Trying (Failing?) to Look Like a Grown Up
I’ve never been a big one for dressing like a grown up. I’ve never had a sense of style; even well before I had S, I went for the “does it look clean/does it smell ok” approach to dressing in the mornings.
For my first year as a self employed person, it really didn’t matter how I dressed. I worked from my living room, and rarely had meetings with clients… I also didn’t make much money!
A year in, and at the beginning of this year I decided it was time to either take my business seriously and start earning a decent income from it – or to give up and get a job in a shop instead. So I started going to networking meetings, introducing myself to local businesses, I joined with some friends to set up a local networking group (at which I gave a talk), and started going to events. It’s all been great fun, and I’ve met some great people, but I’ve come up against a problem.
The thing with going to things in real life is that you have to look like someone people want to talk to. And more importantly, someone people would want to work with, to entrust with their website, their Facebook, their blog. Most of the time, I look like someone who’s been up half the night with a toddler and can’t string a sentence together. So I’ve had to work on my appearance somewhat.
The problem with this is that in order to go to these things and growmy business, I need to look the part – which involves spending money on clothes. But I don’t really have the spare cash to spend on new clothes until I’ve grown my business a bit and am spending more money. Do you see my predicament?
It’s also worth noting here that I live in a very small, local city – and you can guarantee that even on my day off with S, while I’m wandering about in my grubby jeans with greasy hair, I will definitely bump into someone I was trying to impress at a networking meeting the other day. So I kind of need to smarten up my act on all days – not just the days I’m going to things.
In the end, I stumbled across this site called VoucherBin.co.uk, which has loads of vouchers for all sorts of different things – not just clothing. I found a couple of vouchers for discount in clothing shops, and I was off! It was a struggle to stick to the womenswear sections of shops, since it’s so much easier to buy nice clothes to fit S than myself – but I managed it, and now I have a reasonable looking wardrobe (if you’ve seen me recently, you may well disagree of course). I’m not the smartest person in the world, but I like to think I look a lot better than I used to – and more importantly, I have more confidence now, when I walk into meetings and events because I no longer feel like the scruff at the back!
What I did was buy a couple of pairs of black trousers – because they go with everything and still look smart. Then I opted for some t shrits and tops in plain colours – again, so that they go with everything. I’m not going to win any style awards, but it’s easier to “put an outfit together” when you’re just choosing which colour top to wear! I like to think my “look” is very much a work in progress…