I am a strong proponent of developing your personal style and how that impacts the perception of people. Now, I don’t care a lot about what people think as long as I like how I turned out and am comfortable with the clothes I have on. But perception at the workplace could be quite a tricky thing to handle.
There are plenty of blogs that will tell you how to team your outfits for different occasions, what is indispensible in your wardrobe and so on. Dressing up to a party can be quite the easy task in comparison to how you dress to work. Does your wardrobe reflect your career aspirations at a corporate job? One of my team mates points out that I used to wear crew neck tees to work on Dress Down Fridays when I began working, contrary to the last 4 years where I have consciously switched to polos and casual shirts. After all, it is not becoming of a Manager to not dress his/her role.
In assessing yourself on how you dress to a corporate job, ask yourselves these questions:
- What you think is acceptable, to blend in with your colleagues or to make an impression?
- How do your team members, managers and colleagues dress up?
- How far thrown is your style from theirs?
- Are you keeping with the dress code policies of your job?
At any corporate job, you tend to spend 9 hours at work on an average. And nothing makes those hours longer, than clothes that are uncomfortable and shoes that don’t fit. I have weird sized feet which deter me from buying them online. I have to try on each pair as they vary across brands as well. Mine will never be a Cinderella story. And since I am speaking of shoes, always keep them clean and polished. There is a lot you can tell about a person from their shoes. It makes all the difference when you want to go from desk to dinner without having to carry a separate wardrobe.
For instance in this post, I changed my look from something that is more formal at the workplace to something you can wear for a drink at the bar by merely rolling up my sleeves, cuffing my chinos and going sockless.
The brogues by Clarks were the perfect tool to get this look right!
Personal style is one thing, dressing outrageously is quite another. Although it is fair enough to stand out, you shouldn’t be a distraction. For instance, I keep my beard slick with wax along with my hair so it isn’t in the way of my conversation. Last thing I want is the client distracted by stray strands. Same goes for jewelry, keep it to a minimum and that goes for the ladies as well. I had briefly touched upon a similar subject when I wrote about Tattoos.
In the end, it is also about perception. What is the image you want to project at work? How do you want others to see you? We want to be remembered by people for the quality of our work output and they should associate that with the high standards of your dressing.
Go on, tell us what you make of corporate work wear in our comments box. Are we to blend in, stand out or dress for the next position in the corporate ladder? We would be interested in your point of view.
Shot by Deepak Singh