What we wear
It’s been happening for awhile now – not just during and after the pandemic. People are wearing more comfy clothes, everywhere. I’ve always been a big fan of comfort! But, I also think that what we wear matters.
Last week, I tagged along with my husband on a business trip to New York. We stayed in the East Village – a much more chill area than our normal spot in Midtown, for sure. People watching in NYC is always part of the fun, but it really hit me this time. We have taken a huge step down in what is socially acceptable to wear for a walk outside and into the public square.
Friends, I work from home, and I’ve certainly been known to work in my jammies before. I have tossed on a sweatshirt and taken my kids to school, praying that I don’t have to see or talk to anyone in the drop-off line.
When I was growing up, we had to dress to go on an airplane – I was never allowed to wear jeans. We have come a long way! I am a big fan of jeans or leggings on an airplane (guys can wear sweats); seats are smaller and we have to sit there for hours, we might as well be comfortable! But, I urge everyone to step it up a little bit and not wear pajamas on an airplane, to the grocery store, or really anywhere outside of your house if you can help it.
What we wear matters. Whether we work from home and adopt the Zoom uniform of a nice shirt with shorts or leggings, or go full business dress as we move to in-person meetings again, stepping up our game a little bit gives us all a personal boost.
There are plenty of studies out there, showing that what we wear affects our attitudes each day. This 2018 Forbes article highlights how dressing for success gives you a boost to help achieve your dreams. Author Brandon Vallorani makes a great point: “Dressing well is more than just clothing. It’s an essential part of your comportment and demeanor.” He also includes some basic tips for being the best-dressed person in the room.
I have felt overdressed several times in the last couple of months. Sometimes, it’s hard to plan ahead if you’re with a different group of people than may be your norm, and I’ve decided that I’d rather err on the side of overdressed than be too casual.
When it comes to our kids, I have always been the mom who won’t let them wear certain things to school or for sports practices. Years ago, when our teenager was in middle school, I wouldn’t let her cut her t-shirts open on the sides to show off her sports bra like some of the other parents were letting them do. She objected, strongly. I pointed out that she didn’t need to show off her bra to be cool, and I still give her a hard time if I can see her bra in any way under any shirt.
Some people might say that I’m overly conservative when it comes to dress. Maybe. I try to be classy, and would call my style classic. I want to project confidence and competence to my clients, and I want my girls to grow up to have that same demeanor. They need to respect themselves, and that starts with some basic guidelines that I make them follow.
Thinking back on my week in New York, I realized that apparently it’s kosher now to just go outside in a bra as if that’s your shirt. Not a sports bra – although I saw plenty of those, but at least people were working out or heading that way. A regular, plain old bra. Black, cream, black and white – I saw several varieties. Lacy bra tops or a bustier.
Friends, we can do better.
If you’re working out, wear whatever makes you comfortable – although I’d still argue that I’m most comfy with a shirt on. But if you’re going to the store or otherwise out in public, let’s all try to step up our game just a little.
We all stayed home a lot in the last year and a half. I’ve worn jeans or leggings more than ever in my entire life! And my kids notice when I step it up – they all take one look and ask what I’m doing or where I’m going. Isn’t that a nice thing? Getting compliments or having people notice when we take the time to dress nicely is a boost to all of us.
What we wear does matter. People notice. And they will compliment you if you look nice – which makes your day so much better as well!
As we all move back towards “normal” or some semblance of that, let’s take the time to put on actual clothes and do our makeup more than we have. I’ve made a conscious effort this last few weeks, and it makes me feel better. It gives me an attitude boost that helps me move through my day with a little more confidence to juggle all of the things.
Focusing just a little bit on what we wear can make a big difference.
If you’re interested in other posts about working from home, work/life balance and other lifestyle topics, check these out: