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  • Writer's pictureCaribbeanCollective

Body, Dress + Work: Show up as your best self.

When we talk about fashion or wardrobe choice, some say it is our armour. Others wear to conform. Wear to fit in. Wear to feel comfortable. Wear to not fit in, to make a point. Some would rather not wear at all. As a woman, particularly in the public and corporate areas of life, there are expectations on how we should dress. And most corporate attire is based off the male form and the male style. I know that I felt stifled working in a suit everyday. I couldn’t wait to get it off, feel more me. I gradually started building more of my own personality into my wardrobe; bit of colour here, quirk there, cultural pieces… yes people started to notice - but I want to talk about what happened on the inside. The more I dressed as myself, felt represented by my own reflection, the more I started coming out of my shell, opening up and expressing my viewpoints. This subtle shift was down to what I wore into work. The more I dressed as my best self, the more I turned up as her. The more audacious I dressed the more confident I felt putting myself out there - I was already standing out anyhow. And the more feminine I felt too. By feeling good and presenting my true self, I could give my best self - and my authentic self. A self that I sometimes tucked away in meetings. But work takes up over half our life! We cant hide ourselves, be someone we are not quite, simply because it seems to be frowned upon to dress differently. My point couldn’t be made more clear than by Bozoma St John, Chief Marketing Officer at Netflix. If you haven heard of her, Google her. Check out her Instagram. This woman is my inspiration for doing your thang and keeping it professional. Of showing up unashamedly, un apologetically, as a woman. She wears what she feels to; through her style and wardrobe choices you know that you are seeing a fearless woman, a powerful contender. Because she is commutable being herself, she is letting you know who she is. She is not afraid to be herself.

Here’s the catch though - it is not about needing to dress up or about what you wear, it is about the intention behind your wardrobe choice; is it for you, to honour, respect, heighten, evoke a true feeling within you, or are you doing it for external gratification whatever it may be? As long as you are dressing for you, then dress your best. You never know who you could meet, what opportunity might come your way. Show up as your best self. So try it. Be yourself, fully. Give yourself permission to dress how you feel on the inside - the best version of you - and see how it affects your interactions, your performance. Be sure to write to us and let us know what you felt!

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