Personal Appearance

People with Asperger Syndrome tend to be unconcerned about fashion or whether what they wear is contemporary. As long as they are dressed comfortably and are tidy then they tend to be content and satisfied.

As a manager, however, it needs to be appreciated that dressing smartly and appropriately in relation to the work context, it is not only important, but also essential.

It is about impressions and creating gravitas. If a manager does not look professional, then they will not come across as such. This will hinder their ability to operate effectively.

There are a number of factors relating to dress and personal appearance and which will impact upon a manager with AS in the workplace:

• Comfort:

A person with AS will normally seek to wear clothes that are comfortable. Often, however, comfort is sought at the expense of other factors that are also important in a business context.

• Sensory Sensitivity:

Certain clothing can be detrimental from the sensory perspective that is important to someone with AS.

• Style & Fashion:

People with AS do not typically keep up-to-date with fashion. However, style is important in business.

• Peer Judgement:

What a manager wears will be judged by others. It will also impact on how a managers approach is evaluated.

• Choice & Selection:

The choice of a managers’ attire needs to relate to their environment.

Appearance is not typically important for a person with AS. By extension, it will not, therefore, be for a manager either.

However it is important. Why and how can appropriate, effective managerial appearance be achieved?

Dress Codes

I have found that a good rule of thumb is to look at the other people around you for a hint at appropriate dressing. It amazes me at how when I wear clean, comfortable clothes that I still get talked to because my dress is "unprofessional", ie not stylish. Search engines have been a lifesaver for me in that I can look at many types of clothing for appropriate office wear. I have also heard that it is good to dress for the position you want. If you want a managerial position and all the other managers are wearing suits, it's time for you to go out and buy a comfortable suit. Talk with the retail people, they can help you find something appropriate and comfortable.

Dress codes

My AS spouse and I are working towards him replacing his wardrobe with things that are handmade for him. It will be a slow process as we can afford them, but in terms of both comfort and look, he looks so much smarter than in the off the peg stuff.

Also good stuff lasts a long, long time.

Dress Codes

Actually, I think if you're the boss you should be able to set the trend a little bit.

Clothes should certainly be neat and tidy but also appropriate to the climate. Life is too short to be cooped up in clothes that make you really uncomfortable and I don't see how a person can work effectively if they are overheated by heavy clothes and or itched by scratchy labels.

"Break out you Western Girls,
Someday soon you're going to change the world,
Hold your head up high"
(Dragon)

Dress codes

I do wonder if as AS women we are landed with a double whammy when it comes to clothes.

I have had to work SO hard to get the "look" right for professional life - yet I can never tell whether or not a particular outfit will meet the approval of my female peers.

Out of desparation because of a change in the weather and my AS beloved procrastinating about getting clothes out of storage I went and bought a cheap pair of trousers from the supermarket...and I've had so many complements on them from NT women.I still can't work out the script on this!

I still struggle with the whole "hair done" (because I loathe the feeling of "products" on my hair and on my scalp) and "makeup on" routine, even as I approach 40. What a waste of time my AS self says, what a waste of money which could be spent more usefully on technology (LOL).

Yet I do know I get a different reaction to me, especially from the very senior people I am now expected to rub shoulders with at least some of the time as my boss is grooming me for the next level of our profession.

My latest find is U-tube short video clips on how to do makeup when you are in your early 40s. Quite useful for learning techniques on applying the stuff.

Now if someone can tell me what to do with seriously bouncy wavy hair which I keep short for no other reason than I don't know what else to do with it - I might actually learn the girl scripts sometime before I retire.

Helen

p.s. love your dragon quote!