Would You Be Inspired By A Team Of Execs Dressed So Dull?
Last week saw the return to London of beauty retail giant Sephora.
Eighteen years after leaving the country, allegedly escaping rising rents and stiff competition.
A cause for celebration, you'd say.
The promo snap up-top was the widely shared ceremonial moment just before the red ribbon was cut.
I was instantly struck by the blandness of those leading the charge.
Signals of a fashion brand at the vanguard they most definitely are not.
The identikit, unobtrusive blandness of the gentlemen was, to my eyes at any rate, astonishing.
Likewise the black team strip of the ladies.
Maybe this is how those helming Big Fashion dress these days.
After all, I remember myself being out with the merchandisers of one of the world's premier fashion retailers in the late 90s, revelling in their jet black uniform palette.
Wonder what Anna Wintour would make of it though?
Possibly the same as me.
I kind of get that you wouldn't want to distract from the branding op of the day.
But each besuited VIP in such same monotone plain ensemble?
One of them might even have got themselves a decent fitting combo.
I guess they wanted to keep within the company identity achromatic aesthetic.
Yet it feels like such a trick missed.
Give me something, please. Personality. Authenticity. Purpose.
Go beyond corporate conformity.
And this brings me to the changing Sales dress code down the years.
Long gone are the mandated days of the suited and booted. I recently turned up in-person at a company's office to find myself alone in wearing a suit.
At least the demise of the tie is one release I heartily endorse.
I have plenty of smart office clothing. I do like being in a suit. Most of mine are not without some kind of pattern in the fabric. Which I pair with a crisp, often cutaway collar, double-cuff shirt. Depending on occasion and suit, switching from white to some sort of stripe or check.
Yet this look is clearly fading.
In similar manner to EPL coaches. No more all either tracksuited or wearing the club blazer on the touchline. Today an elite rock the raven Italian high-end label-less sleek trouser-jumper-tshirt style.
I've noted the lack of distinguishing statement when I've seen the profile pics on the 'about > team' pages when seeking suspects.
Male and female. Although thankfully the latter do tend to try harder.
A vast rump of the men could've easily slotted into the anonymous ID Parade of Sephora.
This is not to say you have to be outlandish. No channelling of your inner panto dame required. But a little effort goes a long way.
In the video sessions I've been in since the great re-opening, I tend to go for a straightforward single-tone t-shirt. If a little chilly outside, that'll be the classic white tee, with again a single-coloured jersey on top.
In part influenced by the peerless Garr Reynolds. Happy to sport a simple black t-shirt himself. If it's good enough for him, then so too for me.
I dial-in with prospects and clients alike in this way. My present-day video presence strip. I do have one exception, but maybe you'd have to video meet with me to see that.
In the main though, my over-riding impression after seeing that snap above, is that what we wear is another tool to help us look the part, get remembered and better bond with prospects.
If you dress like those guys, then are you really giving yourself the best chance to do any of that?