How to dress for work when you’re running the show
By Raeleen | 28 August 2015
Absolutely NO THONGS. 100% Guarantee.
You’ve started your new business – hooray! One of the greatest things about having your own business is being able to do what you want and answer to nobody. It’s day one in the new office. How do you dress for the occasion?
- I turn up in my best business suit, all ready to tackle the day and whatever it throws at me.
- I grab my favourite t-shirt and three-quarter shorts – and frankly everyone should just be grateful I’m wearing pants. It’s my business, after all, I’m dressing for comfort now.
- Turn up in Crocs and and pyjama pants but have a suit hanging in my office, just in case.
- Dress smart and comfortable, every single day.
The smart answer, of course, is D. Smart and comfortable can take on anything. The best business suit is great, but only a few of us would find it sustainable in the long term.
Unfortunately, I chose B when I first started Mettro, and let me tell you, it’s not the right answer. I was called to a meeting with a very important client in the city, and I had no time to go home and change. Everyone else, of course, turned up in their nice suits, and I have never felt more disgusting in my life (apart from the time I nearly fell in the hole in the ground that was a toilet, when I trekked Kokoda).
I was sitting in a café in the city with my client, and everybody around me looked impeccable. I’d met the client very briefly once before but I didn’t know him well, and I found it so hard to dig deep and find the confidence to speak authoritatively about what I could do for their business. I didn’t feel credible and I didn’t feel confident.
Lucky for me, I kept the client. It was about so much more than how I looked, though, it was about how I felt about myself.
That meeting was a wake up call for me. It happened early – in the first six months of my business. In my entire career I had dressed appropriately for the office, but I thought one of the perks of starting my own business was comfort.
What I realised that day is that you need to be prepared for anything.
Sure, you could go for option C but I have found there is something in that process of dressing for work in the morning – and putting on a bit of makeup – that makes me feel work-ready and like I can do my best work.
“You can have anything you want in life if you dress for it.”
– Edith Head