After I saw the woman in pink, I decided to go against the grain a bit (my grain, that is). I work for a very conservative woman and she has clear, firm expectations of our dress code. I stick to black, white, grey, maybe some navy most of the time. I went through a phase some years ago where I really enjoyed wearing dresses to the office (I was working for a different person then) so I still have a decent collection to choose from. One of them is a bold red wrap with minimal pattern, long-sleeved, and requires a tank underneath. It looks great with a neutral colored heel or a black flat. The weather has been warm here so I went with it.
I walked in the office and the first thing I heard was, “Look at you all fancy!” from a co-worker. My immediate response was to declare I’m not fancy, it’s just warm weather wear. My boss peeked around the corner and saw me. She smiled. Truth be told, I felt a little relief. The dress is office appropriate, but it isn’t like my normal slacks or skirts (the skirts I don’t wear that often either). My boss told me it was a good color on me so I went about my day.
My staff noticed as well, coming across as shocked when they saw me but offering compliments. Keep in mind we are all pretty much wearing uniforms all the time so the color does make an impact and it’s noticeable, especially when you don’t wear it every day. As the day went on, I felt more confident. I can’t say I like dresses as much as I did when I got them, but I like that I can still wear them, I like having the choices, and I like that I am able to change my mind and switch up my wardrobe based on what I’m feeling that day (or the weather).
I also like that I found a bit of my spark, like the woman in pink. In my work environment, the red dress was as noticeable as the pink hair. I know this isn’t a big thing for most people, but it was a start for me. It was also a rekindling of self to a degree. I used to be much more lax about the rules and it really didn’t bother me to be the one who stood out when it came to vibrant color etc. My old office wardrobe was impressive with bright colors, patterns, variety of styles and all the makeup to match it. In some ways I always wanted to be the one against the grain. So now the question is, what happened? Where is that spark? I still feel it but I know I still hold it back. So I’m working on some “me time” to let it fully come back to life. We’re going to talk about a transition period next and what that looks like when finding self.