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Dress code

 
#1 Dress code
03/02/2011 12:22

shirt

Would anyone recommend wearing a nice white button down shirt for interview ? This will be with a dark grey suit.

Or do button down shirts look informal ?

How about a light purple shirt with white contrast collar and cuff ?

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#2 RE: Dress code
03/02/2011 12:56

Rich to shirt (#1)

No to both.

If you have to ask - it's a risk. Why would you take a risk? Why not just do the simple thing and wear a normal shirt that could not possible be misunderstood?

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#3 RE: Dress code
03/02/2011 13:05

Evil Consultant to shirt (#1)

Button-down shirts are hideously naff and only worn by estate agents, partners at PA Consulting and Americans.

Assuming that this is the UK, wear a shirt in white or light blue with double cuffs, plain cufflinks and a sensibly contrasting tie. Nothing too loud and you'll be fine.

EC

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#4 RE: Dress code
03/02/2011 13:19

Mars A Day to shirt (#1)

Depending on your seniority, no double cuffs and cufflinks. On junior levels at interview it just looks pretentious, and if you are interviewing at a bank it will be viewed with suspicion.

If in doubt a white shirt, single cuff, the type without a pocket on of course, dark tie.

Most important thing to wear in an interview though is a smile.

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#5 RE: Dress code
03/02/2011 14:02

Informed to shirt (#1)

Body language experts suggest White shirt with red based tie and dark suit- don't know why but some psychological thing in human brain

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#6 RE: Dress code
03/02/2011 15:20

geeza to Informed (#5)

there's nothing wrong with double cuffs, with unobtrusive silk knot links - pretty much the default in my industry, even for 'smart casual'. single cuff and a pocket if you want to say 'I aspire to work in IT'. button down if you want to say 'I aspire to work weekends, because I'm American'. short sleeves if you want to say 'I aspire to work in the sorting room'... pale colours, are fine, as are muted patterns such as dogtooth - frankly I haven't seen plain white shirts around for a good few years (apart from those shiny white on white stripe ones that the infrastructure wallahs sport)

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#7 RE: Dress code
03/02/2011 15:29

Pockets to geeza (#6)

Why the big deal about pockets? It's a British thing.

Personally I buy all my shirts in France or Italy and pockets come as standard, they find it strange why British shirts are pocket-less....have to say I agree

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#8 RE: Dress code
03/02/2011 15:37

geeza to Pockets (#7)

I can see that pockets might be handy for stuffing a packet of Gitanes in, but why else would you want them on a shirt... The Americans find it equally strange that we Europeans don't tend to wear t-shirts under our shirts, quite unconcerned by the risk of a suggestion of man-nipple

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#9 RE: Dress code
03/02/2011 15:48

shirt to geeza (#8)

Thanks fella for your replies.

To clarify some posters...yes I am in UK. I have a very nice white shirt...but it has buttons on its collar ( button down shirt) but I wasnt sure about the impression it might give in interviews.

Other thing I had on mind was to wear the same shirt but without closing the buttons...but that leaves the button holes visible on the collar and the buttons on the shirt...not a good idea.

By the way...even I find the pocketless shirts wierd. I come originally from india where having pockets is a standard and so is wearing some vest under your shirt

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#10 RE: Dress code
03/02/2011 16:39

Thomas Pink to shirt (#9)

seriously dude, don't do that - take thirty quid out of the bank and get a proper formal pocketless shirt from Lewins

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#11 RE: Dress code
04/02/2011 10:59

Charles Tyrwhitt to Thomas Pink (#10)

and decent shoes - shoes are a classic 'tell'. at all costs avoid the scuffed, squashy, matte horrors popular with IT developers

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#12 RE: Dress code
04/02/2011 11:43

Evil Consultant to Charles Tyrwhitt (#11)

Charles T makes an excellent point. You don't necessarily need to wear Church's (although personally I do) but a good pair of leather shoes well polished will never count against you.

EC

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#13 RE: Dress code
04/02/2011 11:58

Mars A Day to Evil Consultant (#12)

On the subject of shoes - no square toe shoes please.

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#14 RE: Dress code
04/02/2011 12:04

rc to Mars A Day (#13)

..or winklepickers - there is probably an acceptable toe curvature range written into HR policies ;)

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#15 RE: Dress code
04/02/2011 12:16

Dave to Mars A Day (#13)

Regarding square toed shoes, unfortunately the shape of the end of my foot is closer to a square than it is to a triangle. I just can't get my feet into those awful pointy-ended shoes - they squash my toes and are awful for my health.

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#16 RE: Dress code
05/02/2011 00:31

T Ford to Dave (#15)

Seriously chaps (and chappesses),

This shouldn't really be a thread on here when there are more important things to discuss; potentially more specific to the audience of consultants and the industry perhaps?

Having worked for a Big 4 consultancy, MBBB and now a bank there are consistencies in dress that are not defined by the consultancy industry, rather professional personnel in the UK of all sectors.

1) No pockets on shirts...ever. It is a dress shirt, you go to work to work, not carry things.

2) No button down collars...ever. This is an innovation that no one can really isolate the demand for. All collars stay down, they don't need a button there.

3) Double cuff, always.

4) Cufflinks need not be expensive, just a lump of smart metal that will fasten two cuffs at the bottom of a wrist. Note...not the cheap string things that were invented to hold a short together on arrival from the tailors, I specifically said metal.

5) Shoes - Oxfords or Brogues, and never brown in town. That's why the saying was said, 'never brown in town'!In terms of a point, perhaps....but subtle. Church's do an excellent range and are well worth the outlay.

Remember...30 seconds, 11 impressions. Personally I like to look smart, not flash but honest and reliable. The 'Don't stitch me on fees Mr Client and I won't do a crap job' look and the 'I know how to look professional so you will pay my firm accordingly' look are always winners.

To not look professional and well turned out is, in my opinion, an uphill struggle to prove your worth and justify our rates.

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#17 RE: Dress code
05/02/2011 07:40

Inigo to T Ford (#16)

Good grief, the lower middle-class sensibilities of this forum never cease to amaze me.

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#18 RE: Dress code
05/02/2011 10:37

Anon to T Ford (#16)

Never Brown in Town is old-fashioned nonsense. There's absolutely nothing wrong with a smart dark brown shoe as long as matched with a brown belt and suitably coloured suit. Even in the City of London.

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#19 RE: Dress code
05/02/2011 11:03

quark to Anon (#18)

"Never brown in town" Really? What century are you living in?!

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#20 RE: Dress code
08/02/2011 23:29

T Ford to quark (#19)

In response to the last three posts, I was trying to be brief rather than inflammatory in my original post.

To Anon and quark; I regularly wear brown shoes and belts etc...in town yes, but as a 'City uniform' if one exists I think you would disadvantage yourself being in brown that's all.

Next time you meet a new team / client I almost guarantee that you will find almost all of them in black. Its just the way it is, I don't know why, don't agree with it but that's it!

To Inigo: I'd value your opinion on the original question. And you know nothing about me, let alone 'my class'!

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#21 RE: Dress code
09/02/2011 08:30

Anon to T Ford (#20)

Never double cuff... unless you're trying to p*ss everyone off by dressing smarter than them. You may as well turn up in a tuxedo if you do that.

Always have a pocket on your shirt. To not have one just looks odd and is certainly not the norm in the UK. People that dress like that are also the sort of oddballs that wear polo neck shirts under a suit jacket.

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#22 RE: Dress code
09/02/2011 10:18

Samuel Johnson to Anon (#21)

The post above is correct for smaller provincial cities and rural areas.

If you live or work in London, or in a location where people from London regularly visit, you may find a qualilty shirt made to be worn under a business suit comes with double cuffs and no pocket.

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#23 RE: Dress code
09/02/2011 10:42

geeza to Samuel Johnson (#22)

I suspect the last Anon works mostly in local government, where those guidelines are probably fair.

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#24 RE: Dress code
09/02/2011 12:16

Shoe Polisher to geeza (#23)

'a nice button down collar...'

TROLL.

Because NO-ONE would honestly ask that question.

And you can only wear brown shoes with a suit when you are good enough. It's a bit like wearing white football boots, fine if you're Robin van Persie, not so great if your Dean Windass.

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#25 RE: Dress code
11/02/2011 14:09

Disgusted to Shoe Polisher (#24)

Please tell me this thread is a wind-up from start to finish...

What sort of mud-skipper believes a double-cuff, no-pocket, no-collar-button is an assault on the sensitivities of the working man?

Have I logged onto the mobile phone salesforce career forum?

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#26 RE: Dress code
11/02/2011 20:52

Muscleman to Disgusted (#25)

None of this stuff looks as good as me naked.

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#27 RE: Dress code
21/02/2011 00:58

Marcus to Muscleman (#26)

"I can see that pockets might be handy for stuffing a packet of Gitanes in, but why else would you want them on a shirt... The Americans find it equally strange that we Europeans don't tend to wear t-shirts under our shirts, quite unconcerned by the risk of a suggestion of man-nipple"

--------------------------------------------------------

Shirt pockets are good for hooking your pen(s) on and for holding your mobile phone. And the white shirt is another myth - a plain light blue shirt or a striped blue/white shirt look just as nice.

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#28 RE: Dress code
22/02/2011 17:41

fashion expert to Marcus (#27)

Ahhh yes, pen in the shirt pocket, I heard the NISA engineer look is doing its big come back. very hot right now!

On a serious note,

The shirt and shoes protocols have been covered extensively above; hence no need for me to add anything here.

However, I too often see poorly cut suits; too big on the shoulder line, resulting in fabric hanging from the back. BIG NO NO!!!

Worse even, is the baggy style trouser. some people wear them so low, they form a natural nappy shape and make their torso look abnormally long. where are these people cultivated?

And the epic fashion crime. please, PLEASE, PLEEEEAAASSE! stop wearing your trainers with your suit, and especially dirty white ones.

Either endure the excruciating pain of walking with leather shoes or at least wear jeans or anything else, which might be deemed acceptable with trainers but please not your suit.

Have some pride.

Trainers and suit = incompatibility

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#29 RE: Dress code
22/02/2011 18:14

Henry Ford to fashion expert (#28)

Only outfit to consider am afraid.

Skinny light blue jeans, black roll neck sweater, wire rim glasses and you'll walk it.

In a former life as an engineer - the dress code is paramount: Chinos, Casual shirt, lanyard pass in shirt pocket with 2 pens. Brown belt always and a pair merrells...the smart ones though. Add a waistcoat if you're interviewing for a german setup.

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#30 Dress code
24/02/2011 14:56

Marcus to fashion expert (#28)

"Ahhh yes, pen in the shirt pocket, I heard the NISA engineer look is doing its big come back. very hot right now! "

Well, a Montlbanc 149 fountain pen always impresses. In Asia it's practically compulsory from what I've heard, though personally I'd go for a Waterman Edson instead.

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#31 RE: Dress code
24/02/2011 16:58

anon to Marcus (#30)

Of course, Tom Ford is absolutely right in his recommedation of not wearing 'brown in town'.

It is quite simply vulgar to wear brown shoes or accessories in town regardless of the occasion.

For a general guide of what to and what not to wear in the city, I would recommend taking a look at UBSs dress code policy from last year. (Note - no brown shoes!)

http://thefinanser.co.uk/files/ubs-dress-code.pdf

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#32 RE: Dress code
24/02/2011 17:12

Flava Flav to anon (#31)

Interestingly, UBS states that men can not wear an earing (I agree) but can wear 3 pieces of jewellery...so, there's a watch (check), potentially a wedding ring (check)....leaving a third and final piece???? Maybe a pendant made of pure nazi gold?

So I'm guessing then my giant novelty clock pendant is out then....boiiiiiiiiiii!

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#33 RE: Dress code
24/02/2011 20:55

fashion expert to Flava Flav (#32)

Believe me it could be a £5,000 gold plated pen in your shirt and you would still look like a complete tool.

pen in shirt has not been cool since the 70's.

that, and the vomit coloured curtains.

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#34 RE: Dress code
24/02/2011 23:58

Marcus to fashion expert (#33)

"Believe me it could be a £5,000 gold plated pen in your shirt and you would still look like a complete tool.

pen in shirt has not been cool since the 70's.

that, and the vomit coloured curtains."

-------------------------------------------------------

Gold plated? You can get gold plated pens for £200 or so, not £5,000. Anyway gold plated is considered blingy and vulgar these days - sterling silver is more classy for those who can't stretch to solid gold.

For just over £6,000 you can get an 18k solid gold fountain pen: http://www.internet-ink.co.uk/waterman/Waterman-Exception-Solid-Gold-Fountain-Pen

Then I would certainly not wear this one on my shirt pocket - or anywhere on my clothing for that matter. It belongs locked in a very secure safe!

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#35 RE: Dress code
25/02/2011 07:03

fashion expert to Marcus (#34)

i now better understand why you like the "pen in a shirt pocket" look

for my own fashion statistics; do you also wear suspenders?

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#36 RE: Dress code
25/02/2011 21:19

Muscleman to fashion expert (#35)

My look:

- Always sort sleeved white shirt to show strong arms and accentuate athletic V shape torso

- No tie, top 2 buttons undone to show hint of pecs between neckchain with crucifix

- smart dark trousers

- airwair shoes, last for bloody ages

Coy, admiring looks from ladies and defensive jeers from sunken chested, pot bellied and noodle armed colleagues!

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#37 RE: Dress code
28/02/2011 11:11

huggy bear to Muscleman (#36)

@muscleman, do you also sport a thick moustache and long to get your hands on a construction worker's helmet?

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#38 RE: Dress code
28/02/2011 11:51

geeza to huggy bear (#37)

airwair, short sleeved shirt - I think he brought me my mail on the trolley this morning...

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#39 RE: Dress code
28/02/2011 12:18

T Ford to geeza (#38)

This post has amazed me and made me chuckle in equal measure.

Firstly, I can't quite believe so much time and effort has been invested in discussing dress and secondly I can't believe there is so much debate around the issue. I am genuinely amazed in intrigued.

Rightly or wrongly, I have always just followed the rules that extend from the basics of getting dressed as a kid...black socks with black shoes, white ones in the gym sort of thing! Brush your hair, clean your teeth, shave daily sort of stuff.

I think if anyone questioning what to wear were to look at people in senior positions on TV (Stuart Rose would be a good one), they'd find the 'uniform' to which i was previously making reference to.

The no pocket, long sleeved, ideally double cuff is, to my mind, just pretty standard and would never be diverted away from.

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#40 RE: Dress code
28/02/2011 12:40

Sir Duncan McBallantyne to T Ford (#39)

I have always worn a shirt with a pocket and normal button cuffs and haven't thought twice about it. I don't keep anything in my shirt pocket, however. I have really never even stopped for a moment to think about this stuff. Have I been looking like a plonker all these years? Are shirt pockets a really bad faux pas?

Regarding cufflinks, I was always under the impression that it can look a bit pretentious if you're actually only a junior (or basically anyone earning less than £100K/year)? CEO of Vodafone - fine. CFO of M&S - fine. Lord Brown of BP - fine. Senior Manager at a Big 4 - fine. Dave Smith, 3rd year analyst from Pleb Consulting (Huddersfield) Ltd - No.

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#41 RE: Dress code
28/02/2011 13:11

cockerney sparra to Sir Duncan McBallantyne (#40)

we should split the thread into regional dress code and City dress code... It had never occurred to me that there might be 'consulting' taking place outside Town, where the no-pocket, double cuff and links from 30K upwards look is de rigueur, but I can imagine that such accoutrements would indeed be an impediment and cuase raised eyebrows in a busy factory or farmyard.

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#42 RE: Dress code
28/02/2011 13:54

dirty northerner to cockerney sparra (#41)

I used to live in Huddersfield but I moved as I kept getting my cufflinks caught in't mill machinery.

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#43 RE: Dress code
01/03/2011 10:10

Muscleman to dirty northerner (#42)

Changed into my running gear last night at 8:00pm - full torso, but no helmet, on show when I thought the office was empty. I didn't see the Chairman's PA was still there. Apparently the security guard heard the scream and called the police. Meeting with HR tomorrow at 9:00 am. Any ideas what I should wear now?

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#44 RE: Dress code
01/03/2011 10:22

Dave to Muscleman (#43)

Wear big jewellry. Chunky necklace, plenty of bangles around your wrist, huge chunky rings. HR bods like that kind of thing.

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#45 RE: Dress code
01/03/2011 11:03

geeza to Dave (#44)

maintain eye contact and squeeze a wrist exerciser throughout the session. You know they love it really

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#46 RE: Dress code
01/03/2011 11:51

bang dup to geeza (#45)

consider having a teardrop tattooed at the corner of your eye in pre-faded ink. it will say 'remorse' to HR while getting you old lag respect with the 'roid homeys down at the gym

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