Do clothes make the man?

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I woke up this morning and was once again confronted with my closet. Now, I am not going to tell a story of how I am overloaded with fabulous shoes and clothing options. Quite the opposite! This morning confrontation always feels the worst on workdays when I have to dress like an adult. As you know, one of the things on my list is a desire to-or rather a need to-invest in at least 5 new articles of clothing (work clothing to be specific). My current wardrobe is quite terrible-as are my shoes which are geared towards comfort (and those that are not have not been worn!). All except one item of clothing is at least 2 years old and all have been well worn. Now that I am in a management position at work I feel I need to look more the part (all my co-workers at all levels seem to do so!). One is definitely judged on one’s appearance whether we like it or not and clothes can make a huge difference. I have never cared much about the judgement of others (maybe because people tend to love me due to my open nature and warm personality) but as a manager, I often need to take a more reserved approach.

The problem with all of this is…I hate shopping-and I mean HATE it. I really am a bit of a jeans and sweater kind of gal at heart. I tend to find something I like and buy a few duplicates in other colours. Because of this, I do have a few decent pieces but I also have a hard time ridding of my old favourites which I like to wear around the house despite a small tear or a bleach stain or what have you. Now, I am not ready to change my ways entirely but I do recognize that I need to invest in a few more pieces in the next while. A few carefully selected pieces should go a long way in updating what I have. Then there is caring for these pieces. I tend not to value this so much but I know others do. For example, people in my husband’s country may not tend to have a lot of clothing but they take meticulous care of their best clothes and shoes. My husband takes exceptional care of his formal shoes and vehicle (I think this is more of a European thing!). Mine, in comparison, are a disaster. I suppose taking better care of things we own shows pride in ourselves and things tend to last longer. I now vow to try to keep my car cleaner!

I have noticed women in many parts of the world I have visited, from Latin America to Turkey to Africa, also take great care with their appearance. I, on the other hand, despite going through a one year phase of this for special events, avoid any higher heels with a vengeance and rarely wear any make up. I tend to wash my face with only water and head out the door minutes later. I have never had the patience for such things but I do feel I could take a bit more care with my appearance. I mentioned this to a friend and she seemed pleased to hear it but she also said I have always been me and my indifference is part of me. Indifference is not the word I wanted to hear (not that she meant it in a negative way). I have noticed in this 30th year that I have aged inside and out but I have never been one to worry (except that time that I thought all my hair was going to fall out-that made me panic!). Despite some of these unpleasant changes with age as well as the physical flaws I know I have, I am okay with them and have never been a person with low self confidence. However, I do wish to put a bit more effort into myself in the next while. I would like to experiment and see how it feels. Do clothes make the man? They say what you project is what you attract…will dressing up as a grown up make me feel that way? Will the ‘successful’ look attract success? We shall see!

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