If you have a new account but are having problems posting or verifying your account, please email us on for help. Thanks :)
Hello all! Please ensure that you are posting a new thread or question in the appropriate forum. The Feedback forum is overwhelmed with questions that are having to be moved elsewhere. If you need help to verify your account contact
Hi all,
Vanilla are planning an update to the site on April 24th (next Wednesday). It is a major PHP8 update which is expected to boost performance across the site. The site will be down from 7pm and it is expected to take about an hour to complete. We appreciate your patience during the update.
Thanks all.

Starting in the public service, what to wear first day

  • 02-04-2024 8:52am
    Registered Users Posts: 41

    I'll soon be starting an IT job in the public service, HEO level, will be in charge of a small team. I'm male BTW.

    I've been self employed the last 25 odd years so totally out of touch re office dress code in the private sector, never mind the public one.

    I remember from previous jobs seen people come in with a suit and tie into a casual setting and looking like an eejit so I don't want to be that guy. Nor do I want to be under dressed!

    Any advice, thanks!


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,323 ✭✭✭Bobson Dugnutt

    Suit and tie on the first day and get a sense for what the dress code is. Will probably be business smart - shoes, shirt, trousers, jacket.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,890 ✭✭✭granturismo

    Smart casual on day 1, no need for suit and tie at HEO level in IT.

  • Registered Users Posts: 20,336 ✭✭✭✭Rikand

    Shirt and jeans day1 👍

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,685 ✭✭✭kksaints

    No need for suit and tie anyway. Smart casual for the first few days anyway to get a feel for the office. Depends on whether you're based in the Department head office or an out office to a certain extent. Tend to be a bit more formal in the head offices.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,454 ✭✭✭Tombo2001

    Why dont you just ask the person who offerred you the job?

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 322 ✭✭pygmaliondreams

    unless you're an AP or above don't bother with a suit. You'll stand out fairly hard even if you were an AP going off the offices I've worked in.

    Shirt and jeans is fairly acceptable unless you're speaking to the public. Personally I just wear a shirt and a pair of slacks for day 1 to get a feel and then end up in jeans and a shirt forever after.

  • Registered Users Posts: 41 carlandlenny

    Thanks everybody. I think chinos and a shirt with smartish shoes?

    @kksaints It's head office

    @Tombo2001 I've only has contact with PAS thus far.

  • Registered Users Posts: 497 ✭✭Kamu

    Chinos shirt and smart shoes are perfect.

    I work in IT within the CS and the HEO's wear jeans and a hoody and a couple of the infrastructure CO's/EO's wear track suits with nothing said.

    Another lad wears slacks and a shirt as he likes a "uniform".

    No need to over think it. Once the weather gets nicer I will be in my shorts like last year.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,454 ✭✭✭Tombo2001

    In that case wear whatever you are most comfortable with.

  • Registered Users Posts: 24,208 ✭✭✭✭recode the site

    public service tends to be very casual, just so long as there are no political or advertising slogans on the clothing, and it’s basically ironed first day, there’ll be no issue.

    Can I get away with anything if I pay the piper, so to speak?

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 152 ✭✭bartkingcole

    First impressions matter especially if you have any ambition - you could be introduced on day 1 to the hierarchy. I would recommend smart casual with an emphasis on smart (and a suit if that is the norm in the office).

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,323 ✭✭✭Bobson Dugnutt

    The old adage about dressing like your manager holds true. I’m now self-employed but have worked in both the public and private sector. Rocking up in a pair of combats, skateboarding shoes and a Metallica hoody might be ok, but it also sort of signals that this is as far as you want to, or expect to, progress.

  • Registered Users Posts: 571 ✭✭✭bureau2009

    Definitely don't wear a tie!

    A jacket, decent shirt, trousers and footwear will get you off to a very good start - and make a strong first impression.

    And you'll be able to figure out the dress code in your first week.

  • Registered Users Posts: 27 plaidshirt

    I had a similar issue joining the CS this month having worked in tech where things were very casual - I owned no 'work clothes'.

    I just went to M&S for slacks, shirts, and jumper - no tie. I think at this point I get certainly wear much more casual clothes based on the office environment but sticking with it. Better to err on smarter first day.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,198 ✭✭✭bobbysands81

    I had to go back and look at the dates on the posts in this thread. The days of people wearing suits all the time in the CS/PS are long gone. Suits would only be required for serious high powered meetings or briefings with Ministers etc…

    Smart Casual is appropriate for 98%+ of the days you’ll work.

    As the CS/PS is a meritocracy you don’t need to wear suits to “create a good impression”, promotions are competition based so it doesn’t matter to wear a suit to normal days in work.

    Since Covid, even less people wear suits.

    I wear shirts and jeans every day and never an issue… as there is no official dress code it could never be raised as an issue anyway.

  • Registered Users Posts: 41 carlandlenny

    Thanks, I think I have a good idea now.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,270 ✭✭✭AyeGer

    Tuxedo, anything less is just disrespectful to your staff…

    I work in PS and the only men I see dressed up in suits are senior managers. Dress casual and neat imo.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,526 ✭✭✭billyhead

    This is it. If you are in a senior role i.e. AP up that requires you to brief/meet senior management i.e. A/Sec up including the Minister on a regular basis leave a suit in your office just when it's required.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,957 ✭✭✭Kevhog1988

    Chinos, shirt, jumper.. cant go wrong