Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Business Hipsters

Are the communication agency folks the business world hipsters?

I think I’ve found my niche, my groove, the area where my strengths focused would be used most effectively and constructively used.  That place is in advertising and marketing, yes, I realize that is a super broad umbrella.  What I mean is that based on what I’ve learned and am learning about myself my strengths are best used to connect people with stuff that will help them, specifically help them succeed.  I’m meeting tons of new exciting people and am eager to learn and get into this arena soon.  I was talking with a buddy of mine and he says that recently he met with a client who thanked him for dressing appropriatley.  This is funny because it truly is not what you think, in actuality it is more the inverse.  He was thanked for dressing appropriatley, so what was he wearing, how was he being appropriate?  He was wearing a pair of jeans, some chucks, and a casual button up shirt.  This person met with a guy earlier that showed up in a suit and tie, which is apparently inappropriate.  This is a humorous paradigm shift in the business world.  I think we all have different styles based on our upbringing and personality types.  I’m young and I’m pretty hip, at least the man in the mirror says so.  In spite of this I also enjoy good fashion, GQ and Esquire are my “under bibles” so I’d prefer a nice suite to jeans, a deep-v, and some chucks.  There is nothing wrong with either to me and I wear both at times.  Professionally I was always taught to dress for where you want to be.  That melded together with my sense of style I often find myself at work in suits, vests, ties, and awesomely loud dress socks. 

With all that said, I now find myself in an odd position.  I like dressing up, I like looking nice, but I don’t want to shoot myself in the foot when meeting with agency type people.  At the same time, just like I refuse to wear skinny jeans and vans while riding around my fixed-gear bike, I’m not sure I’d ever show up to anything professionally looking the new business hipster style.  Sure, I’ve got a sleeve of tattoos, grow one mean 5 o’clock shadow, love v-necks, rock retro plaid shirts, and all in all have all the essentials to pull off the “appropriate” look.  My dilemma lies in the irony of being appropriate or dressing the part within the agency world.  Advertising/marketing is all about creativity and brand management right?  Is it not more than ironic that there is a homogenous type of appropriate dress then?  I’d like to go on the record here and formally request that we all be a little open and stop stereotyping what is or is not appropriate.  There are my 2 cents on a random thought. 

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