Business Casual Attire
To diverge from what have been very personal, somewhat polarizing, posts of the last few weeks, here’s just a little commentary on what I know to be some hypocrisy on my part. If there’s a passive-aggressive jab to be made, it’s at myself, and self-deprecation is usually hilarious.
There was a time when I wore a uniform at work. Later, I wore suits. Later again, I was able to wear khakis or cords and polo shirts, and jeans on Fridays! After a while, I decided that I wanted to look more professional, yet still comfortable, and wore dress shirts, sport coats and neat, dark wash jeans, with nice dress boots.
It was in this phase that I frowned on colleagues who wore jeans and tshirts, because I felt it was unprofessional and untidy—I almost want to say slovenly, but that seems harsh. I appreciated that their work was more manual in nature and the possibility of ending up in a dirty storage room or under a dusty desk was pretty high. But I still felt there was a tidier, more professional option.
I’m still generally of that opinion, but certainly tempered a little. Now I wear jeans and tshirts. Nice, well-kept, properly-fitting tshirts and neat, well-kept jeans. I usually wear some casual leather boots, not sneakers, and often wear a cardigan when I’m not just sitting at my desk. I feel like I’m put together.
One reason that I felt the need to dress up a little was to be professional, but I’ve found that my work does that for me. I do a good job, in a timely manner; I stay connected with the people for whom I do work; and I keep myself updated on my industry (even though I can’t always implement everything I learn).
So while I might have been vitriolic in the past about the appearance of my colleagues, they might now say the same about me. And probably should, but I’m good with it. I’m comfortable with my work, my role and my responsibilities and I don’t need to dress up to show it.