When people ask me why I got into the Image and Wardrobe Coaching business, I usually explain that I really enjoy helping people feel better about themselves, and share about a wardrobe makeover that I witnessed that changed a woman’s life. I know that sounds a touch dramatic; Image Coaches see it often.
Back in the 1980’s, when I was a young college student, I worked one summer in the real estate sales office of a multi-use facility. It was gorgeous; there was an upscale shopping center, restaurants (no chains), apartments and condos, and office space. The office manager was a bundle of energy, and had a mind like a steel trap. I’ll call her Lina. She remembered the size of dozens of different spaces, and she knew every tenant’s contractor, how close they were to completion, and what their opening dates were. Lina kept track of everything, stayed cheerful under pressure, and was funny, to boot. She spent most of her time in the back, on the phones, keeping hundreds of balls in the air at once. Our boss wanted to promote Lina, but felt unable to do so, because putting her in a client facing position would have been a problem. Lina dressed like a 12 year old.
One Friday morning, our boss pulled Lina aside and explained that he knew she was an amazing employee and he wanted her to succeed. He told Lina that if she wanted, she would be leaving work at noon and going to Dayton’s for an appointment with a personal shopper; that she would be there all afternoon, and all day Saturday as well. She had a beauty salon consultation and appointment with the lead stylist, for anything her heart desired, plus $1000 to spend on a new work wardrobe. (This was a lot more money back in the Midwest in 1984!) Lina left work early that day, and none of us had any idea why.
Monday morning, when Lina came into the office, only two people recognized her. When someone tried to stop her from walking into the back (private) offices, she just laughed. Lina was a transformed woman. She looked exactly like Lina, simply Lina, all grown up and polished. Client facing? No problem! So, she took the world by storm.
I got it. Clothes do matter. And confidence is priceless.
Have you ever had a experience that taught you the value of dressing a certain way? Please share in the comments below! I would love to hear from you…