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ALPHA MALE: Does Your Wardrobe Reflect Your Work/Life Balance?

Friday, August 31, 2012


Approach your day with intention and attention to work/life balance. Your style should be part of that practice. Photo: Baldwin Denim

Every day, you have responsibilities. You wake up, you start your day, and you go someplace.  You commute to work or school or maybe stay home to care for your kids. Some head to a doctor's appointment, drive the car in for an oil change, or catch the 5:45 am flight from Logan to London. Or like me, maybe you checked off several of these activities you had scheduled for the day. The point is, you have a life. It may be different from the one you had 3 years ago. Chances are, it will be different from the one you have 3 years from now.

Despite the “where” and the “what” of the roles you fill, one thing is certain. You want to be prepared for your day. After all, as the saying goes, “Success always comes when opportunity meets preparation.” So what does your style say about your work and life balance in these moments? Or maybe more importantly, what does you work and life balance say about your style? 

Do you "mail it in?"

It is always easier to give in to the demands of your day than to give a damn. How often do you just “mail it in” with regards to what your wear on any given day? Going to work? Khakis. Oxford. Have a kid at home sick from school? Sweatpants and T-shirt. But there is an opportunity here to do something more. There are books written about striving for a great work/life balance. More recently, I heard the phrase “work/life integration” because, seriously, how many of us get to actually balance the two? (I for one, prefer the latter sentiment.) But regardless of terminology, I like to think of your style as being a part of your preparation to set the tone for your day. 

Starting the day with intention

You have been told dozens of times how important breakfast is to starting the day right. “The most important meal of the day.” Why should that only apply to how you approach your first meal of the day? Should the sentiment not encompass the entire start to your day, including what you eat, what activities you perform and even what you wear? If you do not respect every aspect of yourself, how do you expect to accomplish the demands you place on yourself today? Your work/life integration is not merely a conditional state of mind, but an act of vigilance that speaks to your personal level of determination and satisfaction. 

I will be the first to admit, I do not always give forethought to each aspect of my day's demands. But one thing I have learned about myself and my schedule, regardless of day or complexity, I have a closet I can pull from with items appropriate for that day. Part of that confidence is understanding what my typical daily demands are. Part is knowing what works for me in my closet, and part is being able to reach for items that meet the day's demands and can be flexible throughout the day.

I know not many people plan ahead and maybe do not grab an extra shirt or even an entirely different outfit if his or her schedule has diametrically opposed events regarding attire in the same day. But maybe that says more about your ability to prepare for any circumstance and not just what you are wearing. 

Prepare, prepare, prepare

How you prepare for your day on multiple levels, including what you wear, says a lot about you as a person and your character. None of us is perfect. Life pulls at us in many directions, often all at once. But feeling you are prepared for your day reflects in your daily appearance. Confidence is a great color on you. Do not be afraid to show it off. And if you are lucky enough to be on that 5:45 am flight to London? Do yourself favor. Please do not repeat the sweatpants and T-shirt from when the kids are sick. Grab your favorite blazer and a trim pair of chinos. You never know when you might encounter your next opportunity for success.

Robert Babigian is owner of WHARF Clothing & Wares, a menswear retail boutique located at 212 Westminster Street in Providence, RI. A native Rhode Islander, Rob started WHARF after 2 decades in marketing and sales to fulfill his desire to combine his loves of consumer branding, small business and style that would fulfill a niche for desirable men's clothing in the Providence market. The apparel and accessories found at WHARF reflect Rob's own personal aesthetic—a combination of traditional New England staples mixed with modern fits, construction and fabrics blended together with a touch of European style. For more tips or to shop the store, stop in and see Rob and his staff or reach them online at shopwharf.com.


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