As COVID hit and we all stopped going to the office, there were a couple things I missed right away. First… I missed the collaboration that came with teammate and leader interactions. Their ideas, nudges, and even disagreements fueled my creativity and made work FUN!
Second, I missed figuring out what armor I planned to wear for the day. Something bold? (A fuchsia Brandon Maxwell perhaps?) Edgy? (Leather skirt with gladiator high-heeled sandals?) Subdued? (Navy top and wide-legged pants with gold pumps?)
Fabulosity and Mindset
Those who know me (Leslie, Sam, JW, Theodore… and a “few” others) know I love me my fabulosity – fashion being just one component. Besides being a creative way to express myself, my outfit sets my state of mind. Getting dressed mentally prepared me for the day. Reminders would run through my head like…
… leadership is expected of you.
… you have responsibilities to your team and partners.
… for others to be their best for you, you need to be your best for them.
When I didn’t feel at my best, my wardrobe was armor. It boosted my self esteem… drove me to throw my shoulders back, hold my head high, walk with a purpose… and reminded me that I had job to do. Get over yourself and get on with it already!
Fabulosity and a Grateful Heart
Seeing myself in armor also brought moments of gratitude.
Grateful for the career I built and the luxuries I’m privileged to enjoy as a result. Grateful that Papa Art (Arsenio Gupilan – my maternal grandfather) told me years ago: taking pride in how you present yourself is a sign of respect… you are telling the world around you that you respect them enough to put your best foot forward.
I know… some (maybe many) will say fashion is frivolous. I get it… and… I’m not mad at it. For me, fashion can be art. It is beautiful. It’s a form of expression. It allows insights to one of the many layers that make me… me. It contributes to my confidence… and confidence is a component of my recipe for leadership.
COVID Curtailed Fabulosity
Covid changed how we work… and… how we dress. I still love my fashion and – in the middle of lockdown – decided I would dress up to go to the grocery store because I couldn’t dress up to go out to eat. High heals… a fabulous hand bag… and a dress while at Costco caused a few quizzical looks – and I was ok with that!
I’m curious: what does your armor look like today? What changed in the pandemic and how is has it changed again as many return to the office? Share your fashion adventures… mis-steps… or tips on how I can transition my wardrobe from corporate warrior to semi-retired-seeking-moments-of-glam in the comments section so I can learn from you!