I tore into this book (Kindle app on my iPhone) one night and devoured it in two sittings. I’d seen Rachel Roy as a guest judge on Project Runway several times and her poise and cool really struck me. She always seemed confident, unflappable and calm. Her book is so many things: 1. a lovely illustration of how that beautiful yet badass persona came to be, 2. a concise clothing/accessory guide of staples every woman should own, and 3. a collection of suggestions on how to approach your day and how to present yourself with peace and gratitude.
When I initially became pregnant, I could still get away with a sweater and a pair of slacks for the office. Tops and bottoms. I could do it. Then it became clear that I would need, at least, a totally new work wardrobe. On the weekends, leggings, boots and an ex-boyfriend’s button-down would do but for Monday through Friday, I would need some serious help. I began to truly pay attention to how I presented myself and invested some time and money in looking nice. I purchased dresses and separates from MM.LaFleur, Isabella Oliver, and Macy’s. I bought a few statement necklaces and earrings from BaubleBar. I suddenly had a sharp blazer, a few wonderfully soft knit cardigans and clothes that fit me.
For better or for worse, people judge us based on our appearances. That much is nothing new. There were times in my life, my teenage years and college, most notably, when I rejected this fact. I cared about being thin and wearing make-up but clothes were my decision, f*ck you very much. Nowadays, I put forth a more significant effort. Age and my career demand as much but I always want to do more. Roy also suggests that how we present ourselves is also a gift we give to others. This blew my mind but it totally makes sense. You dress up for your lover, your child or your officemates. It’s showing respect for the other people in your life.
A few of my favorite takeaways: start your day with a thought of five things you’re grateful for and reflect upon how you can give to others. Approach dressing as a peaceful ritual as opposed to a harried chore. The first day I tried these things, people responded to me very differently. Now if I can just be consistent!