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Dress up (not down) to block the winter blues

By Colleen Harding

I have written many articles about dress code and the importance of dressing appropriately for different environments. How we dress says a lot about who we are. It is how we present ourselves and has a lot to do with the first impressions and lasting impressions we make.

Most of the time my articles are about dressing appropriately to make other people feel comfortable. This article is about the benefits of dressing well for ourselves.

We are almost done with the tough months in Cleveland. The weather can be cold, snowy or rainy, and it starts to get to us. We get tired of bundling up with heavy coats, boots, hats, and gloves. The wind whipping us in the face reminding us of Mother Nature’s power. It can get a bit depressing and with moral suffering this time of year.

One great way to improve your attitude is to dress up. We act differently when we look good. Looking our best can improve our self-confidence. When we look our best, people look at us differently, and it’s noticeable. Set the alarm clock for a half hour earlier and spend some extra time grooming or with a little extra makeup. Curl your hair. Brush your hair (ha!). Take the extra steps to feel good about yourself before your walk out of the door.

When we want to feel good about ourselves, we dress accordingly. As a society, we take steps to look good when it is a special occasion because it makes us feel good. A good sales rep always has a “power suit” for big presentations. Most successful, powerful, executives dress well regularly, and it shows. A bride buys an expensive dress to look her best for her day. Even teenagers wear tuxedos and formal dresses for prom because it’s a special occasion.

Why not take some extra steps to feel good about ourselves when the weather affects us negatively? When we look good, we feel good. Get up a little early tomorrow morning and throw on a tie or a skirt and see what it does to your attitude. You may be quite surprised.

Colleen Harding is a protocol coach and the founder of the Cleveland School of Etiquette and Corporate Protocol. She can be reached at (216) 970-5889 and clevelandetiquette@gmail.com.

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