You’re a forward-thinking woman. You don’t let society’s customs dictate the way you live your life. So why should you worry about dressing up every day?
For most of my adult life, I’ve worked in service jobs that required a uniform. Sometimes the uniform was stupid-looking and uncomfortable. Sometimes not. Sometimes it was covered in chicken grease by the end of the day. Sometimes not. But no matter how I felt in a given uniform, on my days off, I was dressing the heck up.
As a former goth girl (and current ‘casual goth’ woman), I couldn’t wait to layer on the eyeshadow and don my very stylish, alternative, black clothes. I had only one or two days a week when I could dress as I wished, and you bet I made it count.
Professional vs. PJs
When I started working at home as a full time copywriter, however, I got a bit lazier. Though most of the time I did put clothes on (as opposed to sitting around in my jammies), I rarely put on any makeup. Or shoes. Or socks.
During this time, I always felt worried, like I was biting off more than I could chew. I felt like I was a mess, and no one should really be trusting me with their brand. This was despite holding a 4-year degree in writing, having years of experience, and a portfolio full of successes. Contrast this to my first weeks on the job as a bank teller. I had never worked in a bank (or anything similar) before in my life. There was really no reason I should have felt so confident. And yet I was. I felt in control again, as I had felt at previous jobs – with both high and low responsibility levels.
How Can Clothes Make Such a Difference?
Obviously I can’t place the entire answer on my clothes. But knowing what I do now, I am certain that that was a very large part of it. I didn’t feel like I was a pro at what I was doing (even though I was), largley because I didn’t even bother to look the part. When I started working at the bank, I bought a whole new wardrobe of professional attire, and wore it every day. Though I had no experience, I knew it was a job I’d be good at. And dressed to look the part, I felt good at it too.
Imogene Lamport, of Inside Out Style, has an excellent article explaining the effect clothes have on how we feel and behave, and I highly recommend it. (Click here to read her post: Why You Should Dress Well.) The jist of it is this: dressing well has a measurable psychological affect on us. Dressing ‘smart’ can make us not just feel smarter, but actually perform better. When what you wear on the outside matches who you are on the inside, you’re simply going to be a more confident person.
And let me be clear; dressing up doesn’t mean the same thing for everyone. It doesn’t even need to mean the same thing every day. If you’re not into makeup, don’t do makeup. If you love some goth girl clothes, wear those on your weekends. Just make sure you put time and effort into getting dressed. Above all, make sure you’re dressing like the person you are or want to be.
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