A short story on corporate attire

Putting an effort to dress up in a workplace that does not have strict dress code sometimes mean getting questions like, “are you going to a job interview?” It’s the usual assumption I also made a lot back when I was a T-shirt-and-jeans person. If you can go to work in workout clothes, bothering with business casual is a bit of an inconvenience, right?

The day I felt the meaning of the word “underdressed”

My transition from T-shirts to business shirts at work happened after bumping on a friend one afternoon. I was on my way home, but decided to grab dinner at the mall, when I saw a familiar face at the food court. It was a college friend I haven’t seen often since graduation, so we caught up on each other’s lives over rice and chicken steak.

Now you can judge me for being petty or too occupied with appearance, but this is how I honestly felt: with my baggy T-shirt, slightly loose denims and bulky rubber shoes, I looked inadequate sitting across the table from a guy on dress shirt, slim trousers and leather shoes. I know the people around us probably didn’t give a hoot, but I did. And I promised myself that after that day, I am never going to be underdressed again.

It’s been a year since I started going to work in business casual. I’m pretty happy with the state of my wardrobe right now. It may have made a little bit of dent to my budget, but it also boosted a bit of my self-confidence. Now that’s not something you can put a price tag on.

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