You can’t just wear anything and show up to work. Definitely not a bright red blazer with golden piping, purple slacks, and yellow boots. A great way to get yourself fired though. Please don’t try this, just don’t.
But have you ever wondered; What’s the deal with work clothes? Where did this corporate wear culture come from? What makes certain companies stick to formal dress code? Why do people in startups are allowed to wear casual jeans, T shirts and shorts even? Well….. I did some digging and here’s what I found.
Tell me this, what do a army officer and a McDonald’s employee have in common? It’s not a trick question – the answer is UNIFORM, they’re required to wear a uniform to work. Fun Fact, the first recorded use of uniforms is rumoured to date back as far as 1222. But that’s almost Ancient History, we’re in the 21st century now and times have changed. But a work uniform hasn’t, it has modified, yes, but completely thrown out of the window? No. Companies want their employees to dress a certain way because it gives them a cost-effective branding solution. Their employees are wearing uniforms and looking the same without actually having to wear de facto uniforms. SMART
However, this trend is shifting, with youth driving the workforce leadership they don’t really care about what their employees wear, in fact they want them to dress as comfortable as possible so that they can be more efficient at work. It’s plain vanilla peeps, the employees’ clothes reflect the company’s and its founder’s vision and values. As of today the corporate wear culture is not as rigid as it used to be. Is it for good, or just vile, that’s for you to decide.
But deciding what to wear and what to avoid at work can still be a tall order for many. You’re in the right place my dear friends, don’t sweat, I have just the right piece of advice for ya folks, Be Comfortable. Be Practical. And Be Yourself – Read on!
Choose quality workwear essentials, you should build your work wardrobe around the pieces you wear all the time and are already comfortable with. Staples like jackets, shirts, trousers, skirts and blouses are an important part of you look. And because you’ll be wearing them for quite a long time you should always choose quality over price. Think of it as an investment.
Find a style that you love, and buy it in several colors, that’s an easy way to create a cohesive work wear wardrobe. This will allow you to mix things up without a lot of hassle.
When creating a signature work uniform set a budget, make time, and be honest about what you can pull off and what you cannot – might seem a little harsh to some but it’s a simple hack yet effective.
Plan your outfits in advance, if you know what you will wear on which day, throughout the week you can have fun with your wardrobe by mixing and matching shoes, jackets, trousers, blouses, accessories, etc. And it will save you a ton of time and time is money.
Building an effective workwear wardrobe is an important exercise for anyone who wants a clear distinction between their personal and professional life but at the same time it should not be something exhausting. So, I’ll leave you with this thought again, you can’t just wear anything to and show up at work (see para.1).