The earliest memories I have of my mother were of her getting ready for office. She would be standing in front of the mirror, arranging every single pleat of her saree with utmost precision. I would be transfixed looking at her, wondering when I would grow up and get to wear a saree. Of course, when I did grow up, I could never be bothered to pick an outfit beforehand and lay it out to wear in the morning. How did it matter how I looked as long as I got dressed, right? This is what most of us think, isn’t it? Wrong. In fact, you couldn’t be farther from the truth. Turns out, my mother had the right idea in the first place. Dressing well, and looking well, put together is as important as working hard. After all, your work is nothing but an extension of yourself. Let us look at how our choice of outfit and efforts put in to look presentable impacts our day-to-day life.
First Impressions Are The Lasting Impressions
The human brain is very quick to form judgments. Within a flash, we look at something and form a value-judgment. Yes, yes, I know you were told not to judge a book by its cover, so on and so forth. Let me ask you something, why is it that every time you see a man in uniform you feel immense respect for him (ahem! apart from other things, ladies know what I am talking about)? It’s because of that uniform. The way it has been worn, every crease and pleat in place, it’s perfect. You get the sense that the wearer takes his job as seriously as his attire. This holds true in other situations as well. I once went for an interview where my interviewer was very well dressed, even though the interview was on a weekend. Of course, I went in formal attire since I was the one looking for a job and wanted to make an impression. However, when I saw that even he had put in the effort to get dressed up, it implied that he valued my time. It wasn’t an errand for him, he was genuinely looking to see if I would be a good fit in his company. Needless to say, I ended up getting the offer and working for him.
Your Clothes Are An Extension Of You
Remember when we were in school, how much we looked forward to celebrating our birthdays? The main attraction would be that you would get to wear your casual clothes and not the school uniform. Ever wondered why you hated that school uniform so much?
Of course, now, a uniform seems like a perfect solution to my ‘I have nothing to wear’ problem. The reason we hated that uniform so much was that it did not allow us to express ourselves in the way we wanted. It was suffocating in a way. In my case, I was a typical tomboy and I hated the fact that I had to wear skirts. It wasn’t my ‘thing’, you see.
Now that I’ve all grown up and can wear what I want (for the most part), I take special care to dress well. Not because I have to, but because I want to. Besides, it’s also fun to coordinate accessories, no?
It Boosts Your Self-Confidence
We all have those days when we feel like we are not looking great, or nothing seems to go our way. On those days, I have found that dressing up well helps me beat the blues. There is something about a well-dressed woman or even a well-dressed man. When you see someone like that, you are bound to think, “Wow! That guy/gal has her life together.”
Similarly, when I am having an off-day, I make an extra effort into my appearance that day. It becomes an act of self-assurance, self-care, and self-love. After this, if I walk into a meeting or if I end up meeting a friend for a cup of coffee, I usually end up getting a compliment or I notice that everyone in the meeting is especially receptive towards my suggestions. This ends up making my day, so naturally, whatever was bothering me just fades out. To dress well and put efforts into the way I look is an exercise of self-love and care. Just like your work, you should care about yourself too. This is not to say that you should dress up in a specific manner or follow a particular style. Rather, just pay attention to what you are wearing, refrain from wearing frumpy, ill-fitted clothes. Take care to match your tie to your shirt, or get an easy-to-maintain hairstyle that looks good on you. It conveys a specific image to the world as a person. Making an effort helps you to present yourself as someone who pays attention to detail, is sensible, and worthy of others’ time. Wouldn’t you want to be that person? Ergo, dressing well and caring about the way you look is not just appeasing your vanity. It’s more like an effort on your part to be taken seriously. If dressing well and caring about the way you look has affected your life in other ways, do let us know in the comments below.
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