What is your style?
Style? What’s that? I have about as much fashion sense as a fence post. If I could have it my way, I would dress in a t-shirt, jeans and Converse every single day of my life, unless I was at home then it would be a t-shirt, pj pants and bare feet. I’ve had to make some adjustments to attempt to fit into the civilized world, but even still I find dressing up to be draining and suffocating.
This discomfort gives me pause when someone decides to comment on my day off about my lack of appreciation for fashion. Usually though, the critic oddly enough is someone who showed up to our appointment 10 minutes late, didn’t finish their part on a project or can’t seem to put together two written sentences to save their life. But in the end, I am the one judged for wearing jeans instead of slacks, wearing more comfortable shoes instead of dress shoes so I could walk to the meeting instead of driving or whatever else I could have done wrong.
Style is More Than Appearance
So I said all that to say style is more than just appearance. It’s how you approach life and present yourself to the world. The people of this world are judgemental and you have about 5 seconds to make a good first impression. This first impression can make or break that potential relationship. For most people, a good first impression can last even after a series of multiple screw ups, but it’s not the only thing that matters.
Don’t misunderstand. I understand the importance of appearance and the part it plays to bring us to another level of professionalism. Our appearance can set us apart. If there are two candidates with the exact same skills, the better dressed one will probably get the part. Good things come in pretty packages, as they say. But in the same sense, it can alienate the people we are trying to help or distract from the work we are doing. At that point, it is important to be identifiable to others, which extremely important when it comes to helping others.
When I was 17, I went to our local library to sign up to volunteer with an adult literacy class. I LOVED to read and I wanted to share that passion with others because I thought, if I could instill that passion with others they would be more eager to learn to read. Unfortunately, I was too young. Many people in the class were older adults and I didn’t have the life experience or just the age to be able to relate with them. It’s the same with style.
What Really Matters?
Style is about how we want to present ourselves to the world. Is style only about appearance? Does being on time, compassionate, hard working, being a good team player or good time manager count for anything? Do we want to relate with people who don’t have as much as we do? Do we want to go to work looking our best but performing at sub par levels? Do we want to be known as the pretty one or the one who puts their best foot forward? Do we want every hair in place or do we want to be on time?
Understandably, there are some people who couldn’t care less. They have a job and they can get away with not doing it. There are also people who can look great and still get their hands dirty. In my experience these are the exceptions not the rules.
I’m not saying we should roll out of bed and go to work. Obviously, we should put effort into our appearance, but it shouldn’t be the only thing we focus on. Appearance isn’t the only thing we should present to the world, there are many things that need our attention.
There are many characteristics we need to consider when deciding what we want our style to be. What is your style saying about you? Is your style something you’re proud to display to the world?