One of the things I’ve been doing in preparation for my new job is getting new clothes. It’s been an interesting experience for me, since I don’t really buy clothes all that often, and I’m having to do so for an office environment I haven’t really been in before.
I’ve been pretty lucky in my previous jobs in terms of dress codes. For instance: when I worked in the computer lab during grad school, I was pretty much free to wear whatever I wanted. T-shirt, jeans, it didn’t matter. My time as an A/V tech was similar, but towards the end our boss did insist we wear polo shirts with the university logo on them. As a result, I have yet to wear a polo shirt since.
When I started my retail job, that was the first time in a while I had to consciously change what I wore. The company dress code insisted on collared shirts, so my nerdy wardrobe was right out. Luckily, I was able to hit up a few thrift stores which, combined with some cheap undershirts, let me quickly bolster my wardrobe options.
Working in an architecture office, however, I expect to be a bit different. I imagine it’s going to skew more “business casual” than “casual,” so my comfortable jeans and boots are probably not going to cut it anymore. So I’ve supplemented my wardrobe (yet again) with several pairs of slacks and some nicer button shirts. It’s always better to be over-dressed than under, I figure.
The funny thing is, I used to dress more formally years ago. In high school, it wasn’t uncommon for me to wear a nice button shirt and a pair of khakis to class. Even my Hawaiian shirts got tucked in nicely. I guess that made me one of “those” nerds, the kind that, well, dress more formally than they probably need to.
But over the years, my style has relaxed into a more typical jeans-and-printed-tee one. I’ve toyed with the idea of consciously shifting my wardrobe into something more “stylish,” but it’s really hard to overcome my natural inclination towards practicality over fashion; buying clothes just because they’re “new” or “fashionable” has always seemed silly. But hey: a new job can be a great excuse to make a few changes, to get a fresh start. And I might as well take as much advantage of it as I can, right?