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The Most Important Time to Dress Well

December 30, 2012
In the United States, the most flagrant misconception about dressing well is that it is something you should do only for formal occasions. The popular notion is that you should put in effort when you go out on Friday night, or when you go to a wedding, or when you have a meeting with clients - but not when you run to the store, or get on an airplane, or go to a dive bar.

The fact, however, is that the woman (or man, for that matter) who dresses well is the one that shows up looking good when everyone else is not. A well-dressed woman puts a priority on looking good, regardless of the situation. This doesn't mean that she never dresses comfortably, but it does means that she does so less frequently. More importantly, even when she does dress comfortably, she maintains a sense of style and considers her appearance above her preference to "just throw something on." The most important time to dress well is whenever you are inclined to put in the least amount of effort. It is in these occasions that you stand out from the crowd. So, I challenge you:

For the next three days, whenever you choose your clothes for any occasion, step up the quality and formality of your appearance by one degree relative to what you would normally wear.

If you were going to wear a t-shirt to the grocery store, choose a blouse instead. If you wouldn't normally wear your formal jacket for a trip to the mall, do it this time. If your heels are usually reserved for Friday and Saturday nights, wear them to work. If you don't usually do your hair when you go to a sports bar, put in at least twenty minutes to make it look its best before leaving the house. If you normally wear old and ugly workout clothes when you go to the gym because "it's just working out", get some new ones that work with your complexion.

If you need to, set an extra alarm on your phone for the next three days as a reminder. I've done this myself and I guarantee that you will be surprised by how much better you feel - not to mention look - as you go about your normal activities.

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