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Just One Thing

Everyday dressing:  How to move yourself from “putting on clothing” to “getting dressed” – step two.  (Step one is getting dressed in clothes that match, with a decent pair of shoes).

Just put ONE thing on that represents you and/or pulls your outfit together.   

Ideas for things that represent you:

  • Hair accessories:  I wear leather roses in my hair quite frequently, this hits up my feminine/bohemian self.  Are you more of a sparkly person?  Maybe just a hairpin with a dolphin on it? A cap?
  • Jewelry:  Signature pieces, like the bracelet, necklace or earrings you are never seen without, whimsy pieces that whisper about your favorite things, team colors…
  • Jackets:  I know any number of people who wear the same jacket to everything casual – whether that’s a field jacket, a baseball jacket, a leather jacket… it doesn’t matter, so long as it’s recognizably you.
  • Upgraded shoes:  Attention getters – the purple people eater boots or carved leather cowboy boots.

Ideas for things to tie together an outfit:

  • Belts:  That style-free t-shirt and jeans gets an easy upgrade when you add a belt.
  • Scarves:  Scarves say so much on their own, I was tempted to put them in the “represent” list, but they are more likely to make the outfit cohesive than be a statement of who you are (excepting the bit where you’re a person who wears scarves).
  • Layers:  Add a visible second t-shirt underneath for a splash of color.  Add a buttondown (over or under).

 

Certainly you could incorporate multiple items on this list, and as you become comfortable, that’s exactly what you should do.  But for today, just pick one.   Just ONE thing to add to what you’re throwing on before you head out the door, just one thing in addition to the stuff you have to wear so you don’t get arrested for indecent exposure.

Start small.

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The biggest obstacle to dressing sharply

… seems to be the reality that unless your job requires you to do so, life just doesn’t. And mostly your job doesn’t require you to be sharp either. “Business casual” is the law of the land, and dressing like your boss is largely a matter of bringing in higher quality polo shirts and pressing your trousers, maybe adding a belt.

Very few people dress for themselves out of the office – dress to express themselves, dress to communicate their truth to the world. They just put on cloth body coverings and go out.

It’s not that we don’t admire people who do dress well – pinterest wouldn’t exist if we didn’t like looking at well-dressed people – we’re just so totally out of the habit that we don’t know how to start.

Really, most of us are putting on clothes rather than “getting dressed”. We’re not putting a lot of thought into what we wear.

And yet we enjoy it when others do so.

Aesthetics still control how we view people. If you dress well, you are automatically increased in social status. As the number of people dressing sharply wanes, the smaller the effort is required.

An example: My husband’s dress code is “business casual” which means (for men) a nice pair of jeans and a polo shirt, at the minimum. By changing out the polo shirt for a long-sleeved button-down, he has elicited surprised reactions from others, and increased his status thereby.

That brings forward another reason that a lot of folks aren’t dressing sharply these days – their clothes don’t fit properly. My husband wouldn’t wear the long-sleeved shirts that he prefers until I started sewing them for him, because his wrists were never covered.

Of course low-quality clothing that fits poorly is less comfortable than good-quality clothing that fits. Too many people haven’t been exposed to the latter, and associate dressing well with the pinching, pulling, gaping nightmare of the former.

So the question is: How to inspire people to understand that Beauty is for everyone?

I cannot believe that in their secret hearts, the people of the world don’t long to be Beautiful…