As time goes on I increasingly consider clothing first and foremost about function and comfort. For me this means jeans as my primary leg wear and then anything that doesn't need ironing for my tops. And for footwear it's either my Crocs or Blundstones for sheer practicality. For some client work though, I still feel the need to at least put on a 'dress-shirt' and some other pants. On rare occasion - like the social finance forum - I'll break-out a suit.
Every time I do this though it really makes me wonder. What's the point? As long as clothing is clean and not carrying offensive statements, then what's the big deal. That said, I still feel the need to conform to what I think is expected of me by those that I am representing or dealing with.
Going forward I'm going to start asking clients about dress codes before I engage. It's a conversation worth having I think as it will either 1) gain me 'permission' to wear whatever I want, and/or 2) challenge the client into thinking what is important about what someone wears. I have a feeling that may open up other conversations as to what we think is the value we see people bringing to the task at hand. I wonder if the task really requires me to look a certain way, if it's really a task I want to take on?
I'm curious to hear what others think about this now-a-days... particularly in scenarios where the task is working on systems level change. Leave a comment or email me at michael at igniter dot com.
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