I always say, how you enter a room is basically your business card. First impressions are everything, whether we like that belief or not. How you show up in the world says everything about how you want the world to see you. So, it is only fitting to think, I need to dress how I want to be addressed.
This brings me to my thoughts while out running this weekend. I am 51 years old, and believe me, over the years, I have gained weight, lost weight, followed style trends, spent time in my athleisure wear…you name it, I have been there! Looking through my closet on most days, I still find that I have some of those clothes hanging from each of these eras. Do I wear all of the clothes in my closet…or course not. Do I need all of the clothes in my closet…probably not. Then why do I keep them? This is what kept running through my mind as I was running my neighborhood streets.
Many of us think, oh…I should keep this…one day I will fit into this again. Or…yes, let’s hang on to this because that trend may come back around again. Or…my favorite…one day I may feel that I am NOT too old to wear this! These thoughts are all fine and good…but what if we reframe them? What if we begin to think, I want to dress how I want to be addressed…this doesn’t look good on my anymore, so it is time to part with it.
Here is what I see so often…women wearing clothes that don’t fit properly or aren’t the appropriate item for the occasion. There are many reasons for this anything from having the money to purchase something new to feeling like if you let go of that outfit that once fit you, you are letting go of the idea that you may once again look the way you did when you could wear that great outfit. I get it…I have been there too! Especially if it was a GREAT outfit…one that made you feel on top of the world. But, I promise…you will find another one just as GREAT that is GREAT for you!
I remember when I first became a school administrator. As the assistant principal, I did not really have to have the hard conversations with people, as that “privilege” is left to the principal. However, my principal was a man and he did not feel comfortable having that one hard talk with a young teacher…cute, but certainly gained a little weight over the year…whose clothes clearly did not fit any longer. Boy, did I get broke in good…because this was hard! The hardest part of it was that she did not even realize how she looked, which really was not good, and was shocked to learn about it. But, even though it was a challenging conversation, it really opened her eyes and made her pay much more attention to her attire each day…which she has since come back and thanked me for taking time to help her see this.
Here is some advice for you that I tell myself each day:
- Dress for you, but think about how you are coming across. Ask yourself, is this what I want my first impression when I walk in to be? Feel comfortable, but remember, first impressions are hard to beat…and you want to only come across as that strong, well put together woman who can handle anything!
- Take time to clean out your closet. Although letting go of great outfits can be hard, think about the possibilities of future great outfits! You will be able to find that one or two great pieces that make you feel like you are on top of the world again…and you will look fabulous in them when they fit your new life properly!
- A good outfit can make anyone feel better on their toughest day. You want to think about putting on your best even on hard days so that you know deep down inside, you can conquer anything that comes your way. Confidence goes a long way in any situation, and how can you not feel confident when you know you look good!
I believe that since the pandemic, we have all gotten a lot more relaxed when it comes to how we show up in the world…including our own style. For me, I try more now than ever to ensure that I am showing up as my best self. I don’t put on full make up and wear heels every day, but if I walk into a room and meet someone new for the first time, I want to leave them with an impression that I am someone they need to know and maybe even know better. I want them to think, wow, she takes time to make sure she is put together, she probably also takes time to ensure that details matter in her business world. I want them to believe that I care enough about myself that I show up for myself! Until next time! Cheri ❤️