Can You Be You?

People have expectations on what they think a person should look like in relation to their job.  CEO’s should be in suits and ties.  Janitors should be in coveralls.  Pirates should be in puffy shirts and eye patches.  🙂

I have a personal uniform.  It stems from living my life for 14 years wearing the same thing every day.  It is comfortable for me to NOT have to decide every day what to wear.  It takes the guesswork out of my mornings.  I know I will throw on a polo, khakis of some sort, and sneakers every day.  The only thing I really have to decide is which socks I’m wearing (a fella’s gotta have options you know).

Here’s why I am ok with only wearing one thing…I love polos, khakis, and sneakers.  It is easy to throw on a sports coat and be ready for 99% of anything I would encounter in my day.  For the 1 of the time I need a suit, I stress out about not having one in the closest.  🙂  As the weather has turned, I find myself looking for a new uniform…long sleeves.  I’m leaning towards baseball tee long sleeves.  They will go well with khakis and sneakers.

So what’s the point in all this?  I feel as if certain expectations are imposed on me because of the job title I have.  When you tell someone you are the Executive Director of something, they automatically want you to be wearing a dress shirt, slacks, and shiny black shoes.  Why is that?  Why is there such a visceral reaction when you don’t fit the mold?

Don’t get me wrong… I can play the game.  If I need to be in a suit, I can be in a suit.  I am aware of the social expectations when I am in a boardroom full of millionaires and multimillionaires.  They expect you to dress in a certain way.  I just don’t understand WHY they have the expectation.  “That’s just what you do” is garbage.  I know there is firm psychology out there about why you dress to meet expectations and why dressing nicely impacts your mental state.  I just need to see it.  I can feel it happening when I put on a dress shirt.

* Side note * I am not a fan of ties.  Maybe it was because ties were my sworn enemy while I was in Law Enforcement.  If you wanted to ensure a work night of complaining and hatred, tell your shift its mandatory tie night.  I am ok wearing one and I know how to wear it properly, but I would rather wear socks and sandals than a tie.  Yuck.

If you can get things done in a t-shirt and jeans…shouldn’t you wear that?  I personally can’t get stuff done in t-shirt and jeans typically.  I feel too casual and I end up not being very productive.  My clothing can have quite an impact on my mental state.  With that said, I don’t feel more successful in a suit and tie.  I guess I just don’t find my value in the clothes I wear.  I like what I like. :/

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