Challenging Challenges…

Today marks the beginning of the most challenging time in the Challenge for me – a new job. Today I had to start in a new office in London without my trusty wardrobe to help me out as I met my new colleagues. Interestingly, when I enquired about the dress code in the pre-job preparation emails, my new manager replied by telling me to wear something that ’conveys the impression that you’d like to make’. Well.  I would like to convey the impression of someone who wants to look professional and friendly on their first day. However, I also want to convey the impression of someone who cares about where her clothes come from, which is potentially more difficult. The truth is that we make up our minds about people based on what they are wearing to some extent.  Hopefully not too many of us judge someone by their designer labels or similar, but of course the clothes people wear say something out them – otherwise things like uniforms and costumes wouldn’t even exist.  But will people at my new workplace wonder if I am just too lazy to wash my clothes? Will they think I can’t be bothered to reach further into my wardrobe and I just pick up what’s on the bedroom floor each morning and therefore only wear the same 3 dresses each week? Or will they think, perhaps she’s rejecting fast fashion and embracing a mantra to reduce consumption and vast wardrobes? The latter seems unlikely, so perhaps it is our duty as Sixers to make more people think about the issues, and bring the idea into people’s minds. Ultimately, I think we always wear clothes that ‘convey the impression to want to make’ if we’re leaving the house, and yet the Six Items Challenge has helped me to care about this much less.  I think it takes a challenge to make you embrace such a thing – just telling myself that I need to use clothes to define myself less wouldn’t have worked – it has taken something quite radical to make me be brave enough to start a new job without having my  usual choice of clothes to make me feel more confident.  (Still feeling a bit nervous about tomorrow though…)

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