Branded clothes or men in suits looking successful is a thing of the past. These days, success is found in jeans and t-shirts. This is a new generation, a new perception of the correlation between success, wealth, and appearance.
My father used to say: a woman in her 30s must have a good quality coat. Is that still the case? What does good quality even mean? What is behind the perception of “good quality”? What did it cost to the environment? Did someone risk their life or health to produce this “good quality” coat?
Old perceptions need to be revised. People are no longer impressed, influenced, or fooled by appearances. On the contrary, correct choices, at least in small daily volumes, are what people notice—choosing sustainable clothes, avoiding unnecessary waste, and recycling all rank higher when it comes to modern-day perception.
Abuse has been a constant problem for generations – abuse of relationships, abuse of business partnerships, abuse of consumption.
Nowadays, young business owners do not have to impress their partners with their looks. They prefer to be appreciated for who they are, for their intellect, their personality, and their work. Some people say that trying different looks helps them to transform into someone else. “Looking more professional,” getting into a role. This generation has moved past this notion.
If you take notice, some of the most successful entrepreneurs of our generation are dressed in the simplest, plainest, most comfortable clothes you’d ever seen. Steve Jobs was always seen in turtlenecks, jeans, and New Balance sneakers. Elon Musk is a fan of t-shirts, jeans, and a smart casual look. These are some of the brightest minds our race has to offer, and their fashion approach does prove a point.
When it comes to women, high heels have always been a part of the commonly accepted “business look.” I have a whole theory about it. Being a young businesswoman, mother of three, active social human, I do not have the luxury to depend on shoes to define my image. I want to be able to move fast, with ease and comfort. When I leave home early in the morning, I have no idea what the day will bring. I need to be prepared for anything that comes my way, and wearing high heels can prove detrimental to my health and productivity.
After a meeting, I can take my kids to the playground, have a cup of coffee, pop in some shops, and finally end up having dinner with partners. Uncomfortable shoes cannot be the barrier to a happy, productive, headache-free life.
Covid might be one of the worst things that happened to humankind in modern history, but it did positively impact some areas. The remote work culture flourished and has redefined the way we think about the office and productivity. Alongside that came the change in the way we see clothes. Spending so much time indoors made us turn towards comfort and made brands and business attire almost redundant.
Comfort is now being translated to productivity. Letting people dress the way they like, work the way that suits them, and express themselves as freely as possible has proven to be the best policy—being productive means higher income. Being productive also saves time. As a result, it all leads to a higher value of time, more spare time for dreaming and fantasizing and inventing, more spare time for quality life!
Always remember: success and happiness do not have a dresscode!
By Natalia Bredneva Konstantinides