Whenever I talk about office- and work-appropriate attire – especially in the wiggly “business casual” category – I am reminded that the formal-casual gradient is relative. And, in fact, here in the U.S. it seems to change regionally. What would be perfectly acceptable in many Midwestern office environments shocks some East Coasters with its informality. What is totally normal work attire in Denver might seem outlandishly casual here in Minneapolis. And there seem to be marked differences between the California definition of “casual” and the New York definition of “casual.”
Originally posted 2013-02-13 06:03:24.
I consider style to be an integral part of presentation of self. We all have private selves that few people get to know or see, and we all have public selves that we must share with strangers and the observing world. Our public selves may speak, walk, emote, and interact differently from our private selves. Those are behavioral choices we make, actions we finesse in order to convey certain aspects of our personalities. How we hold our bodies influences presentation of self, as does how we engage in eye contact, tone and volume of speaking voice, and expressive gestures. Dressing also contributes to the public self that we craft, and the clothing we choose to wear and the ways in which we wear it can broadcast certain beliefs, traits, or preferences that we hold.
Originally posted 2012-09-13 06:25:21.
Reader Maddie sent me this request:
Something I think a lot about is how to balance “dressing for situations that require ‘appropriateness'” vs “dressing in a way that makes me feel awesome and cool.” Like you I’ve been trending much more edgy – cool recently, and it’s a balancing act to figure out how far to let that go when I’m on site with a customer at a big health system. For example, I’m not taking out my eight ear piercings, no sir, but should I balance that out by not wearing my pointy edgy heeled booties? Is a leather pencil skirt too much now that my hair is dyed dark and I’m not pairing it with a cheerful floral, but a dark blouse?
Originally posted 2016-02-01 06:36:04.