Combatting the Impostor Syndrome with Personal Style
Skirt: Sara Campbell (old; similar here and here); Sweater: Lauren Ralph Lauren (old; similar here and here); Boots: Cole Haan (old; similar here and here); Necklace: J.Crew (old; similar here); Bag: Gucci; Coat: Club Monaco
With Thanksgiving this week, I wanted to share an outfit that would work equally well for the office (so long at there's no important meetings on your calendar; it is a bit on the casual side) and for Thanksgiving dinner. I love the cozy warmth of this wool sweater and skirt combination, and the tie-waist belt on the skirt leaves room for expanding after the turkey day feast! This outfit is also another example of one my winter outfit formulas that I wrote about last week.
I'm able to wear many of my work outfits outside of the office because my personal style is consistent across my work and downtime wardrobes. When I get dressed for work in the morning, I don't feel like I'm putting on a costume or uniform--I feel like myself (albeit a formal, professional version of myself). I think this helps combat feelings of impostor syndrome. This is a feeling (that apparently is ubiquitous among millennials) that any success is due primarily to luck and that a person does not belong among her professional peers.
I think the impostor syndrome can be particularly tricky for women to overcome because so much of the corporate mould is built around traditionally masculine traits and a male breadwinner lifestyle, and it can be difficult for women to feel like they belong when so much of the corporate environment is not designed for them. If I went to work every day in the women's version of the men's uniform--a dark-colored shirt and a button-up shirt--I wouldn't feel like myself. I would feel like I was trying to act as much as possible like the traditional male corporate climber, which would almost certainly aggravate any feelings of inadequacy or not belonging. Wearing outfits that reflect my personal taste and style is an outward way of demonstrating to myself and others that I am capable just as I am and do not need to pretend to be something I'm not to be successful.
Okay so that got a little deep! But I think it's important to discuss how personal style at work is not a frivolous pursuit or a silly feminine indulgence. It's a way to boost our confidence and stay true to ourselves in a corporate environment that can often make you feel like a little cog in a giant wheel. This self-confidence and conviction are important to allow room not only for personal growth and satisfaction, but also for stellar work product.
I'd love to hear whether you agree with this idea that personal style can help combat the impostor syndrome, or whether you think developing your personal style is a fun creative outlet, and not much more. And let me know what you're wearing to Thanksgiving dinner! It's always interesting to me to hear about different families' traditions--including whether holiday get-togethers are more formal or casual affairs.