. One math class included a reportedly incredibly disorganized inquiry based learning process where little learning and much disruption occurred. One child brought home the explanation that they couldn’t pass out textbooks or start much of anything until the schedule changes were worked out.

    CoC, yes indeedy about the stapled together papers, or last year’s version, online textbooks where the kids didn’t get the login info until late September after parents complained to the school board.

  75. The school deluge starts this week. My kids’ school is sneaky. They say things like “no homework until Labor Day”. That is true BUT lots has gone on in two weeks and the Tuesday after Labor Day is quiz/test day. If the kids have goofed off for first two weeks that first test is a big bomb.

  76. Jeff’s all hands e-mail re: the NYTimes article:

    “The article doesn’t describe the Amazon I know or the caring Amazonians I work with every day,” Bezos writes. “But if you know of any stories like those reported, I want you to escalate to HR. You can also email me directly at jeff@amazon.com. Even if it’s rare or isolated, our tolerance for any such lack of empathy needs to be zero.”

    It reminds me of the scene from Silicon Valley where Gavin Belson is trying to wrap his head around Hoolie’s screw up:

    Belson. “Have I just surrounded myself with sycophants who are just telling me whatever I want to hear, regardless of the truth?” he asks his spiritual advisor, whose gulping response is a perfect “No.”

    Go to HR or e-mail me….um…ok.

  77. Some Businesses Demand More of Their Employees, and the Times Is ON IT

    I saw Jay Carney, who has worked for Amazon all of 5 months, defend his company on a morning show.  His basic point was that while his company was not perfect, Amazon employees who are in demand among other companies are not fleeing in large numbers.  He remarked that the NYT story highlighting Amazon’s lack of maternity benefits failed to mention that’s the norm among 80% of all US employers.

  78. CofC,

    From what I’ve read it’s a fair deal as the salaries are very competitive and the stocks options and grants can net you multiples of your salary each year. It’s sort of similar to the tournament model used by investment banks and management consulting firms to get their new employees to put in 120 hour weeks. In all three cases, if you can suck it up you can net an 8 figure payday. That said, it sounds like something that could implode quite quickly the moment they no longer have the 8 figure payday to dangle as a carrot.

  79. My first bad review in my career came after I had my first child. In spite of changing groups to be in a less demanding environment I was dinged for not being available as and when required. At the time people just stayed late in the office. There was no taking laptops home. I was in a very demanding group for five years. All in the group were twenty somethings without kids, managers had stay at home wives. The only woman who had kids left to be a SAHM after her second child. This was the reality even in an non tech company. It is still so or worse depending on the group you are in.

  80. CofC,

    As for instapundit, if Corporate America doesn’t want President Sanders’ policies, it might be wise to keep their dickishness at least somewhat under control.

  81. I have been needling my friend who’s a director at Amazon about that article. He insists they really don’t suck that bad. I think HIS life seems pretty comfortable, but he’s not the rank and file.

  82. Though I am sure you know who I am.

    DH was offered a position at Amazon last year, at a significant pay cut from his current position. In retrospect, we think that the recruiter may have not been completely upfront with the hiring team regarding his current compensation, leading to the mismatch between current pay and job offer. The recruiters are under tremendous amount of pressure to bring in a lot of people for interviews. Also, while the article stated that many managers can make a bonus equal to their salary, Amazon is not a manager heavy company. Most are individual contributors. DH had stock options as part of his package, but no bonus. The stock options were equivalent to other companies in the tech world.

    In the end, he declined the offer. The work would likely be much more demanding, the environment hostile (we knew that before this article), and both the actual cash compensation as well as the softer benefits would be less. No free soda! Many people in the area will work a short burst at Amazon, because will allow them to be rehired into their tech company at a much higher level.

    Anyway, after reading article, I feel even more like we really dodged a bullet.

  83. Also, I don’t believe anyone who is currently being hired at Amazon is looking at eight figure payday. I don’t know enough about the finance sector to know how much of a reality that could be for a new hire. However, the only people I know who are getting even seven-figure paydays out of tech are entering companies far before the IPO.

  84. “work attire: casual M thru Thurs, dress pants, skirts, dresses, don’t see many people in suits or ties.
    we can wear jeans and tennis shoes on Fridays”

    Jeans and tennis shoes aren’t casual?

    sorry I meant business casual except on fridays

  85. However, the only people I know who are getting even seven-figure paydays out of tech are entering companies far before the IPO.

    Amazon was $100/share 5 years ago. If you were getting a 2000 share grant in 2010 that would be worth over a million today. If you were hired 5 years ago you’d be looking at well into 7 figures just in grants.

  86. DHs offer was about 20k of stock, vrsting over several years. Someone you got a 200k grant in 2010 would have a million now, but that person probably had a salary of a million in 2010. Amazon (and established tech companies) are not not turning 150k/year middle managers and engineers into people with 10s of millions of dollars. If you let me know where they are, please let me know!

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