One of the many beauties of being an undergraduate is the freedom and power to dress as you like. Throw on a top and a pair of jeans and you are good to go. Of course, students of some private universities hardly enjoy this liberty. In the name of being prepared for the corporate world, they are instructed to wear shirts and suits to attend lectures. Some universities even go as far as restricting female students to wearing skirts on campus. I know it isn’t a welcome idea for a lot of students. I remember a couple of my friends always complained about how boring their wardrobes were and how they could not wait to become graduates.
The corporate world affects our lives in ways that are almost synonymous to tyranny. Dedicating a huge chunk of our time, which exceeds the stipulated 8-5 work hours when you factor in time spent in getting to work and returning home is the least of the expectations that accompany working as an employee. Think about it. There is a ‘dress code’ document in the file containing your employment letter. Some offices even have it printed in bold letters and pasted in office corridors. Dark colours, less patterns and predictable cuts.
Thing is, your wardrobe is importantly, a reflection of the YOU that everyone perceives. Forget the cheesy ‘how you dress is how you are addressed’ etc quotes that influence you in singling out an outfit for an interview. I’m talking about people who live on your street and watch you struggle for the bus every morning. That’s perception. The highest form of addressment you are likely to cop from these people is a curt greeting, especially if you live in Lagos. But these people, over time form an impression about you. In fact, someday, their recommendation of you could be a lifeline.
The nature of your job defines your wardrobe. It isn’t unusual that you see a fancy dress that you really like but won’t buy because you spend a lot of time at work and do not have other places to wear it to. Down to the basics, to the colours. Recently my boss disapproved of a hairdo that I had thought was decent enough for the office. He was gracious enough to have not said anything until I had changed the do and he was very subtle about the reprimand. Of course, if I ever have that hairdo on again, I would wear a wig on top to work.
Now that I look back to my undergrad days, I am very happy of all the experimenting I did with clothes and hairstyles. You know, gold colored weave, Anita Baker haircut and even a ‘Galax’, I think it is called. I remember one of my lecturers called me into his office one day to ask what influenced my style. He told me in no few words that it was a manifestation of my true personality. I wish he could see me now to decide if somehow along the line, my personality was operated on.
Have a great weekend guys!
YS: Bisola Agboluaje