Thursday, September 13, 2007

Clean and Neat

Yesterday, I consulted with a woman in my network regarding my professional appearance, since that was the highlight (or lowlight, I suppose) of my recent performance review. She works in Development Communications, and is always dressed impeccably. In fact, she reminds me of Louise Brooks.

"Louise" had some good advice, and pointed out that a lot of it probably came from the new SVP who is from LA, where, Louise said "Everything is about appearance." Really, I tend to think more about work than my looks (hence my lack of makeup 90% of the time), but I guess the performance review was reflective of that (boiled down summary: super work and production, sloppy personal presentation). So spurred by Louise's advice about "putting myself in the right box and being the best box I can be"--for as long as I'm working under a numbers driven SVP from LA who treats development like sales (anathema!) anyway--I went and cleaned out my closet last night. I had been thinking about this after reading about Penelope Trunk's post on taming materialism--have I mentioned it before? it was really inspiring to me--and last night I went and did it.

Some of the cleaning was painful. I tossed a pair of pink striped pants that I really loved. I remembered that I bought them when I was a size 6 and a few weeks later the medication experiments started and I dropped rapidly to a size 2. I can remember sitting in my doctor's office saying "I bought these pants two weeks ago and now they're too big!" It was sad to be throwing them out because they were too small. Oh well. Let's not dwell on it.

The bonus is I know that I can fit in everything in the closet. And I have more closet space. And I'm going to be okay. It's all good for work. Another great piece of advice from Louise: "Make sure everything fits right. If it doesn't, get it tailored, or don't wear it." You can't look professional if your clothes don't fit.

Today I'm wearing a seersucker A-line dress and a black blazer with spectator-style shoes. I look A+ professional. And I'm happy.

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