The Emperor’s New Clothes
With an extremely hot Summer that posed sartorial challenges behind us, we now have to tackle that annual wardrobe challenge: how to navigate all the practical considerations of the changes in temperature.
If you venture into the City of London or Canary Wharf, you will be faced with a sea of monochrome suits – black, grey and navy blue – that is the uniform of choice. The colour palette seldom features. Make your way towards Shoreditch and Spitalfields and the way in which professionals dress starts to change. Guys tend not to opt for suits, preferring a more casual approach to work-wear – quirky vintage outfits that tend to be a little more rugged and fit in with a more creative choice of profession. Women are more likely to add splashes of colour to their clothes – a cross between fashion and function. For the more creative people, every day seems to be dress-down Friday.
As office space becomes less important for smaller companies, then so does the way in which people dress. If you have ever spent time in WeWork you will witness a very casual approach to business wear. No Suits – DMs, jeans, casual shirts and t-shirts. As the more flexible approach to work starts to take a grip on our society, work wear becomes much more chilled. Under 30 year olds are not surprised if they are greeted by a letting agent who is casually dressed. But it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. A letting agent who arrives smartly dressed, shoes highly polished and with great hair gives the impression of professionalism. Pride of place is given to the way they present themselves and tells the client that they are serious about the transaction they are about to deal with.
Dress codes still exist in some industries – sometimes its about health & safety, sometimes its about the way a company wants to be portrayed. Piercings and tatoos are still not considered as appropriate in some companies.
The way we dress is sometimes about discovering and unleashing your own style. Ask yourself: when do you feel most powerful, most beautiful and most ‘you’? What are you wearing? Do you think what you’re wearing plays a part in how you’re feeling and how you behave?
Miuccia Prada said that “What you wear is how you present yourself to the world, especially today, when human contacts are so quick. Fashion is instant language.” And she’s right.