If you are a freelancer, then congratulations! You belong to the distinctive breed who has managed to break away from the fetters of the 9 to 5 prison which also includes beating travel time, office politics and choosing whom you want to work with.
Being your own boss can be both liberating and empowering. As opposed to common belief, working remotely doesn’t necessarily mean working in your slouchy pyjamas snuggled in bed. There is more to the mystique surrounding a freelancer’s life in the confines of their home.
Freelancing is a real job and requires an equal amount of dedication, time and responsibility and dressing up the right way only means you are honouring your work.
Here is a guide to a freelancer’s wardrobe for suiting up or dressing down to make an indelible impression that you mean business, serious business.
Trying to work from home every day can get too comfortable. Sometimes you may struggle to disengage your personal work from your professional commitments. And being in your sweatpants may add to your struggle. To feel professional, you need to look professional.
If your plan of the day is to stay home and work, then treat it like a day at work. A relaxed pair of jeans paired with a crop top or midi skirt with a boxy tee, a pair of tights and a loose fit top will lend you a sense of comfort just as well as it will bring some level of seriousness and focus in you to get your work done.
This way, you can also beat the laziness of getting ready and heading down to the nearest café for a change in your workspace too.
You never know, a conversation with the caféteria boy or a stranger may trigger some creative ideas in you, after all a bit of human interaction hurt no one.
Out and about
Being self-employed also means you are your own brand. How you conduct yourself represents your character and attitude toward work. Networking is an essential part of a freelancer’s job. You may be meeting people over coffee or a potential client at public events; hence staying presentable should be a rule of thumb.
Being your own boss should not necessarily mean that you strut around in your shorts and flip flops and have no care in the world. If you are meeting a corporate client, make sure you dress sharply.
A pencil skirt layered with a blazer and a pair of heels or a bodycon dress paired with kitten heels will not only lend comfort but will also impress upon your professionalism.
If it is a casual meeting, a pair of tailored pants, wide-legged pants or a pair of boyfriend denim worn with a well-fitted top and white trainers or a relaxed jumpsuit cinched with a narrow belt around the waist will add to your charm of a person in control of her career.
Whichever event you are attending with work on mind, most certainly bear in mind to dress to the T.
As a freelancer, your life can be more about meeting people online. We mean, literally. Facetiming, Skyping and WhatsApp video calling or Google Zoom may well become an integral part of your life.
If you have taken work overseas, then having video calls at odd hours can be the demand of the day or night. You want to highlight your commitment and dedication and make your business grows.
Naturally, you won’t want to be rubbing your eyes or straightening up your unkempt hair in your most comfortable clothes while making those calls.
But, the best part about these calls can be that you can continue staying in your faded PJs as long as you keep your camera focussed above your waist. Dress UP (pun intended), wear a button-down shirt or a blazer, wear some makeup, tie your hair into a messy bun or a sleek ponytail and you are ready to strike that important conversation.
When going for an interview for a freelancing job, you must dress up sharply, even if the job demands you to work from home. Dressing up professionally reflects your attitude toward your work. Suit up. A midi length pencil dress with heels or a pair of wide-legged pants paired with a blazer and pointed heels will make you look powerful and competent.
Just like dress rehearsals help actors perform their part closely to their character, dressing up in the right way as a freelancer help fit in the role better. After all, as Jeanette Winterson said, “Turn up for work. Discipline allows for creative freedom. No discipline equals no freedom.” Stay disciplined and fashionable.