It Is Mine, I Buy Dat: In Defence of Dressing Up for Work

(Bajans will get the Stiffy reference in the first part of the title. Everyone else can just focus on the rest.)

Often someone at work will tell me I’m “dressed up” and ask if I have a date.  Someone will ask why I wore that dress “in here” when I could wear it “out”.  Now as I recently told a co-worker, I would wear a dress to work then style it differently if I wanted to wear it somewhere else.

I would also wear an “out dress” to work if I felt like it was hanging idly in my wardrobe for too long. Truth be told, if I bought it, I believe I can wear it wherever I want. I don’t own ball gowns or naked dresses so most things are fair game. Styling makes the difference.

From university days I was baffled by people who criticised girls who dressed up for class. They would argue that the girls would look the same way when they’re out other places. My argument: So what? Why should looking fabulous be restricted to weekends and after hours? Just what is wrong with having fun with your clothes seven days a week?

Beyond the fact that my clothes are mine to with as I please, here are five reasons why I dress up for work.

  1. It’s (sadly?) where I spend most of my time.  Who wouldn’t want to look great the majority of the time?

2. What I wear affects my mood.  Several times a day I’m less than impressed with one thing or the other but can I really stay upset in a dress with pockets? Or blue shoes that stand out in a sea of blacks and neutrals? Nope!  I dare anyone to tell me something when I’m loving my outfit.

3. Buying clothes and styling them is fun. Sometimes I can’t wait to get dressed and get out the house because I love what I’m wearing so much.  Work days can be tough; I find extra joy in my outfits.

4. I know people judge me based on what I’m wearing.  Like it or not, people evaluate you and form impressions before you say a word. I like that first impression to be one of competence, confidence and a little bit of fun and outside-the-box thinking. I will not look like everyone else. I don’t think like them either.

5.  I have this blog and you readers.  I want you to come out your shells and try new things when you get dressed for work. I want more Barbadian ladies to see beyond suits and button-ups and brown or black shoes.  Brains and a love for fashion can and do together. Don’t let a soul tell you otherwise.

Natasha Beckles

Natasha Beckles is a freelance copyeditor, writer and content creator. She has over a decade's experience in both traditional and online media. In addition to blogging about fashion and travel, she uses the written word to help brands and individuals tell their unique stories.

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