Three times my clothes changed my life. Really.
I strongly believe that your clothes should help you achieve your goals, not inhibit you from reaching them.
That means that if your heel is too high and you opt out of a great adventure simply because your feet are killing you, your clothes aren't doing you any favors. Conversely, if you are convinced that comfort is your paramount goal, opportunities may pass you by.
As a fan of empirical evidence, here are a few examples from my own life to help seal the deal:
1. When I saw the President speak.
Shortly after 9/11 President George W. Bush was coming to speak. Yup. I said GW Bush. Although I strongly disagreed with his politics, I'm a political junkie and am especially interested in seeing Presidents in person, any President. Anyway, he was coming to the California city where I lived. Several people in my office were going and happened upon an extra ticket the morning of the event. Apparently, one colleague mentioned my desire to go and the group decided that I could have the ticket if…. I was wearing something that would be appropriate. That was a big if. Who knew that morning as I put on my light blue cashmere cowl neck sweater and black skirt that this choice would ensure I saw yet another US President in person? But, it was.
Fashion lesson: In a professional setting, your clothes should express who you are; but always set you up for success.
2. The day I swam in an underwater cave.
Years ago, I was living and traveling in Central America when I happened upon some old friends that were about to explore an underwater cave with only candles and a very enthusiastic guide. I was on a weekend excursion so only had two pairs of shoes. Luckily, that morning, I had chosen to wear my red Diesel sneakers that I could easily wear in and out of water. Because of the climbing that was required inside the cave, had I chosen my flip flops, it never would have happened.
Fashion lesson: Look cool, but always be prepared for adventure.
3. The time I discovered that Spike Lee is more attractive than I am.
While living in NYC, I walked into an elevator to see Spike Lee as my only companion. He was on the phone and we gave one another the nod of acknowledgement. The elevator moved down a floor. When the doors opened, a young attractive man walked in and promptly devoted his full attention to me with lots of vigor. Sure. I wasn't really interested, but how exciting to get some extra love from a handsome stranger and I was wearing a pretty great outfit, for sure. Standing behind the fella, Spike Lee proceeded to watch the whole thing to see my reaction. Then, as if in one motion, the doors opened and the man noticed Spike Lee. Instantaneously, my outfit and I became invisible.
Fashion lesson: Even the greatest outfit will find it challenging to compete with celebrity.
I have millions of these. I bet you do, too. Care to share?
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