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In both digital marketing agencies and in the digital marketing department within corporations, 3 piece suits, briefcases, and 'Power Suits' have been replaced with track suits, Pumas and graphic tees. Casual Fridays have become casual every day.
Though many digital marketing agencies and in-house departments are becoming increasingly laid-back and accepting of a more casual, shall we say "creative" dress code, there are still a few things to keep in mind when dressing for the marketing office.
20% of office workers still label coworkers sporting casual attire as "slackers".
They must not work in a digital marketing agency or in-house digital marketing department.
Sucks to be them.
But, keeping it casual in the workplace doesn't mean no rules apply. There are some loose guidelines that you should keep in mind before throwing on those flip flops, stained jeans and Night at Freddy's T-shirt.
Let's take a look at how to dress when working in a digital marketing department or agency.
Look to your Boss for Inspiration
When in doubt, look to your superior.
What does your boss or supervisor wear on the daily? Jeans and sneakers or khakis and loafers? Some executives may choose to dress-up on the regular in order to present themselves professionally.
Does your immediate supervisor dress differently only when there is a scheduled meeting or client appointment?
But dressing more appropriately for a client meeting does not mean doing a complete 360 and trading your vintage for Versace. There's no need to completely abandon your creative expression.
Try to go the business-casual route and remember, it's a safer bet to be slightly overdressed for a client meeting in your marketing office than underdressed.
When you aren't "dressing to impress" you can simply follow the flow of the workplace environment. According to one digital marketing company, at least 50% of their client base has never had a face to face meeting with them due to geographical constraints.
Comfort is Key
Creative minds work more efficiently when they're not constricted by tight collars, itchy fabrics and pinching shoes.
Often times a comfortable digital marketing themed T-shirt with a quirky catchphrase that appropriately supports your business mindset, paired with a nice pair of jeans and comfortable shoes is perfect for working in a marketing office. You might even get away with a baseball cap to top it off.
Don't confuse dressing comfortably with dressing for the part. You don't need to try and look like you're comfortable in track pants and a hoodie if, in reality, hoodies irritate your neck and you find track pants hideous. Dressing comfortable means dressing like you.
People can spot an imposter. Not to mention, with the flexibility of dress in the digital marketing office, why be anything but true to yourself and your style?
It's smart to approach the interview process and initial meeting with a digital marketing company the same way you would a client meeting. Smart casual vs. hobo/beach bum.
Leave the flip flops at home, but don't forget the sunglasses. No starched collars, but no ripped collars either. Jeans or khakis vs. board shorts. Granted, a digital marketing company is hiring you based on your creativity and not for your labels, but you still need to appear presentable.
Accessorizing is always an option for both men and women. Adding a little personality to your outfit can show your potential employer that you know how to have fun, but can also be taken seriously.
Dress for the Weather (Not for the Beach)
Have you ever seen those poor bastards in 3 piece suits standing outside of their office building in 90-degree weather? Their collar cutting circulation off to their neck, face red from the heat, sweat pouring down their foreheads? And they can't do a damn thing about it.
Because their office requires them to dress a certain way - no matter the temperature, no matter the circumstances. That's what's so nice about working in a digital marketing office. As creative minds doing a majority of the work behind the scenes, you aren't expected to be seen in a suit!
But just because it's summer and the atmosphere allows for a more laid back attire, that doesn't mean Daisy Dukes and spaghetti strap tanks with nothing underneath is the way to go (ladies, that means you). Pair a quirky tee with shorts of an appropriate length, trendy sandals and you're good to go!
And men... a a-frame tank with yellow pit-stains and a bathing suit that you think can pass as shorts, is not cool. And just might result in an unexpected, unwanted "work from home" day, granted to you by your boss, who just can't look at you.
Some Things to Keep in Mind...
- Be aware of your surroundings. Feed off others around you. Get a sense for what attire is acceptable and what seems to cross the line #coolcustomer.
- If your boss is dressing up for a client meeting, so are you. Don't show up in last night's outfit that still smells of beer nuts and Blue Moon. Match their style with your own version #monkeyseemonkeydo.
- Don't try too hard... Stay true to you. #poser.
- Be comfortable. People work better when they are relaxed and able to concentrate #creativejuicesflowing.
- Know your audience. Certain looks might work better than others, depending on the situation. You can only get away with so much by falling back on the claim that your outfit is an "expression of your personality" before being judged, shunned or worse... fired. So don't push the envelope too far if you aren't sure you can #choosewisely.
Dressing for Success in a Digital Marketing Department or Agency
One luxury of working in a marketing office is that you can incorporate both comfort and individual style into your everyday dress.
You don't have to fit a certain mold or avatar. Just remember, certain occasions such as marketing conferences and client meetings might require a little more business and a little less Bohemian.
So, what's your personality look like?