Yup…I used to wear shoulder pads and nude hosiery back in the greedy go-go ‘80s. When I worked out of WeWork every day, my uniform morphed into a tunic and leggings with comfy high boots or sandals (depending on the season). Now that I’m a mid-life digital nomad, I’ve totally adopted the athleisure suit (Target leggings, sports bra, tank top, and long-sleeve running shirt). Not only does it save me a ton of money and time, but it – like a superhero cape – has its business benefits.
- I actually DO get to the gym in the AM. When I dress for the day (somewhere between 5 and 7), I feel compelled to sweat for a while before I start working. Or, I take a mid-morning break and do an hour of weight-lifting. As we all know, exercise is good for the brain.
- Once I shower, I change back into athleisure clothes. Again, it’s fast and simple (and machine washable). PLUS, if I’m tempted to go for a walk or do other healthy stuff later in the day, I’m already dressed for it.
- Wearing gym clothes makes me feel athletic – even on the most slothful and depressing days. I seem to work faster and with a higher level of confidence and speed. Clothes do make the (wo)man.
Of course, when I have a meeting or a speaking gig, I dress up. But I’m still big on the uniform concept. I find a style I like and will buy it in several colors and patterns. When I was working with speaking coach, we went through a branding exercise in which I cut pictures out of magazines and decided which famous women were my style icons. At the time, it seemed sort of goofy and narcissistic, but I can now pack for business trips in about 30 minutes and have differentiated myself optically from other women on the “circuit.”
If you’re in the process of branding or rebranding your business, it’s a great time to think about what your personal style will be. Like the Zuckerberg t-shirt and hoody, a standard wardrobe set reflects your attitude (and saves a fortune on dry cleaning bills!)
NOTE: Although retail fashion has generally been a flat industry over the past few years, athleisure continues to climb. I plan never to wear nude hosiery again.