Have you been struggling with whether getting dressed is even important right now?
Many of you have shared with me your difficulty getting motivated during these challenging times. Getting dressed in a way that makes you feel good can be part of solving the equation.
It is possible to be comfortable yet confidently put together all at the same time.
When I worked with Vickie, she confessed to me that her work-from-home style was extremely casual. She was torn between the desire to meet her students where they were and a desire to delineate herself as the teacher. Together, we found a way to create outfits that felt good on and helped her feel more confident.
Interview: Victoria Kelty
1. How do you think your first impression ties into your success?
Honestly, I didn’t think that my first impression mattered that much before I started following Allison on social media, at least not in regards to my clothing. I thought, “I’m a laid-back online English teacher. I want to represent that with a t-shirt and jeans or sweats. That will help my client to feel comfortable – like we’re one and the same.” So, that’s what I wore for my initial meetings with a new client and I thought that was working fine.
After going through Allison’s course, I realized there is more power behind my look than I initially gave it credit for. Now, when I have an online meeting or even on calls where a new client can’t see me, I have traded my t-shirt in for one of my ‘power outfits’ that we styled together. This change enables me to go into these meetings with more confidence because my outfit represents all of me. I still feel like my laid-back self but I also feel that my serious, business side, which was missing before, shines through. I think that mix is essential to being able to bring my ‘A’ game to a first meeting with someone.
2. Your work is teaching English as a second language. What particularly called you to do this work? What is your current focus?
I actually fell into teaching English as a second language. I was all set to find work writing for a newspaper, having graduated with a journalism degree in 2005, but when I taught English in Costa Rica after graduating, I knew teaching English was what I was meant to do. And it’s what I’ve been doing ever since. I have had my own struggles speaking Spanish, and I use my personal experience to help other adult learners have a smoother journey toward English fluency by making it seriously fun.
3. What prompted you to decide to work on your personal style?
I’ll be totally honest here; I was going around all day in a t-shirt and sweats feeling unkempt and not like my best self. I work from home and I wanted to feel a distinction between ‘work me’ and ‘off-work me’ but it didn’t feel like there was one, that prompted me to look for a way to change that.
4. Was there a roadblock that initially got in your way of working on your personal style — and how did you clear it?
In the beginning, I questioned whether it was really the right thing because it seemed frivolous or conceited to be doing something that focused solely on how I looked. The course helped me see it actually wasn’t that at all. It was as much about working on the inside as the outside and the link between both. In that way, I was able to make changes in my perspective, which in turn allowed me to be open to finding a personal style that stayed true to me, my personality, my comfort and, at the same time, was able to improve on it.
I was also anxious because I thought I would have to get rid of all my clothes and go shopping for a whole new wardrobe. Again, it wasn’t that at all. I learned that I already had everything I needed right in my closet. I found ways to mix and match outfits and put together my ‘power outfits’ that I rotate through my workweek. Through the process, I even found I was able to get rid of clothes that no longer served me, something that had been hard for me in the past. Plus, going shopping for additional items was completely optional which made shopping fun again.
5. Do you have a passion or purpose my readers can help you amplify?
My mission is to bring ease and laughter to the lives of adult English as a second language learners. If you know someone who is striving to boost their English fluency and looking for an enjoyable way to do that, you can find tips at yesstilltalking.com or contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m here to support you.
How We Make It Happen
Finding Your Power Outfit
When you are in a position of authority, yet want to make people feel comfortable, the key is to wear things that feel authentic to you while still being appropriate to the situation.
For many of my clients, realizing that they are most comfortable in a particular type of clothing — and giving themselves permission to predominantly wear that type of clothing is a game-changer. If you are comfortable in your own skin and wearing what makes you feel good, others will feel that ease when they interact with you.
For Vickie, that particular type of clothing is dresses. What might it be for you?
- Observe What You Gravitate Towards. If you are consistently pulling your softest cashmere cardigan, you may want to think about incorporating more of these types of pieces into your wardrobe.
- Iterate. Give yourself different iterations of the outfit you love the best. For example, if you know you love fit and flare dresses, buy a few of them in different colors, patterns or textures.
- Add Variety. Not only can you add variety within the garment itself, but you can also change things up with your accessories. If you always wear a certain necklace, perhaps now is the time to try layering it with another necklace or try pairing it with different earrings.
Want your own bespoke “work from home” look? That’s what I do! Click here.
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