There is something I have never got in my whole life. I was not born with this gift and I did not manage to learn about it in school. Every day at work I have to try and pretend that I have this skill and somehow I am making people believe that I understand.
It might seem quite small and unimportant when I tell you that my sense of fashion is my issue, but just think about the first impression you make of somebody. The very first thing you think when someone new walks into a business meeting. Do you assess their Excel skills, their ability to generate profit or do you assess what they are wearing? I walk into a meeting room and I know I’ve dressed right for the occasion, but only because I have learnt by my mistakes.
There are times and places to wear every kind of trousers. It is just that you have to know when these times and places are.
I can buy almost any trousers from Chums and there will be a prime time to wear each pair. The issue is when you get this wrong.
Business meetings with new clients are all about creating that perfect first impression. These meetings need something which shouts professional. A smart pair of tailored trousers, nothing bright in colour and nothing too baggy. They should look like you could put a jacket with them and then you’re in a suit. Smart always creates a good impression.
If I have not got any booked meetings with clients, then it is highly unlikely that one will randomly come into the office. This means that for the rest of the week, I can wear something slightly more comfortable and slightly more dress down. A pair of chinos is perfect for these days. If I’m going to be sat at my desk working away for eight hours, then I’m going to be as comfortable as possible. Chinos meet every need I have for these days.
The last option for the office is dress-down Friday. I can’t tell you how not appropriate a track suit or ripped jeans are. You are still at work in an office and these do not say work at all. I keep a pair of smart jeans just for Fridays. I really do not wear them for anything else, I have my real world clothes for that. This is office casual and a nice pair of smart-ish jeans works perfectly for dress down Fridays. They let you release and relax and yet, still, you are adhering to the company dress code policy.
These three rules have made sure that my lack of fashion sense and dress code ability have never caught me out at work. I might dress completely differently at the weekend and in the evenings, but at work, I dress for the event. I make sure that it is my work people are talking about and not the clothes I have chosen to wear.