This morning, I came into work at 9AM with a Nike track suit on because my first meeting isn’t until 9:30. Even though I had a change of clothes in my hand, I immediately felt out of place. Not only was I underdressed, I also have a rather unruly beard in honor of No Shave November. Which brings me to today’s point: Sometimes, you have to overcompensate.
Whenever I decide to let my hair get longer or my beard grow, I know that my dress has to at least be on par every day, if not above. When we’re at home during the colder months, my wife often says I look homeless (no offense to those who are shelterless) because I walk around in sweatpants and a hoody and house slippers and facial hair that keeps growing outward from my skin. So, at work during these times, I overcompensate in order to look like I didn’t just roll out of bed. I throw on some well-tailored trousers, a shirt cut for my body, and a tie that says “I’m here for work” since my face (and, on Monday before 10AM, my facial expressions) says otherwise.
In addition to being well-dressed during the bearded seasons, it’s important to keep sharp hair, mustache, and beard lines. You can embrace your less Western Civilization side without looking like you don’t work in the western world. Outside of November, I often try to keep a trimmed mustache, a straight line across the bottom of my beard, and (no trying about this last one) a razor sharp hairline. It’s important that, even in your “messiness,” you look like you could turn it on again if you wanted to, it being your clean cut look.
So, folks, be yourself, but on the days/months you decide to relax in one area, go harder in another. It’ll make you look balanced and people will realize “Hey, he’s just taking a day off. He must have a reason.”
This beard is cool but I cannot WAIT to trim my mustache. It’s tickling my nose. But men’s cancer issues, particularly prostate cancer, are serious and I can go a month without trimming this if it’s going to raise even one person’s awareness.
Make being well-dressed and well-groomed priorities.