I am meeting him in his office on campus. I am a master's student in computer science. I figured that suit and tie would be too formal as it isn't really an interview since I already have the position. If I were just regularly attending grad classes, I may wear T-shirt, shorts and flipflops (during the summer/fall) and jeans, polo, light jacket, sneakers during the cooler months. Should I wear khakis, dress shoes, and a nice button down shirt? Ties? Yes or no? I want to make a good first impression but not have it look like I'm trying too hard.

In addition, he invited a few other grad students to his house for a cookout next weekend. What should I wear to that? I'm guessing more on the casual side but should I go in shorts/t-shirt or jeans/polo?

  • @What part of the country? Aug 10, 2015 at 1:57
  • Atlanta, Georgia, USA
    – noblerare
    Aug 10, 2015 at 2:10
  • I've edited the title to make clearer the discipline, level, and country.
    – virmaior
    Oct 5, 2016 at 4:52
  • Check that professor through his personal webpage, Facebook etc. See what sort of dressing sense he has and try to wear similar or near to his style of outfits.
    – IgotiT
    Oct 6, 2016 at 9:01

2 Answers 2


I've never even visited any universities in that part of the country, but I think your comfortable shorts/T-shirt should be perfect for a cookout in any part of the country. For the first impression, make sure you choose something comfortable. I think dress shoes would probably be overkill. However, a short-sleeved button shirt (i.e. tailored shirt with a collar) would be a nice touch. Do you have some sort of sports shoes? That would be a happy medium between dress shoes and flip flops. If not, I'd go with the dress shoes.

If you ask what food to take to the cookout, I'll chime in on that one too.


Whatever you want to wear should be fine within reason. To be honest it wouldn't even occur to me to worry about such things. But if you are worried, just wear a clean shirt (doesn't matter what kind, as long as it's clean and has no holes), any pair of pants (shorts might be slightly informal), and a clean pair of closed-toe shoes. Ties are overdoing it and it will more likely make you look like a douche :)

As a side note, personally I don't care at all what my students wear as long as they're wearing something, but when they don't shower and it's noticeable, that can really put a damper on the first impression thing.

Once you meet your advisor in person, you should more or less have a good idea of what to wear for the cookout (judging by how much of a fancypants he is), but I'd just take the same suggestion as above, unless it's really hot, in which case shorts should be OK (but I'd stick to wearing socks in case you're invited to his house and you have to walk around barefeet).

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