Thursday, March 11, 2010

Work Attire and Self-Esteem

Well hello there!

Somehow two weeks have flown by since the last time I posted. I guess that is what happens when work gets busy, I get sick, and I don't open up my laptop at night. I've also been reading a lot of books lately, so blogs and blogging have fallen to the wayside. Yesterday I had to mark all as read in my google reader because it was out of control and stressing me out. Blogging shouldn't stress me out, it is supposed to be a fun outlet!

I am feeling better, but work is still crazy. We are in the middle of state testing and the annual rush to get students referred and tested before the school year is over. Today was the first day in a while that I was planning to spend the day working solely with kids. Imagine my surprise when I got to school this morning and found an agenda for NINE pre-referral meetings regarding kids with academic and/or behavior problems in my mailbox. On "kid days" I tend to dress more casually and don't wear make-up, which is definitely what I did today. Since going off the pill I have had trouble with acne on my chin, and although my face has finally cleared up, I still try to give it some breathing room every once in a while. On meeting days I dress more professionally and always have on a full face of make-up.

Luckily I had my make-up bag in my purse and I was able to apply some foundation and bronzer so that I don't look like an 18 year old when I am trying to convince people that I have the answers to these kids' problems. They will just have to deal with my sweater/khakis combo because I don't have any extra clothing. Honestly though, most of my team will be in casual clothing and no one from outside the building (e.g. attorneys, advocates, etc.) will be in these meetings, but for some reason I still feel less professional when I am not "dressed to impress". It's not like I work for a Fortune 500 company where business attire is required, so what is my deal? Why is that clothing makes such a big difference in our self-esteem and our perception of our ability to do our jobs well? Am I being elitist in thinking that I should be dressed better than everyone else?

What are your thoughts on this??

10 comments:

  1. I don't think it's elitist to want to be professional. I work as a child therapist in schools, and I definitely dress more casually with the children. One of my little clients actually was upset one day because when I got in there and was wearing more dressy clothes (i.e. not jeans) for an earlier conference I attended, she thought I was 'going away and leaving her.' You send a message with your clothes and being professional sometimes means also looking professional (i.e. not like you just got out of bed ;) so I say - nothing wrong with upping your game when it's needed!

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  2. it's always better to be over-dressed than under-dressed... you can never be too put together, etc.
    i definitely think there are times when looking more professional is necessary/recommended. corporate world or not... you stand a little taller, speak more confidently, etc. when you look and feel the role.

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  3. I would rather be dresses to impressed! Just give me more confidence...I am right there with you!

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  4. This makes perfect sense! I find I feel my best when I look my best. There's got to be studies out there to support this:)

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  5. I totally agree. When I don't feel good about what I'm wearing, my confidence and performance lacks. It's definitely not elitist, you aren't alone!

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  6. to be honest.. I used to dress to impress, but now I'm more casual. I take my cue from the rest of the employees!

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  7. Agreed! Many many many teachers have seem to let fashion fall by the wayside. But typically I like to think if someone came in and said "show me what a teacher should look like" that I would feel confident in my presentation. :)

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  8. I don't dress very "dressy" at my job because I almost never meet with outsiders or anyone not in my very small organization - but the days I do, I deifnitely feel better. It's a state of mind!

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  9. I agree that you should dress to impress under the right circumstances. I do NOT like it when friends constantly try to one up... ya know.

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  10. i agree. better overdressed than under. I also overdress. I wear heels to the grocery store. I don't care what people think, just what I think, and I think I should look top notch most of the time.

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