Even before the pandemic, getting dressed for work or an event could feel overwhelming. Now that we’re getting back out into the world, the thought can bring on wholesale panic. This month personal brand consultant Melanie Lippmann is kicking off her “Confront Your Closet” Challenge for Attorney at Work readers to help us assess our wardrobe and step out with style and confidence. Let’s get started!
“I’m getting the call that I have to go meet someone in person, but I am really uncertain of what to wear.”
It’s a common topic of conversation lately.
While everyone is excited about emerging from the pandemic and seeing people in person in the office or at meetings and social events, the excitement quickly wears off when you realize you’ll have to dress for it. So many emotions come up — it’s as if we’ve forgotten how to get dressed. Maybe we’re out of practice. Maybe we never enjoyed the work “uniform.” Or maybe we set out goals for organizing our closet, figuring out our style, or reaching certain health goals during the pandemic — and it just didn’t happen.
Introducing the ‘Confront Your Closet’ Challenge
To help you get clarity and control over what’s going on in your closet, I’ve created an amazing challenge. The idea is to help you feel super empowered and in control of the way you’re getting dressed every day. Every “Closet Challenge” video from me will give you an action item to help you change your mindset on getting dressed or provide a tip you can take into your closet,
I’m not going to make this about spending big money; the goal is to help you learn how to use your wardrobe in a completely different way.
First, Why Is Getting Dressed So Hard?
A lot of women say, “You know, fashion is just not my thing. I’m just going to keep wearing the same stuff that I don’t really love because it’s just not something I’m good at.”
Here’s the thing: Finding your style, getting dressed without stress, and wearing clothes that flatter you are skills you can learn easily. It’s a matter of proportion and a little bit of science, and it’s not that challenging.
So, instead of telling yourself that you’re no good at getting dressed, change your mindset. Tell yourself it’s just something you haven’t learned yet, and you’re working on it.
Another important thing to realize is that feeling overwhelmed is about more than putting your hands on an item of clothing. A lot of emotion goes into getting dressed. For example, women who are in male-dominated fields, or women in general, may feel restricted by written and unwritten rules about what to wear. Or, if you have changed physically — I know I’ve had weight fluctuations — and people have commented about it, those feelings are going to come up when you’re in your closet choosing what to wear.
So when you start feeling overwhelmed, or it’s too hard to pick an outfit, remember there’s a lot more to it than not being able to make a decision about what clothes to wear.
Your Closet Relationship
Keep in mind that fashion is an $80 billion-a-year industry. It wants to sell you things. The messaging around clothing on social media and in advertising and publications is designed to make you feel like what you have isn’t good enough, so you’re always buying more stuff.
A lot of women tell me that the clothes in their closet aren’t good enough, or that their clothing items merely “check the box.”
One major thing that I want you to take away today is that a closet is like a relationship:
- You get to decide what’s good enough.
- You get to decide what you are willing to put up with.
- And you get to choose what you really like and that you want more of it.
Closet Challenge Action Item No. 1
Your homework for today is to write down your answer to the following question:
What are your three non-negotiables?
Write down three things you are no longer willing to put up with when it comes to your clothes. Think about what is important to your wardrobe today. What makes you feel good? What doesn’t? For example, I’ve spoken with women who have a lot of clothes that are dry clean only, but they don’t like going to the dry cleaner. So, that doesn’t work. Also, comfort is super important for people right now. So, if you only want to wear clothes that are comfortable and make you feel good, that will be one of your non-negotiables. Maybe you don’t like a certain color, but your closet is filled with it, or maybe you have a lot of clothes your mom gave you or that were gifted to you.
Open up an email right now, quickly write your answers and send your three non-negotiables to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Another video will be coming out shortly with another action item to take into your closet.
More Image Boosting Tips on Attorney at Work
“5 Ways to Upgrade Your Style” by Melanie Lippman
“How Is Your Image?” by Teddy Snyder
“Gentleman’s Guide to How to Look Good on Zoom” by Raphael Schneider
“Tips for the Well-Dressed (Male) Lawyer” by Ryan Sullivan
“Zoom Backgrounds: Looking Good in a Tiny Square” by Bull Garlington
Images © Melanie Lippman
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