Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho…it’s off to work we go

The other day I saw a question that someone had posted in an online forum regarding the age old question of what to wear to work in a regular office environment (i.e. non-creative with potential dress code restrictions) and it got me thinking. This is something that took me a long time to come to terms with as I moved from a creative workplace, where I could wear anything, to a traditional-style office. Initially, and embarrassingly, I tried to “fit in” but the clothing wasn’t me and removing that part of myself made me miserable. We spend so much of our lives at work…do we really have to subjugate our sense of style all that time?

So, I came to a decision…I wear the clothes I want…”good” clothes (I’m not wearing trackpants and sneakers) and clothes that express who I am. It’s true that I look different from my co-workers and it’s also true that I get comments, both good and bad, on what I wear…but at least I feel like me. Ok, I make some adjustments to my outfits…if I want to wear something really funky I’ll tone down the rest of the outfit (I’ll wear my Pellat-Finet skull sweater under a black blazer or tie my McQueen karma sutra scarf so that you can’t see what the skeletons are doing unless you get really close). It’s “me-lite”…90% of the style, none of the calories.

I’m no worse at my job because I’m dressed the way I want to be dressed. In fact, I’m probably a better, and happier, worker because of it. Isn’t it time that companies realized this?

As Patrick McGoohan said in the cult 60’s television show, ...The Prisoner, “I am not a number, I am a free man!”.


Post a Comment 2 comments:

  • 7:37 PM
    Great post!

    I've been pretty lucky that places I've worked at were more on the casual side of biz-casual, though my line of work is decidedly conservative. Unfortunately, my days of "getting away with it" are coming to an end. On days when I did have to wear a suit, I tried to be me with the accessories. Little things like that make a huge difference--I feel less of a worker drone and a little bit of a rebel against "the system."
  • ambika said...
    11:00 AM
    It's interesting to see this because I often get comments for being a 'trendsetter' or 'creative' when I see myself as simply being frugal and maybe a little colorful. I have bright green ballet flats because they're the ones on sale. White button downs and black/navy blazers never get marked down so I wear whatever variation I can find that still looks acceptable for the office. I've definitely not bought things because I know I can't wear them to work, where so much time *is* spent but that doesn't mean I have to look staid either.

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