Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Dress Code for Architects…

By Kayla Fuller

            When you think of an architect’s dress code what comes to your mind??? Black shoes… black pants…black shirt…grey blazer…white hair…
            Our perceived appearance does not properly showcase the characteristics of our job title. As designers, we are creative problem solvers who incorporate unique solutions in our designs. If you compare our “professional attire” to the attire of other design fields we tend to be the most reserved when it applies to our appearance. Why do we limit ourselves to a muted and boring wardrobe? I believe it should be acceptable for architects to express themselves and their creativity through their clothing.
            During spring break I will not only be participating in an externship but I will also be presenting a paper at a conference.  Men are lucky, they can typically manage nice pants, a collared shirt and dress shoes. Depending on the required dress code, other stipulations may occur. For women, it can become more difficult to find appropriate clothing for such events. Many times I run into the issue of appropriate length, being taller than “average,” many pants and skirts do not fit correctly. For instances like this, you may need to find a seamstress or tailor to adjust the length, make sure that your clothing “fits” you, this may require more altering. An outfit that does not “fit” you can greatly reduce your chances. Once again color is important, try to stay with a common, neutral tone, you want to make an impression at your interview, not your clothes. Black is a very common color in my wardrobe, it is a classic that can be casual or accentuated with jewelry, just make sure not to overdo it.
  There are a couple common categories that require specific styles and lengths, I have compiled a list that breaks down each category to help you DRESS FOR SUCCESS:
Business Formal:
                (Dress to impress, dressy evening events and award ceremonies)

                Men: dark colored suit with dress shirt and silk tie. French cut style shirt is recommended with
cufflinks, pocket squares may also be required. Don’t forget your dress shoes!

                Women: suit with a skirt and pantyhose with closed to pumps


Business Professional:
(Career fairs, interviews, or at times when making a first impression is vital)
               
Men: dark business suit, conservative dress shirt and tie with shined dress shoes
Women: dark skirted or pants suit with conservative dress shirt, hosiery and closed toe pumps (no platform heels)


Business Casual:
                (Employer information sessions, neat appropriate dress attire that is classic not trendy)

                Men: suit or khaki type pants, button-down collared or polo shirt (optional tie and jacket if
appropriate)
                Women: classic dress pants, dress shirt or blouse (traditional button-down, collared is
appropriate), and coordinating shoe. Skirts are also acceptable but skirt length must be
considered (skirts should never be shorter than knee length) Sandals and open-toe shoes are never appropriate office attire unless stated in office dress code.

Casual: ­
                (Basic seminar series)

                Men: suit or khaki type pants, button-down collared or polo shirt (optional tie and jacket if
appropriate)
                Women: classic dress pants, dress shirt or blouse (traditional button-down, collared is
appropriate), and coordinating shoe. Skirts are also acceptable but skirt length must be
considered (skirts should never be shorter than knee length) Sandals and open-toe shoes are never appropriate office attire unless stated in office dress code.



After compiling the above information from many online sources including; Cornell University, Collegefashion.net, and chron.com just to name a few, the options of professional attire do not provide many options for creativity.
Depending on the firm you chose, your dress code may vary drastically. Occasionally you may be required to dress in professional attire, while a majority of the time it is more common for business casual or casual to be required.
One of my favorite new styles is the ankle pant, they add a cute flare to the modern pant suit while maintaining a conservative appearance. Unfortunately, these are not recommended for interviews but can be appropriate for business casual attire.

I hope you found this helpful. If you have a favorite style or great example for emerging architecture students into the field feel free to comment!

Until next time….

Sources for information regarding appropriate attire
3.      http://smallbusiness.chron.com/four-different-types-business-attire-23396.html

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