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If you work for a Charity, what do you wear?

(17 Posts)
absolutelynotfabulous Tue 14-Feb-17 21:03:07

I've just started as a volunteer with a well-known national charity. I'm enjoying it, and hope to make some sort of "professional" impression.

There doesn't seem to be a dress code as such, though; blokes are generally quite scruffy casual and the women seem to wear pretty much anything too. I'm not a "dress-down" sort and would like to be smart without looking like a dick.

So far, I've been wearing niceish skinnies with ankle boots/brogues, and relaxed or cropped jackets.

I don't "do" dresses.

Thoughts? What do you lot wear?

Hopefully Tue 14-Feb-17 21:11:10

I never have, but my sister has worked for not for profits and charities for a few years. Her style is mad full on vintage, and judging by her and her colleagues there seems to be much more scope for expressing one's personality in that sector than in more traditional ones. I would think you could go for a balance of smartness and expressing your style a bit.

CactusFred Tue 14-Feb-17 21:19:02

I do and anything goes in our office really.

Most of us are fairly casual. The office manager and the 'oldies' tend to be smarter but still no suits.

lakeswimmer Tue 14-Feb-17 21:22:49

Jeans and a jumper everyday - same as everyone else. Occasionally people are a bit smarter if they need to meet someone important or we're having a posh event grin

MrsMoastyToasty Tue 14-Feb-17 21:28:12

It's casual dress where I work unless staff are meeting funders, dignitaries or attending court with service users.
This is interpreted as jeans and t-shirts by most, shorts in the summer. Some wear skirts.

Owl1011 Tue 14-Feb-17 21:55:47

Same here, generally quite casual where I work (national charity) but we do smarten up depending on the event/meeting.

If you are not sure then perhaps have a chat with your volunteer officer about attire in your next supervision session, don't forget you're there to bring your skills and experience to the organisation and really make a difference, clothing aside smile good luck with your role though and I hope it goes really well for you

ShowOfHands Tue 14-Feb-17 22:00:54

Whatever I like. Which means I dress like a hippy mostly. Today I wore chinos, braces and a patchwork shirt, plus DMs and a fedora.

We wear what we like.

umberellaonesie Tue 14-Feb-17 22:02:39

I have to go in people's homes and play with their kids but also offer professional support and information.
So skinny jeans, smart tops and jersey blazers or jersey dresses and leggings or tights with blazer

Floisme Tue 14-Feb-17 22:08:14

It depends what section you're in where I work. Finance and fundraising are quite conservative but in other teams anything goes.
For me, it depends on what I'm doing. Half the time I can wear what I like but if I'm going anywhere public facing, I need to look approachable but vaguely professional. I wear a lot of tube skirts or jeans with a tailored jacket.

DurhamDurham Tue 14-Feb-17 22:11:29

I work for a charity and we are encouraged to look smart casual. I tend to wear either dresses with tights and ankle boots or my black skinny jeans with a nice top, much like I do on a weekend.
Occasionally if I'm going to a meeting with the statutory sector or a funding meeting I'll wear a smarter tailored dress with heels but that's less than once a month.

Millybingbong Tue 14-Feb-17 22:14:07

Smart casual no jeans or trainers is the rule here (not for volunteers)

I wear a dress and brogues almost everyday. I am a minimalist.

BellonaBelladonna Tue 14-Feb-17 22:24:50

I expect it varies a bit even within departments. It does where I work. Id take my lead from your closest colleagues.

Good luck. Volunteering can be so rewarding ime.

absolutelynotfabulous Thu 16-Feb-17 12:09:12

floisme you sound like me. I'm not exactly public facing, but could be potentially. If I were going to wear a skirt, it would probably be a tube one with boots plus a short jacket.

And yes, volunteering is rewarding but I'm also using it to build up my skills after a looooong spell out of "proper" work. Glad I seem to be doing the right thing!

Pistachiois50pmore Thu 16-Feb-17 12:16:13

I know what you mean. Advice about what to wear to work always seems geared towards corporates but loads of charities are jeans and trainers places! I hate dressing corporate but I don't like jeans for work. The smarter end of normal would be something like opaque tights, brogues/ankle boots, dress & cardigan type stuff. Or skinny cords, loafers, shirt/jumper.

absolutelynotfabulous Thu 16-Feb-17 15:04:57

I don't like jeans at work either. And I'm not sure about bare shoulders. I was always told NEVER to bare shoulders in an office and I've stuck to that.

I agree it's quite difficult to look smart/businesslike/professional without looking corporate, which to me means stuffed into a too-tight jacket, knee length skirt and-horrors-court shoes. shock.

ShoutOutToMyEx Thu 16-Feb-17 15:13:07

I'm probably a bit scruffy. Jeans, jumper and trainers, sometimes dresses with tights and boots. I definitely dress for comfort and have been known to bring blankets to work to swaddle myself with in the winter

But we have people here who wear suits to work because that's what they're most comfortable in. So no rules as such.

Floisme Thu 16-Feb-17 19:02:24

Agree it's a tricky balancing act. You can definitely look too corporate which doesn't go down well.

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