Dress to impress. That phrase we’ve all heard umpteen times, seen on invitations, heard Gok Wan utter on dozens of TV shows over the years.
But what does it really mean; what is the definition of dressing to impress? Should we dress to impress, and if so who is it exactly is it that we’re trying to impress?
Dress up for your man. Now, how da hellllll do you do this?? When you’ve been in a relationship for over a decade as I have, your other half is either brutally honest about outfits they hate you in or say you look nice to get you out the door without having a meltdown (this is not to say he doesn’t ever genuinely like what I wear, but I’m tuned in enough to know the difference). We can only guess what men would be impressed by us wearing, and (spoiler alert) it may not be something you’re necessarily comfortable in. I’m not saying all men are into boobs out/short skirts/tight clothing (not all together obvs) but I’m willing to bet most of our stereotypical minds think they are most of the time.
Dress for the approval of other woman. This tends to be the one people do the most. We don’t say we do it, but I know from experience that I feel way more chuffed when a female has come up to me and asked about what I’m wearing. A lot of clothing women appreciate tends to be referred to as ‘man repelling’ which kind of backs up what I said earlier about what we think men want to see women wearing. But then, every woman has her own opinion about what looks nice too – some are into showing off what they’ve got, some are fashun forward to the enth degree, others may be docs and tee dresses all day errrr day.
Dress for the job you want, not the job you have. If you want to be a zoo keeper – should you wear khaki and carry a massive net? (I fully appreciate this is a super outdated stereotype, given I used to work in an industry where I came into contact with animal keepers). OK, that’s a bit of an outlandish example, but you get my point. For other more ‘usual jobs’ this is more ambiguous I’d say – my day job is marketing, but during my career I’ve worked in environments where I have to be very smartly dressed and others were being casual is encouraged. So if someone who wanted to work in the same profession wanted to impress and didn’t know the company culture, what would they wear? The default would likely be a suit or similar, but that could disengage the interviewers if that’s not how they do things.
Dress for yourself. THIS IS THE ONE YOU SHOULD PAY ATTENTION TO. Think about it – nobody knows better than you what you like, what you feel good in, what suits your shape and lifestyle. Only you can truly tell yourself that you feel good in what you have on (I don’t care how many people pay you compliments about your appearance; if you don’t believe it yourself it’ll never stick) and when that happens confidence will radiate out of you. I’ve you’re feeling confident the world will notice and respond to that – people you’re attracted to, other girls, a prospective employer. Now that’s impressive.
Thanks for reading, J xx