1.) "She quietly expected great things to happen to her, and no doubt that's one of the reasons why they did." -Zelda Fitzgerald"I'd hate to look shabby for destiny." I say this halfway with my tongue in my cheek, but the heart of the sentiment bears scrutiny. I never know when something intriguing will happen to me and I want to look good when it happens. People laugh at me over this one, because it is a little silly. But truly, would you want to stumble into meeting one of your favorite actors or musicians while wearing sweats and a hoodie? Or maybe a friend you haven't seen in ages, or an interesting stranger, or a a policeman ticketing you for running a red light. You never can tell with bees.
2.) "Being well-dressed is a beautiful form of politeness." -AnonymousI like to dress nicely because it is a beautiful form of politeness. I'm telling the people with whom I interact, without words, that I value them. I might only be going to Walmart, but I'm willing to put the same effort into my appearance when seeing them that I would when seeing someone I actually...well...I actually want to see. When someone dresses nicely to meet me for coffee - just me, not a boardroom full of bosses - I feel incredible special. It's the wordless things.
3.) "Personal style comes from within. It's when the woman, her individuality and spirit, comes through. She uses clothing to express who she is and how she feels." Donna KaranHearkening back to what was going on last point, style is a way to tell the world who you are, what you value, how you feel. Having personal style, developing it, and wearing it into the world is a thing that only the mature woman can do...because having personal style is to know yourself inside and out and to be able to translate that into clothing.
4.) "Sometimes you just have to put on lipgloss and pretend to be psyched." -Mindy KalingYou don't always feel like dressing up. That's kind of the point of doing it, though. A good outfit, good makeup, or a favorite pair of shoes give you some swagger. My best friend calls a good outfit a "power move" and we both know the value of wearing your best when having a tough conversation, working with difficult people, or simply grinding out another day of the same old retail job. When you're at least looking like you're ready for life, life will often become ready for you.
5.) "Refuse to be average. Let your heart soar as it will." A.W. TozerYou don't have to have other people's view on the world. You don't have to look at your life and think, "There's absolutely no reason to paint my nails today." You don't have to wear ripped jeans and an old concert tee unless you want to wear ripped jeans and an old concert tee. You don't have to wait for a special occasion to curl your hair, or wear bright lipstick, or high heels. You don't have to dress as simply as everyone else if you're feeling fancy. Just be yourself. Follow your own path and if someone sneers because you're wearing sequins before dark, take comfort in the fact that they aren't their own personal disco ball.
I hope I've helped to explain why I consider it worthwhile to wear a dress to work and high-heels to the book store and earrings to the pharmacy and lipstick...well...lipstick always. Not because I am being irrational about what my job entails, not because I think I'm better than everyone else, not because I want to be noticed, but because of these five things: hope, consideration, expression, determination, and originality. I'm happy to wake up half an hour earlier, to carry lipstick in my purse, and to fuss a little more with my cardigan. All of these things are but a small price to pay for feeling prepared, confident, polite, cheerful, and beautiful. As always, may your lipstick be red and your heels high.