It’s been an interesting 21 Days…when I took on the challenge to wear a skirt or a dress for 21 days, I did not think it would necessarily affect me the way that it has. I do love wearing skirts and dresses, but had kind of relegated them to “special occasion” territory – ensuring that I was missing out on about a third of my wardrobe. I did not grow up thinking of dresses and skirts as everyday attire…I was a tomboy and far more comfortable in jeans and gymshoes!
It wasn’t until I reached high school that I realized the transformative power of a dress – I had started sewing in an effort to save money on clothes, and even got good enough that I attempted to make a pair of CalvinKlein jeans from a pattern! Needless to say, that was a challenge – but one of the most interesting episodes in my high school career was the day I wore a dress I’d made to school. Bright white with lots of colorful flowers, it was a joy to wear. I got such a different reaction from those who saw it and so many people commented on how I looked, I wanted to wear it every day!
Fast forward quite a few years, and I’ve gotten used to wearing skirts for work only. I worked for municipal government in both Detroit, Michigan and Norwich, Connecticut (where I now reside) and skirts / dresses were a part of my professional wardrobe. I thought of them as just one more piece of clothing, not really understanding the power and the appeal of these simple and beautiful garments.
My style has changed over the years from more ‘stay in the background’ to ‘up front and visible’, and I’ve used clothing as one way to display my mindset, so to speak. When I’ve feeling powerful, I wear red or black; when feeling a little more withdrawn, or wanting professional polish, I’ve worn greys and blues. I enjoy color and dressing up for work, but I had let that go for non-work hours.
I’m fortunate to work from home most days, and pants just seemed to be easy – and comfortable! I’ve re-vamped that train of thought in the last 21 days, and I realize how easy and comfortable dresses and skirts can be. I’ve experienced first hand how what you wear DOES affect the reactions of those around you, and can even make the difference in what kind of service you recieve at a retail store or restaurant. I’m not saying that is RIGHT, but it DOES happen – and as a professional Image Consultant and Coach, I try to educate and enlighten my clients on this issue so they will be prepared.
My family has commented on my 21-day challenge – my daughter even wore skirts / dresses for a few days in solidarity with my challenge, and my dear husband grinned from ear to ear each day when he saw my ensembles. He likes me in dresses – go figure! (LOL)
I will not go back to wearing pants a majority of the time from this point forward – I have grown “into” my current dress and skirt wardrobe and am actively looking for ways to add even more skirts and dresses to my wardrobe. They are versatile, beautiful and can help YOU feel your feminine best. It’s also made me re-evaluate (and take advantage of) an extensive accessory wardrobe that I had stopped wearing. Jewelry and shoes are two of my favorite things, but when dressed casually in sweats and a t-shirt, I tend not to wear much of it. This 21-day experiment helped me get re-acquainted with my jewelry and find some new ways to wear it all. Another potentially limiting habit – NOT wearing jewelry – just bit the dust!
Another shift in my thinking came around my shoe wardrobe – another favorite accessory category. I wore a lot more of my heels and wedges during the 21-day challenge, and realized again how much I love some of the items I’ve purchased over the years. I have some new favorite – purchased at stores like Target, Wal-Mart, and EBay, and have found wonderful sellers on sites like Etsy (jewelry) who have added to my treasure trove. I’ve branched out into more color and more patterns, and I’ve really enjoyed the transition.
Moving forward, I am committing to wearing a skirt or a dress at least 3 days out of each week – whether it’s for business, pleasure or both. I hope that you’ve enjoyed reading about my journey and that it inspires you to explore YOUR wardrobe with a fresh set of eyes!