Dress to Impress (Yourself)

Draven Jackson

Blogger | Teacher


Whether your favorite fashion statement is the professional woman’s attire, business casual, or sweatpants-are-for-going-out, the way you dress says a lot about you as a person. Your clothes and the way you present yourself are the first things people notice about you, and the last things they see when you leave.

We spend countless hours of our lives searching our closets for the perfect outfit, disappointed when nothing looks right. And my question is: why? Why do we care so much about what others perceive about us based on what we wear? And why do we worry about whether our clothes are cute to people who don’t even have to wear them?

It’s important to dress to impress – as long as the person you’re trying to impress is yourself. Fashion is one of the most important forms of self-expression, so you should never limit your creativity to fit someone else’s ideals.

Wear What Makes You Comfortable

The idea that you need to be uncomfortable to be fashionable is an old wives’ tale. “Beauty is pain” is one of the oldest mantras in the book, but it’s also one of the worst. Why? Because fashion and beauty are what we make of them, and they are only as uncomfortable as we allow them to be.

Not all clothing choices are for all people – while some can wear nine-inch heels and tight spandex with no problems, I always feel like I’m two seconds from falling over or popping out of them. For those who can rock tall stilettos and tight clothes and feel comfortable doing so, I think you all look amazing.

But if wearing more casual outfits is more your scene – if you’re inclined to wear a t-shirt and jeans rather than the most extravagant cocktail dress – then it’s completely alright to wear what makes you comfortable.

While wanting to impress other people with your iconic fashion looks is understandable, at the end of the day you’re the one who has to wear the clothes. Always make sure that what you’re wearing is something you feel good about.

Wear What Makes You Happy

One huge problem I have with the fashion industry is that often we’re told we can’t wear something because we’re not the right type of person. We’re too old or too fat, too plain or too motherly. We aren’t the perfect fit for the look, and therefore we can’t wear it.

And so, I ask again: why? Who gets to decide what we can and can’t wear (other than ourselves)? Like I said before, you’re the one who wears the clothes, no one else. Don’t let the preconceived ideas and arbitrary notions of others dictate what you can and can’t put on your body.

If something makes you happy, it’s perfectly acceptable to chase that happiness. Happiness can be a fleeting feeling, and if your joy rests on an easily attainable article of clothing, then get it! Don’t let someone who isn’t paying decide that you can’t have it.

You’re never too old or too young or too plain or too motherly to wear what makes you happy. Fashion is flexible, and while not every article of clothing suits every person, it’s easy to achieve the same look with something more flattering or fitting. It’s not about the clothes, it’s about the style.

Wear What Makes You Confident

Confidence is the most attractive accessory a person can wear, so finding the fashion look that makes you feel confident and inspiring is the best thing you can do for your self-esteem. No matter what you’re wearing, every person is beautiful in their own ways – but beauty is a whole different ball game when you can start to see it in yourself.

It can be hard to feel confident when you’re wearing something that makes you feel uncomfortable or unhappy. For me, despite the fact that I am a working woman, I find myself to be incredibly self-conscious wearing professional clothing. When I put on a skirt suit, I feel like a child playing dress-up, and I lose my confidence the longer I wear it.

But the moment I come home and put on my favorite pair of jeans and my comfortable hoodie, I’m immediately more confident and in control. While one would assume I would look better in my professional clothes, it’s the confidence that my casual look brings that makes me feel genuinely cute and attractive.

Wear What Speaks to You

Fashion is an outward statement of your inner self – it’s the easiest and clearest form of self-expression. How we dress tells everyone around us exactly what they should know about who we are and what we like.

Our t-shirts advertise our favorite bands and movies. The shoes we wear express whether we’re constantly on the move or full of attitude. Our accessories tell an important part of our story to everyone trying to read us with a glance.

What you wear speaks volumes about you, so make sure that the clothes you choose represent your true self. Whether you’re big and bold or neutral and subdued, let your clothes do the talking for you. You don’t have to explain everything about yourself to everyone you meet – let your fashion choices tell the people around you exactly what you want them to know.

Wear What You Want Just Because You Can

Most importantly, your fashion choices are some of the easiest things you can control in your life.

At the end of the day, my main question is this: why worry about what the world thinks? The way you dress, the shoes you wear, whether you put on makeup or not – those things shouldn’t matter to anyone other than you.

Fashion shouldn’t be about trying to impress the rest of the world. Fashion should be about finding a style that speaks to who you are and wearing what makes you happy simply because you can.

Why worry about what strangers think about your shoes or whether you did your hair in a way that will make some random person on the street take a second look? Instead of asking yourself whether other people like your clothes, consider these questions:

Do you like what you’re wearing?

Is your outfit comfortable and does it spark happiness?

Does your fashion sense speak to who you are and the person you want to be?

If the answer to these questions is yes, then stop stressing about what the rest of the world thinks. Instead, put on your favorite rings and your new pair of cool sunglasses, slip on those tried-and-true sneakers and dazzle the world with your inner beauty and a gorgeous grin.

None of the most impressive fashion icons in history ever let anyone else stop them from wearing exactly what they wanted to.

Do you have any other thoughts or ideas on fashion and dressing to impress (yourself)? Tell us in the comments!

About Draven Jackson

Draven is an avid writer and reader who enjoys sharing her opinions on movies, books, and music with the rest of the world. She will soon be working as a teacher in Japan and hopes to use her experience to connect with other teachers and students around the globe. Draven spends most of her time at home with her family, her dogs, and her ferret.

To see more, view all posts by Draven Jackson here.


The Best Outfits for Job Interviews

If you wear a suit to an interview for a camp counselor, or a T-shirt to an interview at a bank, it'll send the message that you don't truly understand what's involved in the role. Find out what to wear (and what not to wear) for interviews at every type of company.

Dressing appropriately is important because the first judgment an interviewer makes is going to be based on how you look and what you are wearing.

You always want to dress to make the best impression, but the outfit you choose depends on whether you're interviewing at a company with a formal dress code, at a casual startup, or for an informal summer job or internship.

What's the best outfit to wear to a job interview? The answer will vary depending on the type of job and company you're interviewing with.

Professional / Business Interview Attire Copyright GlobalStock/E+/Getty Images Generally, a job interview calls for you to wear professional, or business, attire. This might mean: A suit jacket and slacks with a button-down shirt and tie

A sweater and a button-down shirt

A blouse and dress pants

A statement dress You can also incorporate some modern style trends into your outfit. All interviewees should consider color when selecting an interview outfit and avoid wearing anything too bright or flashy that will distract the hiring manager. The more important thing to consider when you're dressing for a job interview is that you should look professional and polished regardless of the type of position you're seeking. Even though your interview attire depends on the role you're applying for, no matter what the position, you should go to the interview looking neat, tidy, and well-dressed.

Non-Professional / Business Casual Interview Attire PeopleImages / E+ / Getty Images If you have a job interview in a more informal work environment, you might wear a business casual outfit. Business casual outfits are less formal than a suit, but they are also more professional and polished than, say, a T-shirt and shorts or a sundress and sandals. Of course, make sure you know the dress code before you assume that business casual is acceptable. Note If you aren’t sure, call the office and ask the administrative coordinator, or contact the person who scheduled the interview and ask them for advice. Always dress a bit more professionally than the average employee at the company. If everyone is wearing shorts and T-shirts, for example, you might wear khakis and a polo shirt or button-down.

Casual Interview Attire PeopleImages / E+ / Getty Images If you have an interview at a startup, nix the head-to-toe formal business attire. You want to look appropriate and professional, but not too formal. Rather than showing up in a black suit and dress shoes, opt for something relaxed but still presentable: relaxed-fit khakis, dark-wash jeans, and a nice top, for example.

Internship / College Job Interview Attire Delmaine Donson / Getty Images It's important to dress professionally when interviewing for a professional job or internship as a college student. It'll show that you'll know how to dress appropriately if you're hired. Less formal attire is acceptable when interviewing for campus jobs and more informal workplace jobs. However, you still want to dress professionally for most positions, even if they are entry-level. Skip jeans, athleisure, or anything you’d wear to the beach, the gym, or a club. Make sure your clothing is clean, pressed, and free from visible holes or tears. When you interview for an internship position, your clothing should follow the dress code of the company you’re interviewing with. If you’re hoping to land an internship with a financial services company, professional attire is a must. However, if you’re interviewing for a tech internship at a startup, business casual is a better fit.

How to Dress Professional: What It Is and Why It's Important

Dressing professionally often refers to a type of dress code that’s more formal than business casual or casual attire. This type of dress code is most often seen in traditional office settings like those in finance, accounting, and government organizations. This type of attire is also often expected at formal networking events, job fairs, and job interviews unless otherwise noted by the company.

There are several reasons why you should dress professionally, including that it:

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Maryan Barbara

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