Just because we work in fashion, doesn't mean each of us hasn't felt the pressure of dressing appropriately and feeling confident in how we look. That is a challenge everyone faces! To shed some light on the topic, we asked stylist Leah Strauss Grant a few questions about the power of style and where confidence comes from.
Does the office culture at your work place affect the way you dress?
Yes and no. I think I’ve always placed a lot of emphasis on getting dressed in the morning, it is part of how I actively show up and work hard in life, and because I’m aggressive about living life fully I don’t shy away from wearing what I want to wear to work or elsewhere. That being said, I do take myself and my workplace seriously and would not consider showing up dressed in a ball gown.
How does the way you dress make you feel?
Because I’ve stayed true to what styles define me, I think I’ve always dressed to feel comfortable, never pretending to be haughty or put on airs, but more recently, since working at Jophiel, I’ve learned how powerful comfortable dressing can be. Dressing appropriately doesn’t at all mean you should be uncomfortable all day. Because really, I mean how can you be fierce when the whole time you are thinking, “Dude I can’t lift my arms because this suit jacket is too constrictive!”
When you get dressed are you dressing for yourself or for someone else (partner, boss, friend…)
I first always think of what fits within dress code for work, but I do always try to add a little bit of a quirky touch to feel that comfort from staying true to myself. So yes, I definitely dress for myself.
What motivates you (or does not motivate you) to not put any effort into getting dressed?What motivates you to put more effort into getting dressed? (Big meeting, just in case you run into your ex, it’s Friday, big plans…?)
Some people may think I’m always put together, but that is certainly not the case. And seriously, some days you can hear muffled weepy-noises coming from my closet because I just don’t want to try. But I will always feel better about myself because I tried. So even if one day I miss the mark and don’t ever feel truly connected, I can still feel confident in myself for having tried.
There is one study, done by researchers at Columbia University, that found formal dressing actually enhanced both the wearers conceptual and global thinking. The study also found that formal dress gave the wearer a perceived power which enabled the big picture thinking. So in fact a power suit really is powerful!
And I feel like I’ve experienced the truth in that study. Whenever I actually put effort into my outfit, whether for a date, a meeting or just for a beautiful day, I feel so capable and the creative juices flow all day.
Describe an outfit that made you feel like Wonder Woman.
Any look where I think I’ve mastered the Wow! factor and styled it with little effort. Both for work and formal occasions. Sometimes all the puzzle pieces just click together and it is effortless and other times I really do have to work hard to make it look effortless. But the fact that I finally got the look right is what gives me the confidence to rock it throughout the day.
Some of Leah’s favorite looks.
Leah rocked a Lucian Matis dress for her cousins wedding.
Describe an outfit that made you feel the complete opposite.
Actually just the other morning I was running to work after a morning workout class and I had all the wrong things on! I was wearing a too-light-of-weight for 8 degrees outside banded pant, the wind was just whipping through them, and a 2-sizes-to-big, oversized sweatshirt. I felt like crap and I was freezing.
Needless to say, I quickly changed.
|A lifelong student, Leah loves trying new things in order to connect people, places and events, bringing all of it together. As a successful stylist and active member of her community, Leah is guided by her intuition and excitement to always grow. You can read more from Leah here and here.|
I was inspired by your ideas about using clothes as a catalyst for growth, productivity, and global thinking. I plan to look more seriously at my closet tomorrow. Thanks for your inspiration.
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