DISCLAIMER: This series is not intended to work for all professionals, and can vary for different careers. Please research/know your profession before attempting the recreation of any of these looks.
It is officially over and done!!! The #shortsatworkseries was a great challenge and an amazing work fashion week for me.
Many people may be wondering why I chose to do a shorts at work series and I chose to do this for several reasons:
- I’m a millennial
As millennials are the new professionals in the work force, we are looked at very differently than previous generations. We often hear we are the right now generation, we don’t want to work as hard as other generations (putting our time in) and we have a new set of rules. I would argue that all of these things can be true to a certain extent and due to the truth behind it we must own it and make our professions apart of our lives, not our lives apart of our professions (if that makes sense). Studies have shown that our generation will work longer than any other generation before us. I already see this playing out in simple weekly hours, 40 hours a week is almost unheard of.
Many of us in the professional world went to college to obtain a job (forget that piece of paper they call a degree, we’re being real here). If we cannot be ourselves in our places of work we are never going to be fulfilled. I know many people from generations before me who “put there time in” but there was no fulfillment from the work they did, or the day to day of their lives. My fashion is apart of my professional life, and I must find ways to enjoy it.
2. Fashion does not have to hinder your work ethic
I am a huge believer that the way you look does not change the output of the work you do (with reservations). I do believe clothes and physical appearance can enhance confidence for some individuals, but I would disagree that it is fair to judge a persons work ethic, or job productiveness based on physical appearance. With that being said, I simply wanted to challenge the norm this week. As I work in a pretty liberal field (higher education, there are politics though) this was still a bit risky. Nonetheless, I did it, it worked, and no one said much to me about it (no telling what they may have been thinking though.)
*but I also wear a septum piercing, traditional nose piercing, have a tattoo on my forearm, and wear hoop earring often. I’m pretty risky on the daily.*
3. People hire people
One of the things I have learned in my short professional career is that people hire people. Be yourself because people will find out who you really are eventually anyway. If you are a person of color in particular code switching can be exhausting, so keep some authenticity for your sanity!!!
People like to work with people they like, if you are not being yourself then the people you work with don’t get the chance to know you and eventually that can hinder you professionally. Be authentic everyday…but know the boundaries of your profession at all times.
4. Encouragement for plus size women and young professionals
I cannot leave out the love I have for plus size individuals and the hatred I have for body shaming. I have never been small, but I have always been curvy, and in recent years those curves have began to round out and move around, so I needed to find my confidence in my updated body.
As a result, I can wear what I want to wear, in which I only wear what I like anyway, but shorts are included in that. Having thicker thighs does not mean you cannot wear shorts, or being a professional does not mean Black, Blue and Grey suit with a collar and off black stockings. As a plus size woman and a young professional I am free to explore fashion just like someone who is half my size. I am free to love my curves at work just like someone who does not have to work as hard as I do to get dressed. Either way, we must love ourselves and own our identities so it is my hope that some young woman somewhere comes across this series and believes they too can be professional and Fly, even if they aren’t a size 2!