I work for the government and our casual dress has turned into Jeans and a polo shirt. I want to go back to something nice but not over the top. Someone comes to work with a sport coat on and you get asked "where the interview is at"? What are your suggestions to dressing sharp for work but not going too far?

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Great reply. I'll have to try that one.

I will give the oxford and tan pants a try. I really like sportcoats, but a little hesitant to wear one to work. Thanks for the advice.
You might look at a "Fire Hose Presentation Jacket" from Duluth Trading Co. More utility and less dressy than a regular sport coat.

I am in a suit during the week. Weather permitting I wear jeans and a polo shirt w/ the duluth jacket. Its presentable without being dressed up. The jacket also has tons of pockets for your stuff and wears like iron.
hey all.
my occupation calls for several different kinds of dress.
I'm a photographer.
on stuido days I'm in a nice pair of pants( i really dig a lot of the stuff Ben Sherman produces) either a button down or polo shirt(can't go wrong with a Fred Perry),vests and sweaters help to regulate my temp
and a sport coat but when I'm working it usually comes off.

when on location, and it might be a bit messy...I go with Carhartt pants. in a dark color, they have some nice blacks navys and browns.
they look good and hold up to the rigors of climbing around on roofs or parking garages etc.and they are not a pair of blue jeans.

now if I'm at an evening event or business meeting a simple suit is called for.


I'm not really a fan of the khaki pants brown shoes and blue sport coat.
to me it's got no style....it's like a prep school uniform....every time I see some one in that combo I think they didn't put any effort into getting dressed or there mom dressed them for school.
but that's just my opinion.

i feel if you are going to make the effort to dress well or better... why not add style!
Bruce
Jason, I'm in sort of in the same situation you are. I recently wrote a blog post here http://community.artofmanliness.com/profiles/blogs/dressing-up about the benefits of dressing up. I also started a discussion here http://community.artofmanliness.com/forum/topics/dressing-up-to-school for suggestions on what else I can wear besides a dress shirt and khakis.

Here are some great suggestions I've gotten so far:
A vest
Dress shoes
A crisp, dark, pair of jeans
A good wool sweater in black or navy

I hope this helps!
The sweater vest is making a comeback, and can be a good look if you aren't too warm natured. Above all keep your clothes in good repair, cleaned and pressed with your shoes shined and you'll be ahead of most guys out there.
Good ideas guys. Thanks for the input.
I also work in a government office. We recently got a "new" dress code...for men it's collared shirt (apparently we have a bunch of guys who don't know that means dress shirt) and slacks. If you shop around, there are quite a number of colors of chino type pants available. If you spend a lot of time on your feet, what used to be called "Service Oxfords" will be your feet's friend . They're semi-dressy, low top shoes, usually with a fairly thick composite material sole and heel.
Good luck, but if nothing else, some "Dockers"-type slacks and the Oxford-cloth button down shirt will dress you up without making you into a fop.
I just picked up a pair to tan chino's and a blue Oxford shirt. Nice additions to my basic wardrobe. Thanks for the advise guys. I appreciate the input. I keep finding more and more reasons to enjoy this site.
As I mentioned on another thread, the key is to smarten up in stages. Going from one extreme to another is not a good thing, neither is standing out in a highly politicised organisation (and other than charity, working for the government must involve a whole new level of office politics.)

1. Try jeans and polo shirt
2. Then go for jeans and a shirt
3. Switch the shirts for better quality designer (not in terms of mindless labels, but more dressy) ones
4. Substitute the jeans for trousers or chinos.
5. Finally, add cufflinks

The trick is to wear the next stage casually (at home) before in the office, so that you do not come across as overly self-conscious when in the 'battlefield'.

You need to select the clothing in such a way that you can happily wear any of them, whenever you wish. So it is a gradual progression onto the end clothes that you wish to wear. Don't by something as a temporary measure.

Finally, make sure that you wear the clothing properly. Ensure you adopt a good posture, at all times, and don't be slouchy. One can wear bespoke suits from Savile Row and still look uncouth. Whereas the true gent could be recognised as one, even in rags.

If I were you I would walk in rocking out (Means wearing it proudly) a sweatervest,If someone thinks that's "over the top" Don't worry about it, I would wear a sweatervest to school,Someone would ask me, Are you going to church tonight? I would reply no I just like wearing it.

I work in high tech and it is the same here - at least at the first 2-3 levels in the organization - but when we have to go to customers more often the dress goes up too.

I said screw it and wear a sport jacket everyday. A suit is too much I agree and I am considering seeing what the reaction to knit ties are when it starts getting warmer and I shed the jacket.

I am not a sweater fan as I need to adjust to all of the temperature ranges here so a jacket work better. Everyone is used to it now and I get very few comments any more. It also feels great to be the rebel by not wearing the uniform.

Thanks OP will appreciate your advise, considering that he is still among the living.

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