The cultural norm is that we have a dress code for certain events or activities. The older generations would usually point to a decline in ‘standards’ for the way people dress, what they really mean is that people dress in a different way.
In one office, the staff normally dress ‘smart but casual’, so it is shirts and open collars. However, one day many staff members came in with ties and jackets leaving just one person in the usual attire. He was feeling put out when he recognised that he was the only one who had not dressed up for a senior management meeting but that changed when one of the staff said;
“you can think of it another way, you have no need to dress to impress, you are confident in your own skin and more certain of who you are.”
What wise and powerful words. Whilst I do not advocate scruffy dressing (whatever that may be!), hearing this story helped me realise that it is not my dress code that will help me to impress others, it is the confidence in who I am, in my words and actions.