My whole life I have tended to be overdressed. Going to private school from kindergarten through graduation, uniforms were worn Monday - Friday; All except for those beloved Free Dress days. As soon as I heard the words, I was planning what I would be wearing from the underwear to the shoes. I took full advantage of those very special days and typically purchased a new outfit every time.
So now in my adult years, every day is a free dress, and you better believe I take full advantage of it. As I prepared for the Ms. Wheelchair America competition, I took full advantage of the shopping opportunity and bought some amazing outfits. The shopping angels were definitely working in my favor, and I totally scored on some incredible dresses and jewelry.
What we wear is such a statement of who we are. I believe with my whole heart that what we put out is what we receive, and the same goes for our appearance. What we put out there to the world is how the world will receive us.
Getting dressed each day, I think about my goals for the day, who I will be seeing, and what opportunities could be waiting. You never know when that great job or contact will be waiting for you as you run your errands. I was able to secure a magazine article simply by telling the girl in front of me in line for lunch how cute her hat was. We struck up a conversation about where the best shopping was and exchanged business cards, and she asked about the Vertical Beauty Project (which at that time was still only an idea that I had put on my business cards). She was a publisher and liked what I had to say and I followed up to secure the deal. BAM! I looked polished and professional and I was living my brand.
Today is the first day of the Ms. Wheelchair America competition week. The schedule says casual attire for registration. I’m wearing a long black halter dress, big pink and turquoise earrings, rose gold bangles, and blush-colored sandals, my hair is fully done and my makeup looks like I’m ready to go in front of the camera. For me, this is casual, but to others, I may look a little fancy.
As I look in the mirror on my way out the door, those little fear-based thoughts enter my head. They say, “Tone it down. You’re too dressed up for casual”.
And then I fight off those silly thoughts, “This is my brand! I am fancy! And I feel great!” I think life is a free dress day and always a special occasion. When I look my best, I feel my best. This is how I want to be received. I remind myself, that in being me, I will empower others to be themselves too, and perhaps even break out of whatever thoughts may be holding them back.
The point is, BE READY! Look at the part. Dress the part. Live your brand, and don’t be afraid to be overdressed. Opportunities are at every turn, and it’s up to you to be ready and take them. Life is not a dress rehearsal, it is the big show. Life is the ultimate performance. You don’t get to repeat it, so take full advantage of your free dress, free speech, and freedom!