As a freelancer, you have a little more flexibility when it comes to your workplace dress code than the average office. However, with more choice comes a lot of headaches – and there will be times when you wish you had the strict rules of businesses like legal firms and accountants in place.
On the one hand, you want to ensure you are always looking professional when working with clients, but at the same time, you don’t want to overegg the pudding. Well, if these issues sound familiar, you have come to the right place.
In today’s guide, we’re going to take a look at the clothes every freelancer should have in their wardrobes – and when to wear them. Let’s get started with the basics.
1. Always get dressed
First and foremost, make sure you are getting dressed every day, whether you are planning on seeing clients or not. Getting out of your PJs every morning and treating your work from home life the same as you would an office job is an excellent way to get into a professional mindset.
Also, you never know who might decide to pay you a visit – it might be your mum, but it also could be your next big-paying client.
Meetings with clients can be a tough call unless you already know something about them. However, if you think ‘more business, less casual’ it will go some way to ensure you are heading in the right direction. The idea is to look professional, but without trying too hard.
For example, a simple business suit will generally be OK for a first meeting, but turn up in a three-piece, and your potential client might feel like you are overcompensating for something. Don’t forget, the central aim of meeting a customer is to secure their services, and they are more likely to play ball if they trust you.
3. Working in a client’s premises
Once you have secured your customer, make sure you understand the basic dress code of their offices if you are being asked to come in and pay them a visit. It’s OK to ask them – just ring ahead, or even pop in unannounced to say ‘hi.’
Different companies have very different rules and dress codes – a young, fresh-thinking startup might be happy to allow their workers in wearing Dickies shirts and Adidas trainers. But an accountant’s office will almost definitely be wearing professional attire from 9-5.
The point is – dress to fit in with the companies you are working for.
4. The Perfect Wardrobe
As you can see, your collection might need to be a little more extensive than the average office worker’s, as you will be encountering many more business situations. Ensure you have a couple of suits or dress suits in your wardrobe, and also put a big focus on smart, simple business wear.
There will be occasions where you can wear what you like, and there is nothing wrong with adding a healthy dollop of creativity into the mix, particularly if you are in a creative industry. Just be careful that you stand out for the right reasons – your talents – rather than your dress sense.