I’ve always loved dressing up.
For some girls, that means whoring out or dressing skanky. For me, it’s always meant sophisticated/business casual. I grew up wanting to dress older than I actually was because I wanted to be taken seriously. In high school I was that annoying girl who really wanted to wear cardigans, slacks, turtlenecks, button-down shirts, and heels. (As a matter of fact, after I got my driver license, those were the exact pieces I bought after I drove myself to the mall. I was only sixteen at the time.)
To an extent I am still that girl. Unfortunately at my current age it ends up confusing a lot of people. “Is this woman 40 with amazing skin?”
I realize that I am in the business of packaging identities. Graphic design, marketing, and communications is all about what you say and how you say it. I am not really into fashion per se. I enjoy perusing magazines from time to time or window shopping like the rest, but every once in awhile I emerge from a maelstrom of identity-crisis inducing incidents as a reincarnated and refreshed creative. I find that it pays to let it show.
A significant other recently pointed out that as a designer, I had to pay more attention to the details of my own presentation. It wasn’t enough to have a creative portfolio or to have artistic interests. Not only do you have to play the part, you have to look it too. Time and time again, I’ve found a modicum of truth behind that statement. So, although I am not going to throw out all of my conservative clothing, I do resolve to add a bit more flair and fun into my wardrobe. (That can take the form of interesting accessories, rather than major pieces.) I want to approach my own presentation that I would my client’s brand identity, website design, or copywriting work. I want it to be fun, interesting, and leave something up to the imagination! I want people to dig deeper and find the double meaning.
The thing about getting dressed for work is that it puts you in the right frame of mind. Even though I work from home, I don’t have to look like it. Why wear drab clothes and not bother getting out of bed? It makes me feel lazy; therefore, I present myself lazily and my work comes off very sloppy. But, if I take the time to get dressed and accessorize, it helps me practice my design skills well before I begin putting pen to paper or mouse to screen.
Today it took me about five seconds to decide to snazzy up my outfit. Why? I’m under deadline today! I have to get a website deployed later this afternoon and get my client’s book out to the publisher. Now that I’m in the right frame of mind, I can think creatively and get the job done with some…wait for it…flair!