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Hoody or Suit?


Over the past six weeks, what is asked of me from my work role has changed as has the way I show up. My role prior to this was almost exclusively in a co-working space where if you're wearing a tie, chances are someone is going to ask you, "are you on your way to an interview or a funeral?" For most people in the building, casual is a way-of-life. Over the past four years, I had begun to find comfort in this more casual world. Occasionally dress pants or a jacket was called for but rarely the whole done up outfit. I've begun to find myself wearing more suits or business appropriate dress wear in this chapter.

A couple things I've noticed from it

  • I do still stick out when I find myself at the co-working center after having had a more formal bank meeting. However I have been reminded that it is less about the clothing than about the character of the person wearing the clothing and how they present themselves while doing it. People at CIC know me well and thus their response has not been one of suspicion but rather acknowledging my new role requires the clothing along with the occasional banker joke at my expense

  • It has also reminded me there are moments when in our continually evolving casual dress culture, when the needle may have gone too far around casual. I saw this at times in myself and others I interact with. When I see an entrepreneur in a ball cap, zip up shirt and jeans, I have found myself thinking, "if certain investors walked in right now, would they take you as seriously based on the way you're presenting yourself." What matters at the end of the day is the quality of work done and the character of the person you're investing in but optics do play a role in human beings who are irrational creatures.

Finding myself a bit more a part of the formal dress world I thought had left behind hasn't been as bad as I imagined. Sure there are moments I long for a pair of jeans rather than dress pants and an oxford rather than a pinpoint shirt but overall I have been reminded its not about the clothing one wears but the person in them and how they interact with the people around them.

Go Forth Boldly


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