The reason that really got started was actually sheer compensation. I have a very young face -- at 28 I still almost always get carded buying alcohol, and if I leave the law school to walk around campus on a dress-down day I am easily mistaken for an undergrad. Everyone jokes about how you'll be glad you look so young when you're older, but being a young-looking 20-something can be a real pain in the ass when it came to trying to be taken seriously, something which became abundantly clear in my first real job out of college. I live in the pacific northwest, which takes informal office culture far beyond "always-casual-Friday" territory, and for the first few years I generally followed suit. However, at some point, fed up with being talked down to or mistaken for a high schooler on an after-school job, I decided started dressing it up just a bit -- nothing much, just putting on thrifted blazers and ties at least a couple times a week. I discovered that this added years to my perceived age and maturity, and from there it didn't take much to push me over the brink into full-on clothes love.
To be sure, as soon as I started down that road I picked up on the other things people here mention -- increased confidence, the joy of owning beautiful and lovingly-crafted things, etc. But it really started just to stop being mistaken for a high-schooler.
Originally Posted by phxlawstudent
Because I have to go to court. I wear a polo & wool slacks in the summer when meeting with clients. I'll upgrade to LS BD's when it gets cold.
I wish that was enough. I've seen plenty of attorneys, including grown-ups who should know better, who dress up in some pretty damned awful suits -- nothing technically incorrect, but certainly not good. Having to go to court is enough to get someone to dress up, but not always enough to get them to dress nice :/
Edited by HunterJE - 8/18/12 at 7:44pm