If there’s one thing you need to know about me, it’s that I love shopping. Seriously, I love it.
I wouldn’t describe myself as girly or frilly or anything like that, but I do love to shop. I love to buy clothes. I love to buy shoes. I love accessories. I’m definitely a shopper.
Because of this love, I’ve always struggled with how to dress when working in sports. In my current role, I have in-office requirements as well as game-day and travel duties, and my attire is often one of my biggest concerns.
When I’m in the office, I like to dress professionally. As a young 25-year-old hoping to one day move up along the corporate ladder and lead others, I firmly believe that every day is a good day to make a good impression. However, my current role does not require me to dress as nicely as I like to, so I’ve had a few hiccups along the way.
Thanks to a few speed bumps and some learned lessons, I think I finally have some tips on how to dress when working in sports.
1. Dress comfortably.
I am the most comfortable when wearing dresses. Not everyone feels like this-in fact, most people probably don’t feel like this. But I love dresses, so I wear them. Obviously, I’m also comfortable when wearing sweatpants; but as you know, they are not work appropriate. Therefore, when I say dress comfortably, I mean within reason. If you like wearing pants, don’t wear skirts. Dressing in a way that makes you feel comfortable means that you don’t have to worry about what you look like and you can focus on the job at hand.
2. Remember that first impressions can last a lifetime.
There are days when I wake up and want to put on sweatpants or leggings and go to work. And truth be told, there are days when I could do that and no one would say anything to me about my outfit of choice. However, when I’m struggling with what to wear, I think of the job that I want to have one day. Then I ask myself: if my future boss were to see me today for the first time what would he/she think? I don’t always look 100% my best, but I always do my best to look presentable and professional.
3. Expand your horizons.
As every communications professional knows (and most females hate), khakis and polos are often part of the job. While most men can pull this off and still look good, a pair of khakis and a polo is NEVER my go-to – I just don’t like that outfit on me. What I have learned, however, is that khakis come in all sorts of colors, shapes, and sizes. Instead of the typical tan khaki pants, I’ve found a style that fits ME and my MY needs, in red, blue, black, and numerous other colors. They’re cropped, which I prefer, and they aren’t baggy, which I loathe. And if you don’t like pants, there are khaki skirts. If you don’t like khakis, wear dress pants. Just know that you have options.
4. Last but not least, be yourself.
The most important thing you can do in life is be authentic. If you are true to yourself, you will feel empowered and look good no matter what you’re wearing. I feel the most like myself when I’m dressed up with heels and a skirt or a dress, which sometimes leads to comments about me being “over-dressed.” But I ask you, would you rather be over-dressed or under-dressed? When I dress up, I feel prepared for my day and I get the feeling that I can do anything. That’s what makes me feel happy, and no one can fault me for that.