Dress smart. Defined as what? Wearing a suit? A shirt? or just looking nice in a polo jumper and jeans? This one question I found very difficult to answer when I was lucky enough to be on the receiving end of an invitation to the National Apprenticeships awards.
Having never been to a corporate event before I had no expectations or experience on what such an event would entail!
Arriving into work that morning dressed and prepped as appropriately as I thought necessary, it wasn’t until I reached the station to meet my colleague that I discovered that I had severely underestimated the event’s dress code.
In my blue jeans, polo jumper with backpack in hand I soon found that in fact my idea of ‘dress smart’ was substantially different to everyone else’s collective version of ‘dress smart’ .
The sudden rush of embarrassment that hit my stomach as I pictured myself walking into a room similar to that of some fancy restaurant aboard the Titanic,wondering if I’d be stood there, jeans and a jumper in a room surrounded by three piece suits and extravagant dresses. At that moment I knew I’d messed up.
Quickly it became apparent that I’d have to find some smart clothes, but from where? My mind jokingly jumped to the scene in ‘The Hangover’ where the four characters rush to a wedding, purchasing full suits from a van on the highway. So I Google it but unfortunately ‘;on the train suit sellers’ are not a thing. So I thought again, what if there is a next near one of the underground stations we will go past to get to the event, bingo! Lucky for me there was a shop two seconds away from Moorgate Station, the perfect store.
So with 20 minutes to spare I ran into the store and purchased a rather expensive but nice pair of smart trousers (I won’t be making that mistake again). We then jumped in a taxi and headed to the event where I had the brilliant honour of being the only guest to arrive under dressed and looking like a sheep in a wolf den. I rushed to the toilets to change….thankfully they were a perfect fit and I was able to continue on throughout the day with peace of mind that I was not totally underdressed.I’m glad I *did* manage to buy those trousers because we won and I had to go on stage to collect the award – a disaster narrowly averted!