What does that mean to you? A recent article about this in the Houston Chronicle tickled my thoughts about how executive women dress. In the 80’s it meant women (me) wore blue pin strip suits (skirts not pantsuits), padded shoulders in their jackets (I once was told my jacket had more padding than an NFL player), cute little bow ties replicating the material of men’s ties, and starched button down shirts. A perfect replica of executive men, albeit put together with expensive high heels.
We moved through a number of iterations of “power dressing” to pant suits. Today, women are beginning to show some feminine flair and still be taken seriously. Hallelujah! Across the globe western women are also waking up to the emotional cost of hiding parts of ourselves to be successful. We are starting to reconnect to this rather large piece of who we are (uh, yes you were, are and always will be a woman whether you are also a MD, lawyer, executive, etc.) .
So the question is, do you remain hidden behind the suit of armor of your profession or do you start to let the real you show in your professional clothing? And more importantly, do we collectively wait until the world accepts our feminine nature and sees us as powerful leaders, movers, and doers before we bring our flair to our clothes? Or, maybe as we individually start to wear clothes that make us feel more alive and represent more clearly who we are we will walk into the room with the clear energy of a leader, mover, and doer–simply because we are connected with the source of our power, not hiding it! And just maybe as more and more of us do this, the world will begin to recognize feminine leadership, not women masquerading as men!
Clothing is our second skin says Liana Chaouli and because of that we have to feel comfortable in our skin in order to walk into a room with all the strength and grace we desire. Most of us change our wardrobes unconsciously as we buy new items here and there, get presents of this and that; then one day we wake up wondering why nothing in our closet makes us feel good. Others of us have a wardrobe full of things we think we are “suppose” to wear based on the type of work we do. None of this will give you the reinforcement of your internal power, but rather it steals it from you because you feel like a farce that someone will find out.
So take a peek tonight at your closet. Pull out the clothes you love to wear and learn what makes you feel good. Now find adaptations that you will feel comfortable with in a work setting. One day at a time, one outfit at a time start showing up more and more as YOU!