Advanced search

Is my definition of smart casual unreasonable... DS17 thinks so!

(63 Posts)
kurlique Fri 29-Jul-16 11:29:41

DS has work experience in an office looming and he has been told to dress casual smart... To me this means trousers - not jeans - with a shirt - not a T shirt - and shoes - not canvas deck shoes. DS was a bit eye rolly about no jeans but has conceded to this and the shirt wasn't an issue but he thinks that I am unreasonable when I say that it is not ok for him to wear his "smarter" (ie clean and not wrecked) black Vans canvas deck shoes. Now it is a long time since I worked in an office but canvas shoes just seems too casual to me. What do you think?!

Tulipblank Fri 29-Jul-16 11:31:42

For work experience definitely not canvas to err on the smarter side to make a good impression.

Yokohamajojo Fri 29-Jul-16 11:32:14

I agree with you! always clever to go in 'over dressed' and check out what other people wear and then change it if it's too smart!

LotsOfShoes Fri 29-Jul-16 11:32:34

Yanbu. Canavas shoes might be too casual. In my experience, smart casual can mean slightly different things in different offices and in some just smart jeans and a shirt will do but not in others. I think your approach is safest (besides, I can't see how canvas shoes would work with smart trousers anyway)

Creampastry Fri 29-Jul-16 11:37:07

Mum's know best - and they do in this case!!!

KoalaDownUnder Fri 29-Jul-16 11:42:16

I agree with you.

Smart casual means no suit & tie required. It does not mean canvas shoes! That's just casual.

Dozer Fri 29-Jul-16 11:44:33


Dozer Fri 29-Jul-16 11:44:50

Unless it's a poncy tech company or something!

Dachshund Fri 29-Jul-16 11:47:06

Going to go against the grain here - what kind of office is it? Dress codes have become much more relaxed these days - I think clean new black Vans are more than acceptable and dark blue jeans too! As long as he looks clean, ironed and smells nice I reckon he'll be ok.

icanteven Fri 29-Jul-16 11:47:54

He needs to err on the side of caution. DEFINITELY no canvas shoes. If he turns up in a crisp, open-necked shirt, smart trousers and shoes, and everybody else is in t-shirts and jeans, then he can adjust accordingly the next day and no harm done, but if he turns up under-dressed then he'll look like he didn't give a shit, and that's harder to style out.

"Smart casual" is a sartorial scourge, which everybody tends to interpret slightly differently, so he needs to dress it up slightly, not down.

kurlique Fri 29-Jul-16 11:49:39

Architects. In a small town not in the big smoke or owt!

GeorgeTheThird Fri 29-Jul-16 11:54:25

Does he have school shoes? Wear those!

TheWindInThePillows Fri 29-Jul-16 11:57:10

Will architects be so rigid? I would let him make his own decision and if he gets it wrong on the first day, change for the second. In the offices I've been in younger generations seem to wear lots of things I wouldn't think of as 'office wear' even in quite formal places such as financial/consultancy (not the big companies, but little ones).

jay55 Fri 29-Jul-16 12:01:41

Over smart on the first day, then do as colleagues do. Lots of places are more casual in summer.

trinity0097 Fri 29-Jul-16 12:04:34

Over smart on the first day then see what others are wearing.

My hubby works in an office where he can be casual unless going out to a client, when he has to wear a suit. I would far rather he had to wear a suit every day as his idea of casual is slobby jeans, and slobby ill-fitting t-shirt. i.e. too short to cover his belly! Today he tried to go out wearing beige trousers and a grey nerdy t-shirt. I put my foot down and said no way can you wear beige and grey together and no-one wants to see the bottom of your beer belly - shirt shirt has now gone in the bin! I so worry about all the days that I normally leave for work before him and can't check out that he has his flies done up and looks half-decent!!!!

CatNip2 Fri 29-Jul-16 12:05:15

Agree with Dozer, unless this is an IT company where they dress so far down they look like they have come off the skate park then I would say proper shoes, proper pants and a nice shirt. Don't think a tie is necessary.

VimFuego101 Fri 29-Jul-16 12:07:58

I would say smart trousers and a shirt or polo shirt, dress shoes and no tie. Even if jeans/ t shirts are ok I think it would look better if he didn't show up in them on his first day.

Biffsboys Fri 29-Jul-16 12:08:23

Smart casual generally means no suit or tie . Still smart trousers and proper shoes .

MackerelOfFact Fri 29-Jul-16 12:09:31

Definitely smart on the first day. I'm currently in chinos and flip-flops with no make-up on, but I'd be a bit 'WTF' if a work experience kid walked in wearing the same. It just sends the message that you're a lazy teenager that couldn't really be arsed.

I'd say chinos are probably OK, either with a t-shirt and blazer or a shirt. Leather deck shoes would be fine, or brogues. Or if in doubt, formal attire without the tie.

Smurfnoff Fri 29-Jul-16 12:14:21

I'd recommend chinos and a shirt (no tie) and reasonably smart shoes. Read the room on day one - if others are in jeans and T-shirts he can always switch on day two.

abbinobb Fri 29-Jul-16 12:15:51

When you're a teenager the idea of being over smart is incredibly embarasing for some reason, but you're right

OneFlewOverTheDodosNest Fri 29-Jul-16 12:17:25

I actually think that wearing smart shoes is more important than wearing non-jeans tbh. In my office Fridays are smart casual rather than office wear and there are lots of people wearing dark jeans today with smart tops (nice jumpers, slightly more casual shirts) but everyone is still wearing proper footwear rather than trainers / canvas shoes.

KeemaNaanAndCurryOn Fri 29-Jul-16 12:17:50

Go in the first day smart, but not formal. Gauge what other people are wearing and take it from there. Better to be overdressed on the first day than underdressed.

Jinxxx Fri 29-Jul-16 12:21:16

Definitely err on the side of formality on the first day, which is when he is most likely to be introduced around and have everyone forming their first impressions. Even afterwards, I wouldn't necessarily want to be amongst the least smart-looking. Others may have earned the right to look a bit below par through their other talents or efforts.

PigletJohn Fri 29-Jul-16 12:21:33

smart casual can include chinos, open-necked shirts or polos and even blazers, though I would not expect most teens to own one. Shoes may be polished leather, and brown is tolerated.

Jeans and tees are way off the scale.

He might benefit from hanging around the office at lunchtime or going-home time to see the people come out, before he starts. Some will look a bit smarter and some will look a bit scruffier.

He will be treated according to how he is percieved.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now