Technology is moving at the speed of well, Technology, and even though a few short months ago I thought I wrote the complete guide to Wearable Tech, already there have been several new innovations and iterations of wearables, most famously the Apple Watch. If there ever was a company who could push the concept of wearables over the edge of acceptance and bring them into our daily lives it would be Apple, Inc. Say what you want about the Tech Giant, but they do design stunning products that (for the most part) bring incredible advancements to the way we live.
Google is still trying to get its Google Glass eyewear to be commonplace, going so far as to put them on fashion designers and models during Fashion Week. This still didn’t help them to become accepted, because, um, THEY LOOK SILLY. Fast forward to the Apple Watch, in it’s iconic simple Apple design, with interchangeable bands giving the wearer style choices such as color and fabrication. Apple also gave these to several Fashion editors, including Anna Wintour, presumably in conjunction with landing on the cover of Vogue China.
But what about the people behind the Company? In her recent New York Times article, Vanessa Friedman writes about Apple CEO Tim Cook, and his style of dress, that is to say, LACK of style of dress. Rumpled untucked button downs do NOT a fashion statement make. Some may argue that this is the way of the Silicon Valley boys, but deliberate hoodies to galas may be less about “not caring” and more about being right on trend. Read about Normcore in one of our past posts for more on that awfulness.
Steve Jobs essentially wore the same outfit everyday of his too short life, a black mock turtleneck and dark wash jeans. Here’s the thing about THAT fashion choice. A: He’s dressing like an iPhone. Sleek, simple, consistent, black. and B: many style icons pick a look and stick with it. Think of Katharine Hepburn, Marlene Dietrich, Audrey Hepburn, even Diane Keaton. Whether it was a pant (Dietrich) or a set of day gloves (Keaton), they each knew what worked and stuck with it. Jobs also did this well.
The casualization of America is seen not only in Normcore, but in the proliferation of Athletic Wear as well. Yoga Pants are ubiquitous in a woman’s wardrobe, and reports show that the former gold standard for “work casual”, the Denim market has had it’s first decline in sales in over a decade. Casual Fridays have become Slog Downstairs to your Home Office and Log On days, lives where nary a jacket or tie is needed.
So, does all this dressing down increase productivity and creativity? Are we finally so unfettered by the frivolous concern with our appearance that we are able to conquer our worlds a bit easier? Um, no . It is in large part thanks to Apple that the line between our work and home lives has been so mercilessly blurred, but when you go to work, weather it’s at a multi million dollar company or a blog you write from your Dining Room table (Hi!), put real clothes on. You will stand up straighter, be more respected, and for crying out loud, there are plenty of comfortable work appropriate choices out there. By and large, women are still measured on their ability to lean in to their appearance, and frankly, folks like Mr. Cook should step up their game. Why does it matter? Well, you are representing one of the leading brands in the world, and you should be consistent with the clean elegance of that brand. Never mind you are selling fashion now, if you cannot don Armani, you can at least tuck in your shirt.