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!

2 thoughts on “Warrior Wardrobe

  1. עיסוי אירוטי בקריות-israelnightclub

    Im pretty pleased to discover this page. I wanted to thank you for ones time for this particularly wonderful read!! I definitely liked every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to look at new stuff on your blog.

    1. mbarizo

      Thank you and welcome to Leadership Ladder’s Recipes of Leadership blog! Please continue to enjoy…share…and participate in the conversation. Sending good wishes your way!!

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