My mother studied couture in Paris before I was even born. So I grew up with an appreciation of fashion design and a love of fabrics, especially finely woven cotton and silk. When kids’ moms made them clothes, they used the standard tried and true Simplicity or Butterick patterns. Mine was made from Vogue and Dior patterns. I remember early on in life, mom telling me if you wear clean lines and solid colors, you will always be in fashion and always be elegant. I still think that was the best fashion advice ever. While you always look good, more importantly, you feel good. You feel good about yourself, which gives you confidence as you move through the world. Well, that has been the case for me.
As I have stepped through different phases in life, various stages in career, I have noticed that how I dress does influence how I feel about myself. When I look at other people’s dress, it gives me an insight into how they feel about themselves, or at the very least, how they view themselves. Someone wearing a wrinkled gangster t-shirt that has a couple of holes and this morning’s breakfast splattered on it says one thing about how they see themselves. That same t-shirt cleaned and pressed with a little bling accent added says something completely different about that person. Who are you more likely to talk to, why? Candidly, mine is the latter because even though I do not wear gangster t-shirts, and may not agree with that person’s worldview, I can appreciate them taking the time, respecting themselves enough to think about how they were going out into the world that day.
My early career in television was at a San Francisco station that had very a corporate environment. I wore suits in all colors with matching shoes. Then as I stepped into location production, my suits became jeans or shorts with open button-down shirts and a camisole underneath. In either instance, I always felt more confident when I was comfortable in my clothes, when I liked what I wore. The converse was true as well. I would feel self-conscious, distracted when I did not like what I was wearing, did not feel comfortable. I would not feel as effective that day.
Today, while I still travel a lot for work, I also spend a lot of time at home writing and developing projects. There are some days when I could literally stay in my jammies and bathrobe all day writing. However, I do not. I do not because it impacts my morale. It matters to me that at some point in the morning that I get up from my work to wash my face, brush my teeth, and get dressed, so if I had to answer the doorbell, I would not feel embarrassed that I was still in my bathrobe. However, I am not dressing for that possibility. I am dressing because I care about myself, and that is the invitation to every one of us. To matter enough to yourself, to get dressed for you. Because it makes you feel good inside. Scores of books have been written about the importance of having a purpose, of having a meaningful life. Well, you may be unknowingly supporting the meaning you give to your life, or not, by the care you take to dress yourself each day.