Just because you don’t speak to “customers” or “the public” it’s still necessary to look like you are a professional and take pride in your work.
Tip 1 – Ties
Engineers are not required to wear ties. Engineers don’t suck up or down to people like managers or sales people, therefore societal rules around ties do not apply to you. They also reduce blood flow to the brain. Notable exceptions are job interviews (yours, or for your replacement to demonstrate that you are actually paying attention to someone stupid enough to take your job), weddings (when you are groom or best man) and funerals (always). Ties attempt to show your sincerity or ability to achieve something. Of course, a tie gives no such properties and lead to the conclusion that you are probably lying.
If you must wear a tie, then have white business shirts. That way, you will never pick the wrong colour tie.
When selecting ties, stick to a single colour. Multicoloured ties are for managers and hipsters. Hawaiian ties are for dress down Fridays only, as a joke. Worth remembering that point.
Tip 2 – Shirts
Always buy shirts with a collar. Polo shirts can be short-sleeved but business shirts are always long-sleeved. A rolled up sleeve says “man at work”, check out any manager with the rolled up sleeve look – yep, you know I’m right (emphasis on “SAYS man at work”). And a collar always looks good – timeless fashion.
T-Shirts are what footballers wear to because buttons are too complex and collars “scratch their necks”.
And always iron your shirts. An engineer does not buy ‘non iron’ material because it never works. And looks cheap. And it pumped chock full of chemicals that’ interfere with your mental processes and cause sweaty armpits.
Any shirt that has a company logo or slogan on it is an ABSOLUTE NO NO. Even when they pay you – fast food chains make people wear company shirts and that’s an association that you don’t want.
Note: When a white shirt has yellow armpits, it goes in the bin. Don’t argue with me. This is about fashion not whether your short has a couple of years left in it.
Tip 3 – Hats
Foundational Tips: Engineers don’t wear hats, hipsters do. But, you may need something to cope with environmental conditions. Therefore the following guidelines are offered: Engineers don’t wear baseball caps – anything you get for free isn’t worth having, thus vendor caps go straight to charity for poor sporty type people who can’t make a living being clever.
While a fez is eminently practical (without the tassel), it’s not currently in fashion. Engineers do not wear floppy hats either, that’s for skateboarders hipsters just before they become drug addicts. Suggestions for Panama hat, and other forms of headwear for personal flair are verboten, unless you are an instantly recognised Internet legend or laudable person. Even then, I’d still say that hats are for hipsters unless they have a specific functional purpose like keeping the sun off your bald spot.
Tip 4 – Portable Computing
Use a belt clip for your portable computing device or phone. This is because putting the phone in your pocket spoils the cut of your trousers. Also important, it means you won’t leave it somewhere (like on the table at a restaurant) and then be like that middle manager saying ‘I’ve left my phone in the back of the taxi cab / restaurant / strip club / gay bar’.’ (Not that there is anything wrong with that).
Sure, a belt clip kind of screams out ‘nerd’ but nothing says ‘prick’ like a phone in the pocket of jeans spoiling the manscaping of your trouser line and demonstrating you are hipster-stupid for not considering practical matters or constantly losing your phone, or dropping it. And then whining about it because you feel good about whining, it’s makes you feel like have some self worth after all.
Tip 5 – Belt
Belts are always wide, black and leather. Fashion experts say narrow belts improve the your perceived waistline, but really, they are uncomfortable, pinch your hips and don’t support your belt clip properly. An unsupported belt clip means you need to keep adjusting it, and that’s a bad look.
Belts are always leather because they stretch. Like your waistline does (how does that happen anyway ?). Requires less belts over a your lifetime. Have you seen the prices of belts ? Jeesh.
Tip 6 – Suit
Engineers don’t need suits excepting special occasions (see Tip 1 – Ties). If you have to buy a suit then get a dark blue suit that is plain, simple cut and straight. Double breasted or single breasted is fine, but don’t go for oversized collars. Anymore than two internal breast pockets means that you will be tempted to install a tablet and will spoil your manscape – a no no.
Think about getting two or three pairs of trousers at time of purchase. You won’t wear the jacket much, and that way the whole outfit will last longer or until your body changes shape (you are watching your diet and posture aren’t you ?)
An expensive suit is pointless since your body shape will probably change by the time it wears out. Expensive suits are for people who don’t need their money e.g managers and sales people.
Tip 7 – Shoes.
Difficult choices here. Primary choices are black leather shoes, with laces. Shoes without laces are for sales people so they can creep out of brothels quicker and not challenge their intelligence on a daily basis. On the other hand, trainers/runners are comfortable but create the perception that you are a casual lay about hipster who is thinking about “shades of blue” and relevant moral values between a “cocaine and heroin”.
Tip 8 – Socks
Buy socks in identical multi-packs. 20 identical socks does not mean 10 pairs it means you have a 190 potentials pairs of socks. If you lose or wear out any sock or even two socks, you still have nine more good pairs to go. And you NEVER have check you have matching socks – they ALWAYS match.
Socks are always black because its not quite so obvious if they aren’t clean (travel tip). And made form cotton. Engineers feet never smell, of course, but cotton is a lot more comfortable to wear.
Tip: Discard your socks before they have holes. New socks are a fine luxury for your feet.
Tip 9 – Trousers
Engineers don’t wear ‘slacks’, they wear trousers. While brown or tan trousers may be acceptable on the weekends, it’s dark blue or grey trousers during the week. This matches your white shirts – everytime. And your socks, shoes and belt.
Jeans are acceptable ONLY under the following circumstances they must be dark colours – black, grey, brown and they must not be “pre washed” or “distressed” and they should not be tight. Tight jeans mean swamp ass when working (something very few hipsters have everdone in their execrable lives).
In other word, they should hint that you would rather be wearing a suit but you are taking the day off. That’s manly.
Be Awesome and Good Looking
So those are my fashion tips. You don’t have to look like you’ve just escaped from London Fashion Week, just be practical, simple and engineer manly.
Keep it chilled and get back to working on serious stuff, don’t act like a fool, and don’t look like one either.