DC White Shirt Myth

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Anonymous User
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DC White Shirt Myth

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 20, 2012 6:04 pm

Hi, I am starting to work for the federal government this fall. I am doing anon since I don't want them to figure me out (small class size).

Anyway, is it true that everyone in DC wears suits everyday? I used to work for fancy firm in NYC and most people wore business casual (button down shirt and pants). I also hearddd that everyone in DC wears white dress shirts (not blue or yellow).

Is this true? Or is the dress code really the same in DC as in NYC?

Grazi

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reformed calvinist
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Re: DC White Shirt Myth

Postby reformed calvinist » Tue Mar 20, 2012 6:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Hi, I am starting to work for the federal government this fall. I am doing anon since I don't want them to figure me out (small class size).

Anyway, is it true that everyone in DC wears suits everyday? I used to work for fancy firm in NYC and most people wore business casual (button down shirt and pants). I also hearddd that everyone in DC wears white dress shirts (not blue or yellow).

Is this true? Or is the dress code really the same in DC as in NYC?

Grazi


I have an adjunct professor who works for Justice, and I've seen him wear blue shirts (coming from work).

ust2008
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Re: DC White Shirt Myth

Postby ust2008 » Tue Mar 20, 2012 8:41 pm

I spent three years working in an Executive Branch dept and wore a suit every day. As for shirts - anything traditional is fine (i.e. white, blue, non-offensive stripes - all fine - just use common sense). Every other person did as well. DC is formal - less so on the Hill, more so in the Executive Branch.

tennisking88
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Re: DC White Shirt Myth

Postby tennisking88 » Tue Mar 20, 2012 8:48 pm

ust2008 wrote: Every other person did as well. DC is formal - less so on the Hill, more so in the Executive Branch.


Having worked both on Capitol Hill (both House & Senate), and now at a federal agency, I can say that this is completely the opposite. Everyone generally wears business casual (we also have casual Friday in the office). On the Hill everyone had to wear formal wear.

It depends what agency/department you work for, I suppose. But not mine.

ust2008
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Re: DC White Shirt Myth

Postby ust2008 » Tue Mar 20, 2012 8:51 pm

tennisking88 wrote:
ust2008 wrote: Every other person did as well. DC is formal - less so on the Hill, more so in the Executive Branch.


Having worked both on Capitol Hill (both House & Senate), and now at a federal agency, I can say that this is completely the opposite. Everyone generally wears business casual (we also have casual Friday in the office). On the Hill everyone had to wear formal wear.

It depends what agency/department you work for, I suppose. But not mine.


Interesting. Yeah, must depend on the agency (although, I did lots of inter-agency work and can think of only a handful of times where my counterparts were wearing business casual). W/r/t the Hill, my point about casual wear stems from informal dress codes during recess (not while members are around or when in session).

Scottie2Hottie
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Re: DC White Shirt Myth

Postby Scottie2Hottie » Tue Mar 20, 2012 8:55 pm

tennisking88 wrote:
ust2008 wrote: Every other person did as well. DC is formal - less so on the Hill, more so in the Executive Branch.


Having worked both on Capitol Hill (both House & Senate), and now at a federal agency, I can say that this is completely the opposite. Everyone generally wears business casual (we also have casual Friday in the office). On the Hill everyone had to wear formal wear.

It depends what agency/department you work for, I suppose. But not mine.


I've worked on the Hill on the Senate side and can tell you while in session everyone is in suits all the time (except some House committes). However, when out of session it is more casual.

MrAnon
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Re: DC White Shirt Myth

Postby MrAnon » Tue Mar 20, 2012 8:57 pm

It depends on the agency. Different agencies have different traditions regarding shirts. J Edgar Hoover often wore blue shirts and that tradition has continued at FBI and Justice. You'll notice during any white house tv conference that mostly white shirts are worn. Treasury is blue, and the historical significance or link traces back to Elliott Ness. This is not to say you can't get away with wearing white shirts at Treasury but the old established guard does this as sort of a code. And yes to suits, especially in DC. I mean do you want to be caught underdressed when you have an opportunity to meet the executive counsel at your agency?

CandyLand
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Re: DC White Shirt Myth

Postby CandyLand » Mon Mar 26, 2012 11:54 pm

Yeah it's pretty formal. I would second the comment that things are more formal on the Hill than on average in the agencies, but it really will vary significantly based on the agency and the job. I don't think a lot of employers expect you to wear your suit jacket around the office when you are not meeting anyone from outside your department or agency, and if those kinds of meetings are rare, you might be allowed to wear business casual.




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