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Tech World is Notorious for its Casual (read: Sloppy) Dress Code

The tech world is known for its innovative products, competitive environment and bringing in the big bucks, but you may also be familiar with another aspect of this ever-growing industry: its dress code.  The world of tech is notorious for its casual (and often sloppy) dress code.  

If you are confused as to what I am talking about, let me bring to mind a few examples.  The prime example would be the late Steve Jobs, a tech icon who was notorious for his dress code.  Always wearing the same thing – a black t-shirt and a pair of non-stylish dad jeans – Jobs never won any awards for his style.  Another example is Mark Zuckerberg – Facebook founder – who often dons a similarly casual and unfashionable look of baggy jeans and a t-shirt or a hoodie.  On the few occasions that he has sported a suit, he was worn one the fits him completely wrong.  

This is the standard in the tech industry: cutting edge products and design paired with far from cutting edge style.  However, I am here to issue a challenge to all you techies out there: Up your style game.  The industry standard may be casual and unfashionable, but there is no reason you can’t be a techie with killer style and casual doesn’t have to mean ill-fitting or unflattering.  Here a few tips for upping your style game even if the standard is casual.  

  1. It’s all in the shoes.  Any drab jeans and t-shirt numbers can become ten times more fashionable by having great shoes.  Trash your plain old sneakers and opt for a nice pair of loafers or even a more fashionable pair of slip-on sneakers.  Like these from Johnston and Murphy.
  2. Dress it up (just a tad).  You don’t have to do anything super drastic here.  As the saying goes: a little bit can go a long way.  Try adding another element to your ensemble rather than just a shirt a pants.  Add a signature piece to your wardrobe like a nice watch or start donning a sport jacket with your standard attire.  Do it right and people will notice.  
  3. Wear the right jeans.  These days, there are so many jeans options and you do have the option to wear jeans and look great.  Although I am more of a suit guy myself, I do understand that a good pair of jeans can look pretty fly.  At work, opt for a darker wash and a non-baggy fit (Slim fit or straight leg are great options).  And when you are in a professional setting, make it a point not to wear ripped jeans – no matter how much they are in fashion.  Heed my advice and your jean game will be on point.  
  4. Opt for a short sleeve button down over a t-shirt.  I’m sorry, guys.  Polos are just not cool, but these fitted short sleeve button downs are growing on me.  It is a great option for looking casual but also looking put together.  Not quite so formal as a standard button down, but carrie more oomph than a t-shirt.  Switch your t-shirt for one of these and you will have won many style points in my book.  (I like this option)

There, you have it.  A few simple options for upping your game in the tech world.  Pick one or two options to try or pick ‘em all, but no matter what, you will be better off.  Fashion and brains can be a dynamic duo, if only you are willing to try something new and stand out from the crowd a bit.  Let’s make fashion in tech something great!