For the first time in my life,
I work at a job for which I can show up dressed as myself.
Which is weird. Considering that I've spent my whole (professional) life dressing to fill someone else's role.
And by professional life I mean like, 2 internships and a brief stint at non-retail employment so . . .
I'm pretty experienced.
Definitely listen to what I say.
That being [facetiously] said, I do have a few observations about dressing as yourself during employment hours that absolutely must be relayed.
1: Suddenly it becomes very easy to justify sweatpants.
Because they're not really sweatpants.
I mean, good god: they have a button.
And a zipper.
Also, they're by a store-endorsed brand, so..
2. There is nothing a blazer can't fix.
Some days I wear onesies. Others nightgowns.
One time, I wore culottes.
but WITH a blazer.
Which, according to no one ever, officially makes it work day appropriate, right?
3. Brand name t-shirts, something at which I once scoffed, are now de rigueur.
Great way to embrace my bum aesthetic while still holding true to a shred of fashion.
I also like to buy multiples of these. That way, I can wear the exact same thing every day while using the same pattern of justification so as not to perpetually recreate new excuses for appearing inevitably, but deniably, underdressed.
The most noticeable aspect of dressing for yourself at work, however, is nothing visual, it's mental. It's the strange merging of "work self" with "real self", and the ever-growing realization that maybe, just maybe, the closer the two come together, the more authentic, passionate and productive your work will eventually become.
I can't vouch for others out there, but every ounce of energy I spend pretending to be someone different (who I don't want to be, of course. Dressing like Pocahontas/Elizabeth Bennett is a whole 'nothing posterooni) is an ounce of energy I can't use towards something more productive.
Sure, professionalism has its place, but it shouldn't be conflated with the manufactured identities often "required" in the workplace.
|sweatpants: MOTHER denim "Trainers" via iona, t-shirt: NSF via iona, boots: Theory, bracelets: Vintage & Left of Right Jewelry|
At moments like this, I like to use incredibly original and never-before used examples like Mark Zuckerberg & Steve Jobs to prove how wearing t-shirts & jeans doesn't mean you're lazy. It means you're too busy kicking ass as yourself to take the time to fake being someone else to first prove that you're capable of kicking ass in the first place.
Let's make shit happen- Not waste time inventing personas to impress people to one day give us the leeway to possibly-but-probably-not make shit happen.
All photos by K is for Kat Photography