Notes on Dressing Smart
September 6th is National Read a Book Day, so I wanted to share some of my most-loved books, and what I’ve learned from them. But knowledge alone sometimes isn't enough to make your mark—how you present yourself each day matters too. So alongside my favorite books, I've decided to share a few thoughts on how to look pulled-together.
Grab a paper and pencil, here are my notes on dressing smart!
In an era of bike shorts and neon bodysuits as daywear (whyyyy?), there’s something to be said for dressing smart. Whether you like it or not, your appearance impacts how people treat you and view you. So why not have a leg up?
While I’ve never worked in an office that had a dress code (particularly not my past two roles at start-ups!), I always made sure to show up looking put-together. In fact, I rarely ever wore jeans!
I began working full-time at Boeing at 21, so being taken seriously by my older peers was really important to me. I wanted to be defined by my capabilities, not my age, and dressing in a sophisticated fashion helped tremendously (and still does).
Dressing in a certain way can do more than help you fit in—it can also help you stand out for the right reasons. You’re smart. You're capable. And you do a great job. A smart outfit draws attention to you, and by extension those qualities. Be bold, not boring!
So what does dressing smart mean to me?
Quality fabrics, timeless shapes, and a good fit.
The brand that I turn to again and again (and I'm sure many of you do too!) is Boden. I know that no matter what I choose from them, I’ll look polished.
In fact, for a couple recent big dates (including our visa interview), I turned to Boden pieces to look smart, professional and pulled together—but still a bit effortless too!
More Put-Together Pieces I Love:
I love that their clothes are made with fit and comfort in mind too. When shooting these outfits, I kept remarking about how comfortable these trousers are (and even went online and bought this similar pair in the sale the next day)!
Looking smart and professional often has connotations of uncomfortable and starchy clothes, but you should never buy things that make you feel this way! There are so many ways to look polished, and it doesn't have to be the traditional suit. My current obsession is this pair of flowy paperbag trousers!
I'm not saying you need to give up your jeans, but for many occasions it's a good idea to dress smart!
Since it's Read a Book Day on the 6th, I also wanted to share a few of my favorite books and what they taught me. I've decided to share some that have stayed with me ever since reading them, or that have been pivotal to my life in some way. Here they are, below:
A Few of My Most-Loved Books:
by Henry Kissinger
History was always one of my favorite subjects in school (Spanish was the other, if you're wondering!) and this book was my favorite read. This was our class textbook one year and covers the important events of the 20th century. I think it's so important to see how past events have shaped the world today and this book gives some really great insights that have helped me to better understand the current political landscape.
by Adam Kay
Living with a chronic illness means that I've spent my fair share of time in hospitals and doctors' offices. This book gives a very funny (I laughed out loud within the first few pages), but heartbreaking, look at one doctor's journals in his first years practicing medicine. It's a powerful book that's stayed with me and reminds me to have compassion and patience, as you never know what the people around you may be going through.
by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Cliché? Yes. But it's a classic for a reason, as the themes are timeless. I relate to something new each time I re-read this book. (Or let's be honest, re-watch the films too!) It can be so tempting to hold onto the past and want things to be how they once were, but it's important to live in the present and recognize (and appreciate) that things change, and so should we.
by Althea Harampolis and Jill Rizzo
I've always loved blooms. In fact, my parents recently reminded me that my first word was "flower"—my whole life makes sense now! I discovered this book after leaving a very analytical corporate job and it was one of the reasons I wanted to work in a more creative (and, well, floral) industry. I still flip through this book for inspiration and it's a beautiful addition to our coffee table.
by Simon Jenkins
Thanks to school (but, let's be real, mostly The Crown and Victoria!), I'm at least somewhat familiar with English history. But now that this is the place that I call home, I felt I should learn a little more. I wanted details, which this book gives—without an overwhelming amount of pages to get through. I thoroughly recommend it for a history refresher, as it's helped me to see my new home in a new light and with fresh eyes!
Until next time,
Special thanks to Boden for gifting us these wonderful clothes for Supal and I to wear in this post.