I have worked in the fashion industry for over two decades, and the styles I have tried have been too many.
I once dressed for other people's expectations. For example, I would only wear suits to interviews; I would choose something elegant when meeting parents; or go for a sexier number when I went on dates. But eventually I realised it was very exhausting to dress this way.
I have also gone the other extreme and rejected others' expectations in dressing up. For example, I never wore black to fashion events; I refused to wear makeup to my sister's wedding and as a new mom I went for a skin head hair cut.
But whether I needed or rejected others' acceptance of myself or not, my style was still under the control of others.
One day, I chose to dress for myself.
I woke up feeling a bit tired, and I had an appointment with a new client that day. Standing in front of the closet, I wanted to pick a suit, but my heart urged me to choose a long floral dress. I had a million reasons in my head that this is impossible, for how could I express my professionalism wearing a dress to meet my clients?
But my heart kept saying, choose this floral dress, it is wise to be gentle to yourself today.
I respected my needs and wore this dress to the meeting, I also gave myself ample time to get ready.
When I met my client, because I had respected my own needs, they also felt my professionalism in business. Not only did they compliment what I wore, we also closed the deal very quickly.
I realised then that when I can respect myself and to dress for me without any reactions to the world, this respect is naturally extended to others.
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