While I believe in dressing comfortably for work, I also believe in being neat and presentable. I loathe the idea of people coming to work dressed in leggings, jeggings or jeans on a daily basis. As an educator, I feel our profession is constantly disrespected and the way we present ourselves play a great part in that. Many educators whine that it costs too much to “dress the part” but, I beg to differ. Besides, I find it necessary for us to dress in appropriate attire because it sends a visual image that we are professionals even in a school setting.
Though I love leggings and jeans, I realize there is a time and a place for everything. There are young ladies that are influenced daily by things I do and say as well as the clothing I wear. It is imperative they understand when they become adults and walk into a place of business as an employee, they should present themselves in a manner that makes them look like a professional without question.
I believe the way people dress plays a big part in the way they are approached. Oftentimes, I hear people saying others take them as a joke or they don’t get the respect they deserve. And I’m not afraid to say, “Look at your presentation.” If you know you are meeting a parent for the first time, why would you show up in tennis shoes? Would you show up for your first date at a restaurant in tennis shows? We always say, “First impressions are last impressions.” but dress like we have the opportunity for three strikes.
Dressing for my profession is something I am adamant about. I grew up in an era where female teachers wore dresses and stockings to work on a daily basis. The respect started with the fact that they looked like they deserved to be respected. While people don’t believe it carries a lot of weight, dressing well sets you apart from others before you even speak. It says you have pride in yourself and what you do. And when people know you care about yourself, they are likely to believe you can care about them as well. In the words of Tom Ford, “Dressing well is a form of good manners.” So please mind your manners.