So you’re one of the lucky ones who got hired into an office casual workplace. Your brilliant HR department recognizes that productivity, creativity, and innovativeness can be directly correlated with comfort. I mean let’s be real here, how can you think freely when you’re being choked by your necktie or trying to sit still to avoid wrinkles? Ladies, how can you run down the halls cranking out work when you run the risk of tripping over your heels? So much for efficiency.
But now you can breathe a sigh of relief. Those days are behind you. No more ironing or dry cleaning. You get to wake up and throw on whatever the heck you feel like and waltz into work straight up Zuckerburg style. You’re ready to innovate, produce, and speak freely in your white tee and jeans. Your productivity has soared. You feel like a gazelle flying through the Sahara. Nothing is stopping you now. At least nothing YOU seem to notice. But not so fast speed racer.
Let’s face it. Work clothes are annoying. They’re expensive, and they put many of us in a bad mood even before we put them on. But I think we can acknowledge that, when worn correctly, they make a good employee look really good. A serious employee look seriously driven. An all-talk employee look, well, believable. Basically, work clothes make a worker look legit. Put someone like that next to the t-shirt and jeans guy and let the stereotype answer the question for you – Mr. Suit-and-Tie surely has to be the other guy’s boss, right? Not necessarily. But you must realize, perception is everything. And whether you like it or not, a HUGE part of one’s upward movement in a company, no matter the size, industry, or location, is based largely on the element of perception. Perception of your work ethic, your accessibility to others, your willingness to help, and, wait for it, your appearance. And guess which one is recognized by most people first? Ding, ding, ding! First impressions are everything, right? This still holds true in an “office casual” setting, yet this logic often gets thrown out the window with the dry cleaning bag full of no-longer-needed white collar shirts.
So let me introduce you to a concept I like to call, “polished casual.” This is my inspiration, my passion, my main purpose behind creating Suits & Sneaks. You can dress as casually as you want, exactly to your personality, and still look driven, passionate, and promotable. So, some tips: