Sunday, November 24, 2013

Dress for Success

“There is only one success: to be able to spend life in your own way and not to give others absurd maddening claims upon it.” ~ Christopher Morley

 As any career guide will tell you, one of the first things to do when choosing a career path is invest in appropriate clothing. Now that it looks like I can plan on making the career change from accounting to writing in the next year or so I need to consider the "look" my new role requires.

It's possible I've never been more excited.

If you follow my blogs or my Twitter you might have picked up that I've actually worked for a long time. Even if you rule out helping in the family health food business as a tween, or the babysitting and crafts I did as a young teen, I've been in the work force neigh on thirty years. I've worked retail, restaurant, and hospitality. I've done sales, marketing, office management, project management, IT, and accounting. I've worn uniforms, suits, and jeans to work (usually not all at the same place). I'm fairly sure that I've not had any gap in employment for the last 26 years, having at times up to three jobs at a time. Work? Yes, I know what that is.

To date my least favorite aspect of work has been clothing. See, I'm a jeans and t-shirt kind of a girl and most jobs just don't go for that. Worse yet, my first impression personality doesn't even match the jeans and t-shirt. I deal with the first by being a rebel. As for the second, well, honey badger don't care. If I seem like a pinstripe personality to you then you just don't know me yet.

My typical approach at work is to assess what the minimal requirement is to look professional where I am and then take it a notch lower to see what I can get away with. I'm also difficult to persuade. The people who say to me "You should dress for the job you want" usually get the retort "I want to be first mate on a sailboat in the Bahamas." Yeah, come at me, bro. I'll dress up if I deem it necessary, but when it comes to advancing my career I focus on the WORK before I worry about how my image affects me. I wear more than my fair share of Hawaiian shirts on casual Fridays throughout the summer (and sometimes on formal Monday thru Thursdays, too). See aforementioned note on being a rebel...

So the idea that I can have a job where I spend most of my time in comfortable, casual clothing? Heaven. It's among the things I look forward to the most. Now don't be disappointed if you see me at a signing and I'm not "dressed down." If nothing else, shouldn't I wear these professional clothes somewhere? What else could I possibly do with a collection of red and black blazers? Maybe I'll cultivate the jeans and blazer look...

Here's my list of wardrobe items I think I need to ensure I have on hand. Tell me if there is anything else you would add:

  • T-shirts with snarky and geeky sayings/designs - maybe from ThinkGeek?
  • Comfy cotton and wool sweaters - those cold nights, they are coming
  • Sweatpants/yoga pants - an obvious must
  • Leggings - because every day can't be a sweatpants day
  • Jeans - because sometimes we must leave the house
  • Comfy slippers - warm feet are required for creativity
So what did I miss? And what is your dream wardrobe?


  1. Capri pants, T-shirts, and bare feet in the summer. Jeans, long-sleeved Ts, sweaters, and warm slippers in the winter. (It's probably just as well I'm a writer. *grin*)

  2. Then you dress up a bit for signings. Then again I couldn't see your feet in the pics. Might be bare feet or slippers under there! Can't wait to have the time to actually come up and see you and my other NoVa buddies!! :)