If you’ve read my articles, you know I’m not necessarily what others would describe as a “girly girl”…I don’t consider myself soft, or particularly romantic in my personality or style of dressing. I’m not the gal who wears tons of ruffles, I don’t necessarily favor pastels or sweet prints (though I think they are lovely on others) and I’m just as prone to be dressed in sweats and a t-shirt at home as a structured suit at work. I love dramatic things – clothing, jewelry, shoes and I dress to suit myself within the bounds of propriety and appropriateness for the environment I’m working in.
That said, I’m an advocate for shaking things up in your image periodically – and a recent Facebook post from a friend – Victoria Kimandi – led me to Hadiya Barbel, a beauty expert and “Crown Stylist” – that means she specializes in working with women who want to expand their style options through the use a specially selected and crafted wigs. Her Facebook page explains it this way:
Wigs have been worn throughout history by both men and woman and have served many purposes. Barbel re-births the wig thus creating the Crown. The modern woman of today wears many hats and is on the move. Barbel creates options. The Crown is not your grandmother’s wig. The Crown has style, color variety, texture, shape and movement. It will instantly pull you together! The “Crown” is “Glamour on the Go”.The “Crown” serves many purposes in medicine, fashion, and religion, with style and individuality. (Quote from Hadiya Barbel’s FB page – Copyright Hadiya Barbel)
The way that Hadiya explains the 21 Day challenge drew not only my eyes, but my heart – since I love wearing dresses and love dressing up:
There is something truly beautiful about women wearing dresses and skirts. We modern women of today are so used to multi-tasking and on the go. A dress brings that feminine energy back taking a female from warrior mode back to Goddess mode. I have a new challenge: 21 days of dresses, This will begin tomorrow and I will post a message about my experience of wearing a dress for 21 days to break the idea that pants are the way to make things happen quickly for women on the go. There is truly a different vibrational attraction when a women wears a dress…
I’ve decided to take on the 21 Day Dress Challenge – and for the next 21 Days I will wear either a skirt or a dress, in the spirit of unleashing my Inner Diva / Goddess. I define Diva as:
A woman who embraces her most Dynamic, Intriguing, Vivacious and Audacious self; one who walks in her power, sure of her appeal, her intelligence and her beauty in all it’s unique and individual glory. A woman who defines herself in HER way, who knows her personal history and makes no apologies for being who she truly and authentically IS.
Today, my ensemble consists of a navy and white gauze skirt recently acquired at Old Navy (one of my favorite places for easy, breezy summer and casual clothes) together with a simple white tee and a navy cardigan. This outfit could be worn at many different employers – all except perhaps the most conservative, like banking, insurance or law.
It’s interesting that I feel different today – more focused, more business-like, and clearer mentally. Why does clothing make so much of a difference?
As an Image Consultant and Coach, I recognize that the exterior appearance – the “face” we show the world – definitely has an effect on how others react to us – but does that effect also carry forward into how we feel about ourselves? And what is the effect on our self-esteem and self-confidence if we intentionally “dress up” a little more? Is wearing a skirt really “dressing up”?
I consider wearing a skirt to be more “dressed up” than a pair of shorts, cropped pants or jeans. I know I carry myself differently when I wear a skirt or a dress. My mannerisms, while still 100% me, are different – softer, perhaps. I think I stand out more when I wear a dress – because not everyone does anymore – and because of my personal style choices. I like vintage dresses – the “wiggle” style and the full-skirted style…I like gauzy skirts that float in the breeze and pencil skirts that are best worn with a pair of heels and a crisp white blouse. I must admit – I like the reaction I get from my beloved husband of over 21 years when I wear a dress or skirt – he likes it, and I like him liking it!
So examine your wardrobe – take a chance, and take the challenge. How will your outlook change by wearing a dress or skirt for 21 days? Keep checking in with me, and I’ll be blogging every day on my outfit of the day and the changes in my perceptions, how others see and treat me, and try to also post some pictures of my outfits. Let me know in the comment field below how you are handling the challenge – I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences!