As I’ve become more open about being an engineer by day, my inbox has flooded with all kinds of questions. Some wonder about the average day in my current role but everyone wonders how being an engineer has altered my wardrobe or style. And to be honest, it really hasn’t. Many people set unnecessary limitations on what they can and can’t wear simply because of their job title. Without even considering their work environment or daily activities. This leads to so much pointless stress about to wear to work, or just in general. So I thought I would share my engineer’s guide to building a wardrobe:
- Fit is King. I cannot stress this enough. This is not only essential for a lot of projects I work on but for great style as well. For some their day is spent at their desk, but for me that just isn’t the case. I could be crawling under cars, reaching under hoods and various other situations at any moment. It’s important for my clothes to fit right because not only will it enhance my body but allow me to move freely without mishaps while I tackle work tasks.
- Functionality is important. Being an engineer, form and functionality go hand in hand to me. While certain accessories serve as personal flair, having clothes that serve their purpose is a must. I mean what’s the point of buying a dress you can barely even breathe it in to wear to the club?
- Be Practical. Here’s where I lose some people, I will choose practical items over an item that’s impractical but cute any day. Don’t get me wrong, I have high heels and wear tighter clothes, but they are comfortable enough to wear all night without riding up or making me look like a tied up ham. This is also a big reason I don’t wear a lot of white, odds are it’s going to get irreparably dirty at work.
- Necessity over want. For some projects I work on we get a long list of demands, but along with that a budget. We always place must haves over things that would be nice. Applying this will teach you how to prioritize, preventing you from over spending on items that you probably won’t use or even miss.
- Versatility. Since we focus on needs, we also try to choose items or solutions that solve multiple needs. This is very true for our clothing. Why waste money on 6 shirts that are just for one occasion when we can buy 1 shirt that works for multiple things? But seriously, why?
- Think long term. We constantly have to think of the long term effects of our decisions in the engineering field. Which also should apply to your wardrobe. Buying items with the future in mind helps you to more thoughtfully choose what to add to your closet and how much to spend. If I see a dress that I can wear to a formal event but can be restyled as a longline vest then I’m likely to spend a little more money than if I could only wear it one way to one type of event.
- Stop caring about others opinions. While working in teams is important sometimes we don’t share amazing solutions because we fear what others will say. But I’ve seen just the opposite attitude in my work environment, both in terms of ideas and clothes. Women in my field will wear unflattering clothes because it’s comfortable, or required for safety, and get the job done. And they do this giving no f*cks what others think. This is a philosophy that many women still struggle to adapt. As long as you are happy with how you look it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. Rock what makes you feel awesome!
I admit my style has change vastly since graduating college. But this has majorly been due to the fact that my style revolves around continuous experimentation rather than my job title. While there are some restrictions, like closed toed shoes in the garage, I don’t set limitations on what I can wear. Instead I find ways to wear what resonates with my style in a way that’s works for my job environment. Now I want to know if your job has changed the way you dress and if so, how? Comment below!
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Looking for some St. Patrick’s Day outfit inspo? Check out my olive monochrome outfit or my video on St. Patrick’s Day outfit ideas below!
-Photos by Jordan Bowens–