The Little Black Shirt
I was asked what Dress for Success looks like, and I have been pondering it.
I have a friend who rocks scarves. Doesn’t matter the style, length, or colour, she expertly twists them this way and that, and achieves a look that is effortless and commanding at the same time. In my younger days, I marveled at her ability to make scarves look good. I went home and attempted the look. I would even wear scarves when meeting this friend hoping that by osmosis, I too could rock the scarf. Anyone should be able to rock a scarf; after all I have all the necessary equipment: I have a scarf, I have a neck, and I have YouTube videos to show me how to wrap it. Despite this, I always feel like an over-bundled kid in the winter with a scarf wrapped around my face; it was not a power item for me.
How about shoes? I do love shoes. I do appreciate a hot pair of strappy high heels. They are sexy and feminine. And they torture my feet and my back, and really are inconvenient for trying to get to the fifth floor of my office building while also carrying a lunch bag, a purse filled with everything one might ever need, ever, and a backpack with a laptop. From a standpoint of health and safety shoes are definitely not it for me.
I see many women with the most exquisite nails – colours to match moods, laden with sparkles and art designs. What a magnificent way to stand in the power of who you are. Except that I am not dainty. If the nails get too long they become like weapons. Imagine trying to remove an eyelash caught in my eye and gouging my eye out in the process. It almost happened. Quite honestly, I’d be most likely to lose a nail in a tragic jam-the-blender-lid-and-snap-the-nail-right-off kind of incident. Right. Dangerous. Nails aren’t it.
I do love jewelry. It’s shiny and sparkly and while it looks great, again my lack of dainty makes it problematic. The number of times I have been trying to cook and my necklace gets caught in the oven (yes, this has happened, I couldn’t make it up if I tried), and charms fall off my bracelets to be found, where? Who knows, I am still looking for them. Cooking hazards and choking hazards. Nope not jewelry either.
My “go-to” shirt, yes! That’s my power piece of clothing. My husband named it the “go-to” shirt years ago and it stuck. It was the item I would choose when I wanted to feel good. It’s black, so it’s slimming. Check. It’s feminine with its slits up the arms; it’s sexy but not inappropriately so. Check. It hugs in the right places and is forgiving in the right places, too. Check and check. It washes beautifully and is wrinkle free so it stuffs into a suitcase and comes out like a dream. I’ve worn this shirt for interviews, parties, funerals, showers, Saturday nights, and date nights. It pairs well with dress pants, leggings, jeans, and pencil skirts. It’s amazing and I feel amazing in it. So I’d say my power shirt is my go to when I need a bit of an extra hug in the confidence department.
At the end of the day though, if I want to achieve something, while yes the “go-to” shirt helps, the best thing I can accessorize it with is a smile. That’s really where the most power lies. A smile can help connect me to whomever I am engaging with. Whether it’s used with a person I know or shared with a stranger, a face dressed up with a smile creates a wave of positive energy and instantly raises the vibration of the interaction. So I guess if I really think about it, I really don’t need anything outside of myself. My power outfit is nothing but a smile. I am smiling just writing this. I am sending my smiles out to you and wishing for you many opportunities to accessorize your favourite outfit with a smile this week!