Dressing well, it’s a subject I love discussing and could discuss for hours. As a former sales associate in my retail years and visual merchandise designer I take interest in how we portray ourselves to ourselves and to the world by the attire we choose to wear and how we regard our daily existence as well as special occasions through chosen attire.
As precious children of a King it is important that we conduct ourselves in a manner of dignity and self respect and believe it or not clothing can and does play a role in this.
Our society has become too relaxed and too casual. Casual Fridays can be seen implemented in various occupations and offices throughout the country not only on Fridays but almost every other day of the week. Professionalism in regards to attire has seen a rapid decline in various public, private and governmental sectors. Members of various roles of management have taken the role of management in great comfort and have become secure in their positions where rather than dress as a leader and role model they choose to dress for comfortability with little regard to the establishment or people they represent. Dinners out to top grade and upscale venues are met with such little regard for the occasion with denim and sneakers and even the occasional sweatsuit. Occasions once regarded as special occasions with significance and regard are as equally met with such minimal effort. And let’s not get started with our places of worship, where many are arriving dressed as if they were going to a nightclub or the other extreme as if they just rolled out of bed. We seem to be missing out of some fundamental knowledge on the principals of dressing well and why it matters.
Dressing well matters. It matters how we express ourselves and it matters the occasion.
Ask anyone in my immediate and extended family about my attire. Ever since I was in elementary school, possibly even before, I was putting outfits and accessories together. Things haven’t changed. I find enjoyment out of styling pieces whether it’s for myself or my friends or family. Holidays and special occasions warm my heart with the prospect of dressing classic and chic and enjoying good company. Though I understand everyone’s style is different and unique I also do feel that holidays such as Christmas, New Years and Easter call for a more formal or put together look. In most recent years I have seen my guests arriving in sweats, pjs and the such. I’m all for comfort and I don’t condone others for choosing to dress as they please but if we don’t dress up for special occasions even if only for ourselves, most especially for ourselves than who do we dress up for? Attire exudes respect. By dressing for the occasion we are giving honor to the occasion, to the hosts and to the guests. It matters to others that we show effort and respect in how we dress for the occasion.
I recall working with a vibrant client who hosted an elaborate black tie formal event. All the guests arrived looking spectacular. However two guests arrived immediately following a sporting event and showed up in athletic gear to this very important black tie affair. My client later told me that she felt disrespected and saddened that these guests didn’t make an effort to change before arriving. She felt that they underminded the importance that she regarded the event.
On few occasions I myself have attended formal luxurious events with skyscraper city views and have encountered an individual or two that simply stuck out like a sore thumb because of their chosen attire or lack there of.
I have even had comments made to me in regard to my attire and looking “too polished” or “too dressy” for an event. However, I commit to dressing to the same high standards that I feel show regard or respect for the occasion even if others don’t.
Dressing well doesn’t necessarily mean dressing in Christian Loubutions, Manolos or Stuart Weitzman if you are not able to afford such but it does mean putting your best foot forward. It means dressing your personal best for those you love.
It means dressing well for yourself.
In a conversation with a colleague of mine I shared a secret with her that I’ll now share with you all. On an average work day I will wear a dress or skirt or structured leggings with a blouse and heels. I am known for this. On occasion if I’m going through a tough time or a rough patch In my life I will make it a point to dress my absolute best that I’m able to for the day. Why? Because dressing well conveys the truth to myself that I am God’s gift to others and should present myself as such. Dressing well also keeps my spirits higher rather than succumbing to my fleeting emotions. Even in the privacy of your own home when you dress for yourself, be it pijamas as opposed to worn out sweats or an oversized tshirt, you are sending yourself a message of value.
Dressing well for your family exemplifies your love and respect for them. I made it a point to dress polished and chic for my daughter’s elementary school graduation to show her how important the event was for me and I plan on making the same effort for her upcoming middle school graduation and so forth. This is a topic that I will be touching more on in the future in shorter posts.
For now I encourage you all to dress with effort and confidence to encounter everyday life regardless of what stage you may find yourself in. Let’s dress with class, grace and most importantly… let’s dress with intention.