Fashion at work and at home

I was talking with a coworker yesterday and we were discussing fashion. She complimented something I was wearing and said that she likes to wear more colorful things at home. I thought this was interesting, and thats why I am sharing it with you now.

In the last few years we have seen the line between personal and business become blurred. In fact this website blurs that line since I didn’t see the point of it. I am not two different people, so appearing to be so didn’t feel like the right decision for me. Not a criticism of her, but just curious that people still see themselves in “roles” and act differently for those different roles.

She obviously saw her role at work to be professional and have more conservative clothes. At home she could be more relaxed and wear more colorful clothes. I think this is a idea that is more comfortable and common with people who are older. They are used to two different domains. I think one of the wonderful things about younger generations is that they expect to be able to be themselves, and not to wear clothes that don’t resonate with them or do things that don’t make sense.

Am I saying that doctors or lawyers shouldn’t dress up and have a good appearance? Of course not. What I am saying is that as business dress becomes more informal, the need to have the differences is minimized. Maybe 10 years ago I might wear different clothes, but most companies business casual standards also fit into what I would wear as casual clothes. I don’t think I am alone in finding that you don’t necessarily need to change your clothes when you get home.

To me, it seems like the future will be more relaxed business clothes. I work at small/midsized companies and most of the time they have a relaxed business clothes policy. If you value fashion, it is a nice way to express your individuality and style. I didn’t like working at large companies for several reasons and one of them was their overly restrictive fashion dress code.

I would feel uncomfortable if I felt I had to wear clothes that didn’t resonate with me. I have only had one company who complained about what I wore. They didn’t think my shoes were plain enough. I didn’t stay with them for a variety of reasons, the most critical was that they wanted to micromanage everything. How is the style of my shoes when I was not facing their clients important? I have always been a back end office person so who is the company seeking to impress?

If I faced the customer of course a dress code is critical. If we don’t, then as adults we should have reasonable standards of what to wear. As long as the body is covered modestly, what does style or color matter? Isn’t it strange that companies try to recruit “diversity” but don’t value the diverse culture and styles those people bring? What point is there having someone of color, if we don’t allow them the elements of their culture that are critical to them?

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