One evening in June I reorganized all the clothing in my closet and dresser. I spent hours removing, replacing, folding, and creating piles of what I no longer used until I had four large bags full of clothing that I could give for donation.
In this moment, I realized that I (sadly) hoard clothing, but more importantly, that over the past year I’ve made significant changes to the way I dress. I think these photos of my shoes alone, accurately represent the shift from young, naïve grad student nurse to mature and respected health professional.
Here are the shoes I used to wear during my 12-hour shifts and in grad school….
Here are the shoes I wear now in my leadership role and for going out with friends….
We live in a world where people judge us by how we present ourselves. One of the hardest changes for me was actually switching my shoes – I love Converse sneakers and believed that by wearing them I was reflecting my upbeat and fun personality. After I let go, I came to realize there were other ways I could reflect my personality through the way I dressed (i.e. colours, accessories, and layering). I can attest to the shift in positive and respectful attitudes and behaviours from colleagues since making these changes.
Here are some things to consider if you’re also looking to modify your style, I’ve italicized the slight changes I’ve made to adapt to my professional environment:
- How do you wear your hair? Occasionally wearing a low, combed ponytail.
- What kind of shoes are you wearing? Closed heel and toe flats or low heels.
- What kinds of trousers/skirts do you wear? Tailored dress pants or pencil skirts.
- If you get cold while at work, what might you grab to wear on top of your ensemble? A blazer, cardigan, or pashmina scarf/shawl.
- What kind of jewelery or a watch do you wear to work? A silver chain with small pendant, small earrings, one simple ring, and a metallic watch.
- Does your employer have a dress code? Always abide to the dress code.
- Fridays are generally dress down days, what might you wear on this day? A blazer, white t-shirt, dark jeans, and flats.
*A special thank you to ER, SO, and PK (my beautiful sister) for inspiring me to “dress to impress”!