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Dress for Success?

Posted by on January 20, 2016

How many of you have heard the mantra: Dress for Success?

This past fall/winter has felt a little like crawling out of the dark ages, and I’m ready to embrace the new year. Or at least trying to and wondering what will help to get my head in the game.

I started thinking about the value of dressing for success. Would this help? What does that even mean?

I work from home. So my choice of attire would closely resemble pajamas, IF I didn’t have to leave the house. I haven’t quite reached that level of not-caring-what-others-think as I shuttle my son to and from school. Not having to dress up is a perk of working from home, no?

Yet…I am playing around with the idea of making it a point to shower, do my hair, and get dressed to see if that will improve my productivity and my attitude. dress for success

So I thought that I would test the theory. It lasted one day. I even took a picture of it. Ha!

Not too long ago, my hubby shared this article about Steve Jobs and other famous individuals always dressing the exact same way, and I was like YES!

“Take Albert Einstein. It has been reported that the famous physicist bought several versions of the same grey suit because he didn’t want to waste brainpower on choosing an outfit each morning. Read more of the article here.

Just…yes. I mean, think about this…

Some of these famous people wore it for brand recognition. This could be epic. I’m a fantasy author. I could run around in costume. all. the. time. But that would be too much work. And if you know me, I so do not like drawing attention to myself. I like Albert Einstein’s take on clothes. I could totally see myself with a closet full of black crew neck sweaters. If I didn’t live in Texas. Ha!

So what say you? What does Dress for Success mean to YOU? Do you think how you dress affects your attitude, productivity, and self-confidence?


13 Responses to Dress for Success?

  1. Kessie

    There was this old 50s advice article that talked about this. It advised housewives to shower, dress nice, and wear makeup and jewelry before they started their housework. It really affects your mood and performance to get dressed up. I’ve experimented, too, and I do better, too, if I feel good about myself. Better mood and everything.

    • J.L. Mbewe

      Hi Kessie! I think I have seen that one! Or at least a meme or something floating around Facebook at one time. I want to put this experiment to the test, but…I’m so lazy??? Ha! I do agree that when I feel better about myself I tend to be more productive and confident. As I have transitioned more and more from a stay-at-home mom to a work-from-home-mom, I’m feeling the need to separate, define/clarify, prioritize the different roles. To treat what I do as a real job. I wouldn’t show up for work dressed in my pjs, as much as I would like to! Especially if I’m considering other aspects than just homemaking and writing. Still, I wonder if there is someone who has the self-discipline of mind to be able to just will their moods away and focus on what needs to get done. Most of the time I feel like I’m just spinning wheels and no traction and the fog has cut down on visibility. Of course not being realistic with goals might have something to do with that and lack of sleep. Ha! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  2. Bethany A. Jennings

    How I dress totally affects my entire approach to my day! I like the saying, “Dress for the day you want to have, not for the day that wants to have you.” I have a pretty limited wardrobe at this point, so for me all that means is putting on a necklace and pair of earrings, and putting my hair up in a ponytail. 🙂 Just in general looking nice enough to leave the house (even if I’m not going anywhere that day) makes me feel better and more energized to accomplish things. When I feel dumpy and lazy, I am less motivated. Staying in my pajamas too long has a demotivating affect too.

    • J.L. Mbewe

      Hi Bethany! That’s an interesting quote: “…not for the day that wants to have you.” I suddenly have this feeling of an invisible monster from a different dimension trying to swallow me whole. ha! I hear ya on the limited wardrobe, but you’re right. A little jewelry and the hair up makes a difference. Although, today, I threw a hat on. That works, right? Ha! Chalk up one for the “dress for success” mantra. I’m pretty sure we will see more in support of the connection between self-care and our moods/productivity. I also think there are times that call for pajama days though. When we are sick or when we’ve crashed. That said, if we practiced a bit more self-care in this sense, we’d probably find that we won’t crash and burn, or at least not as much. Food for thought. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Jenelle

    Hm. Interesting.

    I dress for comfort. Being me, this means most often jeans and a t-shirt or long-sleeved shirt of some kind.

    I do get cleaned up every morning, because I feel lethargic and draggy until I’ve taken a shower… and I do nothing in the morning before brushing my teeth.

    But I don’t “dress up.”

    Going about dressed in costume all the time could be entertaining and fun… but the costume would need to be comfortable, and easy to move in (because, small children to play with 24/7) and it would have to come with a really cool cloak. I would wear a really cool cloak all the time if I had one. 🙂

    • J.L. Mbewe

      Oh, I am right there with you, Jenelle! I definitely dress for comfort. I will dress up more for special functions like weddings or something. Oh, and cosplay! Hmmm…comfortable, cloak…you could be Superman or Batman or Gandolf! Gandolf wore a robe. Think how comforting that could be! The sleeves would get in the way though. I used to shower every morning (and night!) until we bought our house and we had spent HOURS getting it ready to move in. Many nights we’d go to bed after 3am. After two weeks of that, I couldn’t bring myself to shower every morning. Though, I know I would feel better! Maybe I’ll start that up again. 🙂

  4. Jenelle

    On the topic of simply taking care of one’s self. I have found that if I get enough sleep (not staying up until all hours of night… night-owl that I am) and exercising on a daily basis (nothing huge or fatiguing) really helps with my mood and motivation to do other tasks like clean, cook, and write!

  5. Ralene Burke

    FlyLady always stresses that we should get dressed “down to the shoes” to make our days more productive. It gets your brain set for being productive and awake, rather then slinking around in house clothes and socks. I am trying to start that now as well–except for the shoes, b/c I’m not a big fan of shoes.

    • J.L. Mbewe

      Ha! I’m not a fan of shoes either. Except. It’s winterish now. So…I’m opting for shoes now. Maybe we should commit to a week of doing this and we’d have to share a picture a day to hold us accountable, eh? Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Janeen Ippolito

    I was the sweatpants queen at college (and athletic pants). Then I started teaching and I was the youngest teacher at the school (teaching adults twice my age), so shopping and make-up happened. I was able to back down on the make-up when I started teaching grade school ages, but I still like having a professional ‘uniform.’ Although it’s a standard mix of neutrals, particularly black and grey, with a massive collection of scarves. Makes life easy in the morning. That being said, as soon as I get home, I’m in pajama pants, a t-shirt, and my fuzzy bathrobe, and in the summer time, when I’m not teaching a summer class? Showers happen occasionally. 😉

    • J.L. Mbewe

      Ha! Awesome. I’ve been told we shower way too much here in the USA… I hear ya. Certain jobs require certain attire for sure! I used to facilitate an after school program for a crisis center, and there was a lot of focus on physical activity. So athletic clothes for the win! Although I do love the whole uniform idea. I’d rather not waste brain power trying to figure out what I should wear. Ha! Thanks for stopping by Janeen!

  7. Rebekah Loper

    I’m an ‘urban’ farm girl, so dress for success for me means different things, depending on the time of year, and the likelihood of something getting filthy/ruined! I rarely wear pajamas after 7 am, since I’m up with the sun, though I’m often in them before 10 pm!

    I have started paying far more attention to the quality of clothes I buy, though. The better it is, the longer it will last!

    • J.L. Mbewe

      I hear you! I grew up on various farms from hobby to dairy, so I know exactly what you mean. You dress to get the job done.

      My hubby has taught me the value of paying attention to the quality verses “I’ve got it on sale!” or “It’s cheaper!” I’ve been learning that you really do get what you pay for. Thanks for stopping by!

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J.L Mbewe - Author