I’ve written about the attire of a writer before, so I won’t rehash that here. What’s on my mind this time is the difference between my clothing and that of the guys I’m seeing at my in-person client meetings lately. It’s the same in each time:
- We’re both freelancers.
- He’s the designer. I’m the copywriter.
- Clients hired us to improve the look, feel and sound of their marketing communications.
- I’m wearing dressy business casual.
- He’s wearing jeans and t-shirt.
Am I missing the point of being a freelancer? When I’m getting dressed for an in-person client meeting, I try to dress appropriately for the business. If an ad agency is the client—and it’s a first-time meeting—I choose an outfit with the end client in mind. I know the agency will be thinking about the impression I might make on their client.
I’ve noticed this with other women freelancers. I’ll see them in a pants and a cardigan; no jeans or t-shirts at the clients’ offices. Yet, in the same meeting, I never see the client bat an eye at the guys’ attire. But I’m not convinced that I would get the same reaction.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not judging the guys. Nope. I’m asking this: is there a double standard for male and female freelancers? Or, could the difference be that he’s the designer and she’s the copywriter? Are designers considered more “creative” and potentially less conventional than a copywriting?
Maybe it’s just me. And I’m open to that. For someone who wanted to ditch the cubicle life and associated pressures, I certainly seem to care what others think of my “image,” when what I’m ostensibly being hired for is my way with words.
Now it’s your turn! Like my other 50/50 posts, this is where you share your opinions and experiences. Have you noticed a difference between what freelancers wear based on gender? Could I be placing too much emphasis on attire? What do you wear to client meetings? Please share in the comments.