Have you ever been caught in a situation where you have to attend a 'corporate' gathering, either as a listener or the speaker, but all efforts to make your suit ready to be worn proved abortive?
If yes, and you missed the event as a result of the aforementioned reason, you must still feel really bad, and would undoubtedly like to prevent such in the future. Definitely!
Let me remind you of the saying that read - when you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail. But that's not all, even after the plan, if you don’t have a contingency plan, or say, a 'plan B', you’re likely to fail.
What’s 'corporate' wear?
Let me answer it with a life story.
During my National Diploma (ND) program in The Federal Polytechnic Bauchi, it happened that we were told to 'dress corporate' on the day ICAN (Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria) officials were visiting to re-accredit my department ( Department of Accountancy). On that said day, the environment was different because we were all wearing what we only knew to be 'corporate' wears.
One of our lecturers who was in class for a lecture earlier that day used the opportunity to pick those that would meet the ICAN officials; they were meant to represent the class. For a number of reasons, I was confident of being selected. The lecturer was to randomly select 3 students. He had selected two and I was in line to be selected as I had thought that:
1. I was 'corporately' dressed.
2. I was next to the second person he selected.
3. Members of the class were pointing t me and almost compelling the lecturer to pick me. I wasn't surprised. No. I was among the best students in class.
Instead, some guy that was in his 'caftan' (traditional/native wear), with a cap to fit, was picked.
"But sir, he’s not on 'corporate' dress!", some of my puzzled classmates questioned the lecturer's third selection.
The lecturer, with an attendant sarcastic smile on his face queried "who told you he's not in corporate wear?!"
That day, we learnt that a 'corporate' wear is not restricted to complete suit with a tie or shirt and a pair of trousers, as is almost conventionally thought.
You could wear your native outfit -like the third selection above--and still look corporate. However, you must put on a cap to complete the 'corporateness'.
To give credence to the other lecturer's position, our then Business Communication lecturer made same submission, and added that we could choose any corporate outfit of our choice, foreign (English) or traditional wear.
But to go traditional, it must be worn with a fitting cap, because that is what qualifies it as 'corporate' wear.
The bottomline is: be comfortable in whatever you choose to wear as a corporate wear, and ensure completeness, especially when making public speech or attending an official gathering.
Is it a must to wear your native attire with a pair of shoes to qualify it as a 'corporate' wear?
There is more emphasis on the cap than that of a pair of shoes. You’re free to choose the kind of footwear you wear to complement your 'native corporate'. The most important thing is to look smart and comfortable. But it does look smarter when a 'native corporate' is worn with a pair of shoes.
The most interesting part of 'native corporate' is that it gives you options. You have a choice, but make the right choice between what type of traditional cap to wear or what shoes or sandals to use. Ensure its smart! When anyone challenges you on what you wear, educate them -that’s the essence of this content-, and they would be glad you did.
Don’t maintain the status quo, don’t be stuck to one side of 'corporate' wear. Explore the other side of life in 'corporate' attire in your next official endeavor. Give your audience a new look, try the 'traditional/native corporate'.
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