Culturally and socially, people expect to go to the office dressed in their best suits. It’s something about dressing for the job you want, or dressing to impress.
So naturally, there are still many professions in which the quality of your input will be judged by the quality of your suit. In fact, you might find yourself comparing your look to the rest of the office in an attempt to adjust your performance. But have you ever thought that there are roles where a suit is the last thing you want to be wearing? Worst, there are roles where wearing a suit will not be to your advantage. In a creative environment, especially in a digitally creative environment, you are expected to define your own style and to dress to represent your innovative and imaginative approach. No, that doesn’t mean that you should turn up in your best Halloween costume. But you need to ditch the suit!
Create a uniform that is appropriate
Not wearing a suit doesn’t mean that you should turn up every day wearing something colorful and imaginative that blows your colleagues’ mind away. You’re going to work; it’s not a big carnival party. So, if you’re going to work, you can make your life easier by creating a uniform in the style of Mark Zuckerberg or Steve Jobs. Zuckerberg always wears a pair of jeans and a gray t-shirt. As for Jobs, the sempiternal black top was his signature look. They didn’t invent a new style. Instead, they created a work uniform that takes away the agonizing wardrobe decision every morning. As Zuckerberg explains, simplifying his life means that he can focus on how to best serve Facebook, instead of making unnecessary decisions about what to wear in the morning.
Digital freelancer = cool and practical style
Working in the digital industry means that you need to keep a style that is modern and trendy. Exactly what suits are not. But if you’ve been looking at digital designers and creators lately, they tend to choose jeans or chinos with a casual shirt or a t-shirt by H&M and a pair of Vans or Dr. Martens sold by Spartoo. In other words, they choose a casual and comfortable approach. Why so? Because they spend most of their day sitting at the desk, trying to solve digital issues. Dressing for the job also means dressing like someone you’d trust to understand new technology.
There’s no room for suits in digital success stories
Finally, more and more Millennials have adopted a new approach to the work environment. Suits, they say, are good for funerals and lawyers. But they don’t mean that you will perform better or think smarter in your everyday job. In fact, Millennials look up to Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and even Richard Branson as models. These successful men have only been wearing what they felt comfortable in, and they have succeeded where suits failed. After all, casual clothing makes you think more concretely, and that’s the kind of skills you want to solve problems.
So next time you worry about your professional career, take a step back and ask yourself whether the clothes you wear force you to play a role that isn’t you. Dress down for the job and think smart instead of dressing smartly and thinking down!