“You look like Trinity from the Matrix.” One of my colleagues said, as we met in the hall of our office building. As we climbed stairs to the 4th floor, where the sales and marketing team usually sit, I looked down at my outfit, then back to him arched my left eyebrow and asked, why?
I was thinking, if I had worn my black long leather coat maybe I would agree, but the outfit I had didn’t even remotely resemble Trinity. Did I miss anything in the Matrix? It’s possible.
To my question why, he replied, because you are in leather. I said ah and continued walking up.
I recalled another moment a few years ago in a previous job, when my male colleague asked me “where is your motorbike?”
My reaction was … Do I need a motorcycle to wear leather? This reaction surprised him.
He said, obviously not, but usually, people wear full leather outfits for riding their motorbikes.
I was pondering how to reply to such a stereotypical thought in just a few sentences. I could talk about this topic for hours and he didn’t seem to be interested in deep philosophical discussion.
I asked him if my particular outfit, looked like a motorcyclist? And he answered no, and promptly added that it looked nice and cool actually. (This was the type of man who was always making jokes, making people around him, laugh loudly. And this was probably the best compliment he ever gave me) :)
Finally, I said that leather has many qualities and could be worn casually, and I am a perfect example of that. He checked my outfit again and nodded in agreement, saying yes, sure, why not.
Since that point in time, my full leather outfits became part of my casual look.
I felt encouraged by the fact I can help people to see leather differently. To give them living proof that leather can be classy, casual, practical, or whatever they want it to be, depending on the style.
This is how my mission to break stereotypes began.
When I finally entered the door on the 4th floor, another colleague turned to me and called me Trinity. She said she liked my appearance and that it looked very cool, all black leather. I thanked her and continued to the only free seat in our flex open space office.
I didn’t feel like Trinity, and I didn’t have my motorbike parked in front of the building. It was raining in the morning, which left me with no desire to put any effort into dressing up, so I chose casual leather sweatpants, a black sweater and I put on a leather hoodie-style jacket. It’s a comfy outfit rather than a sexy woman in a black long leather coat with severe look who is about to save the world.
Not this time, I told myself… maybe tomorrow.