I frequently get labeled as intimidating, which isn’t the most flattering of “compliments” to a young woman. This may stem from my personality, my career, but I’ve heard it also comes partially from the way that I dress. I’ve dealt with this feedback since high school, when my classmates would question why I wore high heels and dresses to school when everyone else wore Ugg boots, leggings and North Face jackets. But it never bothered me enough to stop.
I’ve always loved the quote “dress for the job you want, not the job you have,” because it can be used in all aspects of life, especially if you switch it up to “dress for the situation you want, not the situation you’re in.” I’m not saying I got to where I am today because of my sense of style, but my confidence, drive and ambition emanates through my wardrobe. My clothing says “I don’t want fashion to rule me, I want to make the rules.” I should enjoy my sense of style and be proud of my ambition and my success, not hide it or apologize for it. So if that makes me intimidating, then so be it.
Although I have a fashion blog, my day-to-day job does not require me to dress up in the least. I could wear sweat pants and sneakers every day if I pleased. But where would that get me? What vibe am I giving off if I show up looking like I just rolled out of bed every day? It’s also not a very good self-motivator. Here’s an example of an outfit I was wearing once to work and someone asked me “why are you so dressed up?” My response was kind and thoughtful, but what I really wanted to say was “why are you so dressed down?”
This is an ideal work outfit to me: A long, cozy cardigan over a black turtleneck, a ripped dip-dye denim skirt, black tights and kick-ass thigh-high black boots. This is also a good example of how to take a summer piece (denim skirt) and transition it into the cold-weather months. It’s sensible, stylish and makes me feel confident to take on the day. Intimidating? I don’t think so…. just put-together.
I’m sick of living in a society where people get knocked down for looking good and dressing up. Maybe it’s a Portland thing….. but I’ll never understand.
“Know that it’s not shallow to put effort into how you look. Owning your style takes effort, and it’s okay to expend effort on how you look. Putting in effort is exactly what you should be doing.” – Sophia Amoruso, #Girlboss.