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Old 11.05.2011, 07:58
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Lab/Work Dress

Hi!
I will be living in Zurich for a few months and working in a University lab. I was wondering how formal people tend to dress in that setting, since I'm not sure what to pack!
In my university, lab workers dress really casually, mostly jeans and t-shirts, but I'm not sure how it works in Switzerland and I don't want to bring a lot of the wrong clothes.
Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 11.05.2011, 08:20
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Re: Lab/Work Dress

The best bet is to ask your boss about the dress code. I've noticed the people who work in our labs tend to wear jeans and t-shirts or casual polos.
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Old 11.05.2011, 08:30
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Re: Lab/Work Dress

University lab dress is pretty much the same here as it in any academic lab. Casual - jeans, t-shirts/polos. Closed toed shoes *should* be required, but I've seen plenty of the socks/Birkenstocks types running around.

But what the above poster said - ask first just to be sure.
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Old 11.05.2011, 08:45
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Re: Lab/Work Dress

Casual is the dress code here - I guess roughly the same as in other labs you know. But then again it depends how you usually dress or see yourself. I think being comfortable counts more than a typical dress code.
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Old 11.05.2011, 09:38
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Re: Lab/Work Dress

Dress a little bit nicer the first week - jeans and polo shirts, I'd say. You won't be doing much work anyway, in between meeting people and the endless round of get-to-know-you coffees and Aperos and all that. During that week you can keep an eye on how your new colleagues are dressed.

Last edited by MathNut; 11.05.2011 at 09:51.
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Old 11.05.2011, 10:43
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Re: Lab/Work Dress

I work in a lab, and it's quite acceptable to show up to work in jeans and a t-shirt. However, people are generally more nicely dressed than in my lab in the US. Here are the new pieces of clothing in which I invested after my move:

- Cardigans of a few different colors
- V-neck t-shirts
- A few light scarves
- Well fitting, halfway nice jeans (no tears, no washed-out look)
- Closed toe flat shoes (I do miss my sneakers a LOT, though)
- A blazer, which mostly hangs out in my office for short-notice aperos

If you are a man, then polo shirts are lifesavers.

If you will be working at ETH Honggerberg, you can dress as casually as you like. If you are in any other place, then hoodies will make you stick out a lot.

Also, my observation is that the generally nicer look comes from the good care people take of their upkeep. Make sure you brush your hair, put on a pair of small earrings, keep your eyebrows in check (well, this perhaps applies more to me than most others), etc. These things make a big difference in how well-put-together you will come across.
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Old 11.05.2011, 10:47
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Re: Lab/Work Dress

Dress as if you are going to a funeral:





Or, if you don't have such attire, then casually.
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Old 11.05.2011, 11:13
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Re: Lab/Work Dress

I'm the worst for lab wear, but for the students I expect no leg showing, fully covered feet and sleeves. No heels either. Business casual or casual doesn't matter to me, it's all under the lab coat anyways. And no contact lenses as well.

That's just in my lab--others treat it differently from obsevation
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Old 12.05.2011, 20:46
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Re: Lab/Work Dress

Thanks everyone! Your replies were really helpful!
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Old 12.05.2011, 21:13
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Re: Lab/Work Dress

I've seen white socks and sandals in labs.... in the dead of winter
Academia is a world of its own.. and really the kindest environment I've ever been in.
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Old 12.05.2011, 22:16
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Re: Lab/Work Dress

When I first came here, I dressed as I did in the US (suit, ties, etc.)

However, no-one else did, so I started wearing suits only on Thursdays (back in the US, that was the day I'd go with my boss, and HIS boss to the local Hell's Angels bar for 25c beers and pool).

Still nothing.

Moved to Ticino, filled my office with motorcycle parts (including two boxer motors in pieces at the moment), wear shorts June-September, but still haven't got into the bare-foot sandal thing!

Tom
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Old 12.05.2011, 22:37
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Re: Lab/Work Dress

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I'm the worst for lab wear, but for the students I expect no leg showing, fully covered feet and sleeves. No heels either. Business casual or casual doesn't matter to me, it's all under the lab coat anyways. And no contact lenses as well.

That's just in my lab--others treat it differently from obsevation


Draconic measures!

I work in a lab and people wear whatever they feel like. High heels, boots or flipflops - it's your choice (and your problem if you drop a bottle of acid on your toes).
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Old 12.05.2011, 23:18
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Re: Lab/Work Dress

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Hi!
I will be living in Zurich for a few months and working in a University lab. I was wondering how formal people tend to dress in that setting, since I'm not sure what to pack!
In my university, lab workers dress really casually, mostly jeans and t-shirts, but I'm not sure how it works in Switzerland and I don't want to bring a lot of the wrong clothes.
Thanks!
Sounds like you can pack real light. One pair of sandals, and a change of underwear.
But wearing a suit on Thursdays sounds good. Keep them guessing.
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Old 12.05.2011, 23:26
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Re: Lab/Work Dress

If you wash and shave yourself regularly, you'll look above average. Dress code: jogging shoes, white tennis socks, jeans (a tick too short), t-shirt with atari logo.
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