Food for Thought: Who Are You Impressing?

dressing to impress

You shouldn’t be dressing to impress others. Yes, I discuss dress codes and what is appropriate for different situations, but that is to show respect for others, for an event or a situation. Consider it sartorial etiquette. But you shouldn’t dress in a manner to try to impress others.

You should dress to impress yourself.

Dress to define yourself, celebrate yourself, respect yourself. Push your personal style further, as you would push yourself at your job. You go that extra mile at work for a promotion or raise, try pushing your style boundaries a bit to better define and understand yourself. An artist pushes herself, trying new techniques or media; fashion and personal style are also forms of art.

And realize that you, and your personal style will change over time. The other evening I was thinking about how a home changes with the time and the family inside it. Wallpaper borders make way for vinyl decals, curtains to the end of the window sill are replaced with ones puddling on the floor. However the bones usually stay the same – the same dining table, the same bedroom furniture set. Your personal style may change with the times and your lifestyle but that doesn’t mean you need to replace all your wardrobe staples. Keep impressing yourself, listening to yourself, observing yourself and let your fashion follow suit. Dress to impress the most important person – you!

Photo by Richard Avedon

Follow Me | Twitter | Facebook

Follow:

18 Comments

  1. guccisaihu
    August 2, 2012 / 6:12 am

    夏を期待して、さまざまな花に出会って似た季節、どこにあることにかかわらなくて、GUCCIgucciの付き添いがいて、あなたは同様に最も閃くハイライトになることができます!!グッチ 財布それはひっそりとしていて、優雅で、復古して、高貴で、しかしあまりきれいな色彩がなくて、あまり華麗な修飾と、ただし静かに遠い美感を送ります!!
     

  2. Emma Taverner
    July 14, 2012 / 10:44 pm

    For God’s sake, when will the media stop telling women what they should and shouldn’t do? Like the photograph used to illustrate the piece, this piece claims to be saying one thing while actually saying the opposite. What attracted you to the piece? The super glam photo of course! Dressing to impress is sometimes important, as one commentator has pointed out. This sort of blanket affirmative drivel is one of the things that turns me off new feminism. God, I despair!

  3. Emma Taverner
    July 14, 2012 / 6:44 pm

    For God’s sake, when will the media stop telling women what they should and shouldn’t do? Like the photograph used to illustrate the piece, this piece claims to be saying one thing while actually saying the opposite. What attracted you to the piece? The super glam photo of course! Dressing to impress is sometimes important, as one commentator has pointed out. This sort of blanket affirmative drivel is one of the things that turns me off new feminism. God, I despair!

  4. Aisha
    July 14, 2012 / 11:48 am

    What I have learned from this blog is always try to put my best foot forward. MY best foot not walking in someone else’s shoes. If I feel confident that is all that matter. 

  5. Aisha
    July 14, 2012 / 7:48 am

    What I have learned from this blog is always try to put my best foot forward. MY best foot not walking in someone else’s shoes. If I feel confident that is all that matter. 

  6. Cynthia Washburn
    July 13, 2012 / 2:30 pm

    And I totally agree with that! Because if you feel awkward and gross in something, you aren’t really going to feel very impressive anyway. 

    I think that there’s a fine line between being true to yourself and using that as an excuse to wear yoga pants and flip-flops everywhere. One of the (many) things that I appreciate about your blog is that you aren’t afraid to offend a few people by pointing out that you show a lack of respect by not dressing appropriately to the occasion – and that you show practical ways to look good while living a real life. 

    Whenever I think about people dressing “however” they want, I think of how mortally offended I was when people showed up for my grandfather’s funeral in jeans, shorts(!), and even tracksuits. Seriously? And these just weren’t teens or small children – and it’s not like my grandfather was a rancher or a super informal person either. I can see that it would be appropriate in some cases (maybe … I don’t know, is there a funeral equivalent of a destination wedding?), but really, it added to the stress of the day for my parents and it was just disrespectful, imho. 

  7. July 13, 2012 / 3:00 am

     No, you succeeded Cynthia.  After I wrote this I wondered if I was going against a lot of what I say on my blog – while we do need to be true to ourselves, but we dress for certain reasons, and one is to make a good impression.  I came from the angle of a woman telling her husband keeps telling her to wear a certain color and style and it makes her feel awkward, and her sister gives her a different suggestion, and she wants to look cool for her friends and she feels very lost.  And I know she is not the only one who feels this way.  We get hit with the must-have style or color or trend for the season, that every woman needs X in her closet and Y looks good on every woman that it can be terribly overwhelming and easy to ignore our inner voice.  But yes, you are correct in that we should also think about the impression that we are making.  Thank you!

  8. Cynthia Washburn
    July 12, 2012 / 3:55 pm

    I agree that you shouldn’t dress in a way that violates your own comfort level and personal style to “impress” others. However, when thinking about the word “impress”, it also can be thought of as “to make an impression”, and I do think that sometimes it’s important to do that. 

    While I’m not going to dress in a way that is uncomfortable for me, I do think that I dress to make an impression in different situations – job interviews (not that I’ve been on one in 14 years), parent information night, parent/teacher conference day, the first day of school, meeting someone important for the first time (my husband’s family), giving a presentation, etc. 

    Dressing to make an impression can work in more than one way as well – I’ve gone two different routes when car shopping. When I wanted to get the salesman’s attention and be taken seriously, I made sure that I was well put together that day and looked like I was “a good mark”. When I just wanted to be left alone to look, I’ve worn jeans or shorts and a tshirt. 

    So… while I agree that you shouldn’t dress in a way that is false to who you are, I think that it’s important to think about what kind of impression we make with what we’re wearing – especially when it heads into territory of situations that you should show proper respect or situations that could have an impact on your future. There are definitely situations when I look at the clothing that I choose to wear as a type of armor – in which case, it’s doubly important to pick something that you’re comfortable in, but that will also get the job done. 

    Sorry for rambling…. I was trying to keep from going all stream-of-consciousness with this comment and I’m not sure that I succeeded. 

  9. Cynthia Washburn
    July 12, 2012 / 11:55 am

    I agree that you shouldn’t dress in a way that violates your own comfort level and personal style to “impress” others. However, when thinking about the word “impress”, it also can be thought of as “to make an impression”, and I do think that sometimes it’s important to do that. 

    While I’m not going to dress in a way that is uncomfortable for me, I do think that I dress to make an impression in different situations – job interviews (not that I’ve been on one in 14 years), parent information night, parent/teacher conference day, the first day of school, meeting someone important for the first time (my husband’s family), giving a presentation, etc. 

    Dressing to make an impression can work in more than one way as well – I’ve gone two different routes when car shopping. When I wanted to get the salesman’s attention and be taken seriously, I made sure that I was well put together that day and looked like I was “a good mark”. When I just wanted to be left alone to look, I’ve worn jeans or shorts and a tshirt. 

    So… while I agree that you shouldn’t dress in a way that is false to who you are, I think that it’s important to think about what kind of impression we make with what we’re wearing – especially when it heads into territory of situations that you should show proper respect or situations that could have an impact on your future. There are definitely situations when I look at the clothing that I choose to wear as a type of armor – in which case, it’s doubly important to pick something that you’re comfortable in, but that will also get the job done. 

    Sorry for rambling…. I was trying to keep from going all stream-of-consciousness with this comment and I’m not sure that I succeeded. 

    • July 12, 2012 / 11:00 pm

       No, you succeeded Cynthia.  After I wrote this I wondered if I was going against a lot of what I say on my blog – while we do need to be true to ourselves, but we dress for certain reasons, and one is to make a good impression.  I came from the angle of a woman telling her husband keeps telling her to wear a certain color and style and it makes her feel awkward, and her sister gives her a different suggestion, and she wants to look cool for her friends and she feels very lost.  And I know she is not the only one who feels this way.  We get hit with the must-have style or color or trend for the season, that every woman needs X in her closet and Y looks good on every woman that it can be terribly overwhelming and easy to ignore our inner voice.  But yes, you are correct in that we should also think about the impression that we are making.  Thank you!

      • Cynthia Washburn
        July 13, 2012 / 10:30 am

        And I totally agree with that! Because if you feel awkward and gross in something, you aren’t really going to feel very impressive anyway. 

        I think that there’s a fine line between being true to yourself and using that as an excuse to wear yoga pants and flip-flops everywhere. One of the (many) things that I appreciate about your blog is that you aren’t afraid to offend a few people by pointing out that you show a lack of respect by not dressing appropriately to the occasion – and that you show practical ways to look good while living a real life. 

        Whenever I think about people dressing “however” they want, I think of how mortally offended I was when people showed up for my grandfather’s funeral in jeans, shorts(!), and even tracksuits. Seriously? And these just weren’t teens or small children – and it’s not like my grandfather was a rancher or a super informal person either. I can see that it would be appropriate in some cases (maybe … I don’t know, is there a funeral equivalent of a destination wedding?), but really, it added to the stress of the day for my parents and it was just disrespectful, imho. 

  10. りんびん ふ
    July 12, 2012 / 7:18 am

    女性は常におしゃれなgucci ハンドバッグによって誘われます!グッチ 財布新作が待望の登場!重点となっているGucci 長財布2012年夏には、まだファッションで非常に人気のグッチ・ハンドバッグは、傾きます!

  11. Patti_NotDeadYetStyle
    July 11, 2012 / 11:42 pm

    Thanks for this, Allie! You made my day.

  12. Patti_NotDeadYetStyle
    July 11, 2012 / 7:42 pm

    Thanks for this, Allie! You made my day.

  13. July 11, 2012 / 11:20 pm

    YES! I am jumping up and down seconding this! So many times I think, “I’m not going to see anyone important if I run to the grocery store in my yoga pants.” But wait! I AM IMPORTANT! Thanks, Allie. Keep waving the flag for self-love!!!

  14. July 11, 2012 / 7:20 pm

    YES! I am jumping up and down seconding this! So many times I think, “I’m not going to see anyone important if I run to the grocery store in my yoga pants.” But wait! I AM IMPORTANT! Thanks, Allie. Keep waving the flag for self-love!!!

  15. July 11, 2012 / 8:07 pm

    amen girl! Great post!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

powered by chloédigital