Say what you want but,’ you are who you are’, regardless of industry. In this case, I may be a salesperson but I’m a girly girl underneath it all. I would spend my days,UNPAID, slaving away in the Vogue Fashion Closet, being pelted with insults by Anna Wintour, if the opportunity presented itself.
Being the product of a strict private school upbringing only increased my love for all things fashion oriented. Knee socks, plaid skirts, embroidered cardigans, and shoe regulations were the bane of my high school existence. I loved special ocassions which allowed me to demonstrate my flair for the fashionable but I didn’t realize the value of that passion for “superficial presentation” and how it would translate in the business world. Interestingly enough, many people misunderstand the true impact of physical presentation.
My current salesworld is a maze of cubicles with more inside work than office visits. It started off as a business casual work environment for salesreps while operations wore “street clothes”. As a matter of fact there was initially a “B”sales team with less stringent standards (another post for another day) that had a street clothes policy. I am an “A” player so I didn’t have that option.
I had no complaints about the difference in clothing. I chose to dress in business trendy. Not buttoned up suits, but chic wrap dresses, statement necklaces, trendy pieces, and conversation worthy shoes. I put effort into my appearance EVERYDAY. I dressed for the job I wanted and the respect that I deemed my role worthy of.
“Dressing up” was the term I always heard in reference to my appearance and I was okay with that. Dressing up kept my energy UP during a strenuous 8 hour day in a cubicle, motivating myself to keep dialing. Dressing up kept me from slouching in my chair and getting too comfortable physically and mentally. Dressing up reminded me consistently that I was at work and, for the most part, helped me refrain from and limit bar stool conversation. Dressing up translated to a reputation of being serious about my craft and my clients. Dressing up set me apart. Dressing up was a huge difference between being number one and the first loser.
Appearance matters. In the Devil Wears Prada, Glenn Close points out to Anne Hathaway that even people who scoff at fashion make a concerted effort to show they don’t care. Wrinkled jeans and faded polos will never translate as the standard uniform of a winner, not because it’s not fashionable, but because it speaks volumes about the mentality of its wearer.