I’m known for a lot of things, but my sense of fashion is not one of them. I still wear clothes I had in middle school. I’ve had friends force me to change before they would leave the house with me. Don’t get me wrong; fashion has a time and a place. But I have never found that place and have no time to look for it.
If you’re like my coworker Devon, and look like you stepped out of an H&M catalog every day, bully for you. I have nothing against people who take pride in their appearance. But I might refuse to go shopping with you.
Now, I’m lucky. I work in an industry that allows me to be young and dumb and ugly and I work in an office that has no boss to tell me otherwise. I wear shorts, a t-shirt, and the same Sanuk sandals with socks everyday. Not exactly a recipe for professionalism. And there are three simple reasons:
- Indifference. Picking clothes out isn’t excruciating to me, but I don’t find pleasure in it either. Why devote time and energy to something I don’t enjoy?
- Comfort. Wearing nice clothes makes me feel like I’m wearing someone else’s skin. To do my job to the best of my ability, I need to feel confident. And to feel confident, I need to feel comfortable.
- To be taken seriously. Counterintuitive, I know. But I want to be judged solely on my ideas, not how I look. It’s easy to sugarcoat bad ideas with an elaborate presentation involving fancy ties and shiny shoes. When you remove looks, you remove prejudice. Bad ideas are easily revealed and good ideas stand for themselves.
Agree with me? Throw on a t-shirt and let’s grab a drink. Disagree with me? Throw on a button-up and let’s grab a drink.