In Silicon Beach, it easy to settle into a personal style of comfort. Jeans are de rigueur, as are sundresses, sandals and even flip flops. If you dress up for work, people think you are secretly going on a job interview or to a court appearance. From 2008-2014 I didn’t own a pair of real pants (read: not denim and not silky lounge pants) until I needed to buy a pair to wear to a job interview.
Earlier this month, I began a role in luxury retail, and the dress code is business formal. Not formal in the strictest sense; women aren’t required to wear skirt suits with stockings unless she wants to but there are definitely no tees, sweatshirts, jeans or khakis. Combat boots and hiking shoes also aren’t welcome. Men wear suits and ties, or slacks with button downs and sweaters, usually paired with expensive leather shoes. Flip flops? You’re fired.
I detest rules by nature, so when I received the job offer I assumed I would hate the dress code. As I prepared myself to step into the role, I quickly found that the dress code forces me to be more creative with the items in my wardrobe. I can’t wear distressed jeans to work anymore, but I get to wear all the great stuff in my closet that never saw the light of day because I wore jeans and t-shirts everyday.
I still wish I could wear my favorite torn black jeans, flannel shirt, and Chuck Taylors to work but I also respect the dress code. The CEO of the company stands behind the dress code, and I respect his wishes because I know he truly believes in it. I’m having fun with my style now, I can save the denim for the weekend.