your personal style matters...regardless of who sees it!
Checking in around November 2019, I was happily planning out my meteoric entrepreneurial rise in 2020. I was rocking fitted denim, vintage tees, and blazers everywhere. Add to that a fedora since late nights often meant ‘hard’ sleep which resulted in many mornings of ‘pencil top’ head (smh). I was overwhelmingly casual since my current contract – which would soon end – was remote. Casual meant a light shirt with a chunky sweater with an oversized belt added to give me shape and a scarf….tons of scarves!
Fast forward to February 2020 and I was still feeling good. I was fully engaged in Pilates that I think was making me stronger and leaner but I had also indulged in a few key purchases that I assumed would be my go-to gamechangers as the year progressed: a tan/black Anine Bing menswear-inspired blazer, a pair of olive oversized Isabel Marant balloon pants, a pair of ombre metallic chunky-heeled Lanvin heels, and my monogrammed camo tote bag, named Camille, from Parker Thatch. I had yet to acquire the remaining pieces of my style puzzle when COVID-19 arrived as untimely as any unwanted guest does.
The saying is “winter is coming” and that’s how spring and summer felt, right? Rather than rocking my new pieces, my virtual looks were comprised of joggers and a puff sleeve sweatshirt or a t-shirt dress or, in a pinch, jeans and a tee. I’m not alone in the decline of my everyday wear especially as I started talking with people and doing more Facetimes and video calls. Collectively, even the most stylish among us, had slipped into a catatonic state of leggings and ratty tees.
There is a natural inclination to ‘let it all go’ when you get home and because everyone was home all the time, they decided to ‘let it all go’ all the time! The problem with that is that how you dress affects how you feel or, at a minimum, informs how you feel. My business motto is “when you look good, you feel good; and when you feel good, other people notice.” I can think of no better time to stand firm in your personal style than when it’s not expressly called for. I witnessed more monotoned conversations, fewer smiles, more black screens as we moved deeper into lockdown; and it’s a slippery slope.
Single-handedly, I decided it had to stop. I started looking for comfy but chic alternatives to rock while home, sharing it with friends, doing more Facetimes as I was outside walking, and sending emails with the must-have for “couch chic”. I want to say it worked because I have not only started to talk to people that seemed happier but I started doing professional development training on the benefits of getting dressed in the morning.
I’d love to say I’m the reason people are dressing better but it’s not true. I’d love to say that the pandemic is on the downside so we’ll be back to group meet-ups but it’s not. I’d love to say the Friday night Zoom party is going the way of the samurai but I don’t see that end in sight. What I can say is that you invested in pieces you love for a reason and, if you did it right, you get a little giddy when you go to your closet. So wear those pieces! It doesn’t matter if no one sees you – which means you can wear it again! – it’s about the feeling you get when you look nice or feel put together. That feeling cannot single-handedly end the pandemic and maybe your 4-inch heels may be a bit much for a day of correcting papers, writing, and phone calls but it’s a way to get you to smile, and that’s a good start.