An Architect’s Dress Code

An Architect’s Dress code (Revised 9-12-11)

Employees contribute to the culture and reputation of the SVEHN JØSSANG ATELJE in the way they present themselves. An Architectural appearance is essential to a favorable impression with clients, and company shareholders (ie. Svehn). Good grooming and appropriate dress should reflect an employee’s confidence in his/her aesthetic convictions and inspire others to realize that they are dressed unimaginatively. An Architect’s attire should be minimal yet condescending at the same time.

Managers may exercise good discretion to determine appropriateness in appearance. Architects who do not meet a professional standard may be mocked and sent home to change. Some basic essentials of appropriate dress include the wearing of black and the need for clothing to be neat, clean, and expensive. Note: at no time will an employee be permitted to remove his or her “air of superiority”.

Management may make exceptions for special occasions (ie. An employee is exceptionally attractive, or has especially “fit” ankles). An employee unsure of what is appropriate should check with Svehn. (Please close the door behind you).

Architectural casual dress will be permitted on Fridays. “Architectural casual” is defined as follows:

Acceptable shirts: Black shirts, Black turtlenecks, Black T-shirts, Black long sleeve T-shirts, Black tunics.

Inappropriate shirts: White T-shirts, shirts with slogans, tank tops, muscle shirts, crop tops, Plaid shirts, Striped shirts, shirts with patterns or mixed-patterns, anything with  flower prints, or birds or lighthouses on it, non-black color, neon, hairshirts, anything with a visible logo or label, anything that brings to mind the word “polo”.

Acceptable Pants: Black slacks, Black Jeans, Prada.

Inappropriate pants: Shorts, trousers, tights, Khakis, pleats, double pleats, triple pleats, anything with more than 4 pockets, polyester, Eddie Bauer.

Acceptable Footwear: Black boots, black leather “minimally designed” shoes. Depending on the department, Black athletic shoes may be worn on the annual company hiking day.

Inappropriate footwear: Brown leather, tassels, loafers, penny loafers, Sandals, crocs, clogs, flip-flops, any footwear appropriate for the yacht, should remain on the yacht, Architects do not design yachts.

Acceptable eyewear: Black-rimmed-round glasses, Black-rectangular-framed glasses (if you must).

Inappropriate eyewear: Colored frames, Tortoise shell, 20/20 vision.

Acceptable bag: Black messenger-bag.

Inappropriate bag: any bag except a black messenger bag.

Acceptable hair color: Bald, grey, white, clear.

Inappropriate hair color: Blond or, optimistic.

Acceptable fragrance or aroma: Indistinct, not unpleasant, or French roast.

Inappropriate fragrance or aroma: fear.

An Architect’s attire should incite one of the following acceptable emotions: Angst, ennui, malaise, ensomhet, disinterest, simplicity, arrogance.

An Architect’s attire should NOT incite any of the following emotions: Happiness, relevance.

Svehn’s personal assistants may require additional guidelines. Architects who need to leave work to change clothes for meetings will take personal time or vacation time to do so. If you are meeting clients, business dress is appropriate, and you should remain quiet. These policies may be changed as the fashions change.

In conclusion: An Architect’s attire should tell you nothing about them, while at the same time, it should tell you everything about them, although, they probably won’t understand


{Cheers via Coffee with an Architect}


Cite: Brown, Jody. "An Architect’s Dress Code" 12 Sep 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 01 Apr 2015. <>
  • Dustin

    That joke was funny the first couple of times I heard it… that was in first year B.Arch.

    • http://UnknownBlogThatNoOneReads Does It Matter


      I sense from the tone in your response that you hold tight to these regulations in the dress code. Good for you, but a joke, even a dead as a beaten horse joke, is still a joke. (So laugh).

      A sarcastic architecture student who still laughs.

  • James

    Anyone as sanctimonious as Jody Brown needs to be a better designer than Jody Brown. His work is about as imaginative as his jokes. Maybe if he spent less time writing about how so many architects can’t back it up could recognize that he is in fact, not backing it up.

  • Did Gigazuri Daud

    but now ,, :D :D

  • Kristina

    the less i get the more i prefer… yellow :)

  • Lucas

    James !!! i salute you

    less infilling and coffee and more talent and perpective

  • Lucas

    and yes, i am dyslexic and dont check my grammar

  • AVEY0007

    Frank Loyd Wright wore hats.

    • marty

      “…and a cape too.”

  • w

    Is Steve Jobs an architect too?

    • piratejoe


    • s


  • Tamara

    :D :D :D

  • auto

    so ideally we should have a hand like a crab….