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  Click here to go to the first special guest post in this thread.   Thread: One Geek to Another - Geeky Dress Codes

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    One Geek to Another - Geeky Dress Codes

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    While t-shirts, corsets or cat ears may be suitable for nearly every geek occasion, there comes a time when even we the geeky have to consider some of the two scariest words in the English language - Dress Code. Whether it's for a holiday party, a family wedding or a new job, sometimes a geek-to-mainstream translator could be handy when figuring out what is and isn't appropriate to wear. While there's never a single right answer in these sorts of situations, here's some geek-friendly guidelines that may help you navigate the murky waters of the Dress Code.

    Assume that restrictions add on as you go up the list - thus if it says no flip-flops at Business Casual, assume the same restriction applies to Business, Semi-formal and Formal as well.


    Situational - Sporting events, beaches, pools, etc.
    Dress Code - As appropriate for that event. However, situational clothing/costumes are often not appropriate for activities outside of that event. Swimsuits, bike shorts, martial arts wear, and the like should be limited to the situational events they're designed for (or Geek Only Events if worn as costumes, etc.)

    Geek Only Events - Conventions, movie nights, geek-specific events (but coordinate the geek-you're-wearing with the geek-you're-celebrating - No Klingon foreheads at Browncoat events!)
    Dress Code - Anything goes. Costumes, cosplay, fur suits, prosthetics, wings, dungeon gear, face/body paint, props, etc. Geek Uniform (geeky t-shirts with jeans/kilts/skirts for either sex). (Save the extremely sexual t-shirt logos, lingerie and overtly bondage-gear for adult only events, out of respect for children and other non-consenting public participants.)

    Casual Public - Malls, informal restaurants, parks, movies, etc.
    Dress Code - Almost anything goes. Geek Uniform. Geek wear - bowling shirts (with or without hula girls), rockabilly/retro wear, casual gothic, etc. Also, any of items from Geek Only Events, but be prepared (and polite about) the attention you'll receive. Don't be insulted if folks stare at you if you're wearing your fangs on the bus - non-mainstream clothing in mainstream environments will receive attention. Also, be aware of your effect (physical or otherwise) on those around you - wings on the subway may quickly become weapons - be careful to not poke out someone's eye as you pass by. Keep it PG to soft R, logo and revealing-wise.

    Business Casual - Some casual workplaces for everyday. Some Business workplaces on casual days. Public events where you're not flying your geek-flag.
    Dress Code - Clean, good repair jeans/pants/skirt and T-shirt (without logo) or non-revealing non-tank top. Button-down shirt without hula-girls or bowling logos. Sweaters (no Freddy Kruger stripes!) Casual (but not overly revealing) dresses. No bare midrifts. No plastic flip-flops, although nice leather shoes in a flip-flop style may be okay. Good sneakers or casual dress shoes. No fishnets or mini-skirts. No costuming pieces or props.

    Business - Many workplaces. Job interviews for workplaces where the norm is Business Casual. Casual weddings or memorial services.
    Dress Code - Non-denim pants or skirts. Non-T-shirt tops or sweaters. Button-down long or short sleeve shirts, with or without jacket. Dress shoes (not sneakers).

    Semi-formal - Very formal workplaces. Job interviews for workplaces where the norm is Business. Formal (but not black-tie) weddings or funerals.
    Dress Code - Suit (matching pants and jacket) and tie. Simple cocktail dress (for non-work environments) for women. Skirt/dress trousers and blouse/top (with or without jacket) for women in the workplace.

    Formal - Some weddings. Some charity/gala/opening events or other social events specified as Formal or Black/White Tie.
    Dress Code - Suit and tie. Tux if you're asked (or have one you want to wear - that's more common among certain sectors of the geek community than many parts of mainstream society.) Cocktail dress/skirt and dressy top for women, with the possibility of formal/ball gown (depending on the event.)

    Again, this isn't in any way my attempt to tell you what you can or can't wear in any given situation. But if you're looking for guidelines on what might or might not be seen as appropriate in given situations, this may help.



    Have questions about how to handle a geeky situation? Need advice on social etiquette relating to games, movies, fan groups, conventions or other geek-ful settings? Send us an email and your question may get answered in one of our future "One Geek to Another" columns!

    For more information about your One Geek to Another hostess, check out Jess' website at: www.JessHartley.com
    Last edited by JessHartley; 11-02-2009 at 11:19 PM.

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    You know Jess, there has been a trend coming up with weddings. Geek wear, mostly knightly stuf ad old european, has been making a huge appearence in weddings, with the people dressing up and everything. It is really cool to me. I kinda wanna do it...in my own geeky way. Be a knight when I get married. Now that would be cool.

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    If you need someone to tell you not to where Vulcan ears to a family dinner at grandmas house , you have deeper issues then a dress code

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    "If my family has a problem with what I wear to dinner, GOOD! I'd rather they be uncomfortable than not be myself. I say, dress like a geek whenever you want, unless your work has a reasonable expectation for you to wear a uniform or something."

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    I have to agree with jasonj, I mean I don't wear my gimp suit out to the.... Wait, I may have said too much already.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryuka_Tana View Post
    "If my family has a problem with what I wear to dinner, GOOD! I'd rather they be uncomfortable than not be myself. I say, dress like a geek whenever you want, unless your work has a reasonable expectation for you to wear a uniform or something."
    Good point here - it could be bad to let assimilation oppress self-expression. If you haven't seen the idiot box lately, there's a pretty narrow definition of normalcy into which everyone must fall.

    But Ryuka could have problems when the family refuses to serve dinner to him/her...
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    Im not saying you shouldnt express yourself , however , there is a time and a place for everything . Im not wearing a Dungeons and Dragons t-shirt to a job interview . If you want your family to be uncomfortable with what your wearing , your issues arent with a dress code , there with your family . That being said , we are all geeks at heart , thats what matters .

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    Quote Originally Posted by jasonj View Post
    Im not saying you shouldnt express yourself , however , there is a time and a place for everything . Im not wearing a Dungeons and Dragons t-shirt to a job interview . If you want your family to be uncomfortable with what your wearing , your issues arent with a dress code , there with your family . That being said , we are all geeks at heart , thats what matters .
    "Wrong and right, my issues do and don't lie with my family, but what my family is a part of... A society of people where it isn't okay to be yourself all the time (which it should be, no questions). I don't wear my normal wear to interviews, but you know what, I should be able to without any expectation that I won't get the job because of it."

    "As for my actual family dinners, when they ask me to join them, I walk out of my room in my sleepwear, which is what I was probably wearing when they asked me, if they didn't like that, tough. I'd rather be comfortable and happy than accepted any day of the week."

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    My dress code i define as "flood victim" Shorts and t-shirt every day. It violates where i work, and my tattoos show. Fortunately i am so good at my job that i get away with it for now. I don't push it though... an executive meeting comes and i put on pants and a collared shirt i keep at work. I also have scrubs!

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    It is not that much effort to dress politely. Again, I don't accept a "geek dress code", it is simply having manners. Day to day I violate fashion from 50 yards away. I mix polos and sweats, I wear big baggy shirts. My shoes are always unconventional. Banging around my house or running to the store, yea, as long as I'm clean and decent, fashion can go hang itself.

    However I do dress to the occasion. I own a suit. I know how to wear it. Sure you still will not find my shoes at Florsheim's , but they are black and not athletic shoes. It is not too much effort to wear clean decent clothing.

    Wearing decent clothing to work is simply respecting the job and the client.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tesral View Post
    However I do dress to the occasion. I own a suit. I know how to wear it. Sure you still will not find my shoes at Florsheim's , but they are black and not athletic shoes. It is not too much effort to wear clean decent clothing.
    Yes, best to fit in. Do not let them know the monster that lurks within!!!! Hide in the crowd, save the leather for when they sleep. I know where they sleep!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    My family is dead... No One reminds me anymore.
    Most men lead lives of quiet desperation.


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