Dress Codes in the Workplace – Dressing How I Feel

by Lieke van Haastrecht, Ghent, Belgium

I am a student studying at University. I wanted to work a couple of hours a week and since this week have been actually working within the University itself.

Before I started working, I noticed some interesting things about how I thought I should look and dress for that particular job and I wanted to share this.

The first thing that came to my thoughts when I heard I got the job was – well, what should I wear?, knowing that my job is to welcome people, making sure they sign in for the class and set out the sandwiches and drinks in the break and cleaning up afterwards.

I realised that I had a whole picture of what I should ‘look like’ when doing those things – an elegant woman with tidy clothes and shoes that shone, looking and being very feminine and definitely very chic!

On the other hand, I had a very strong feeling of what I felt to wear to the job; picturing myself in a smart beautiful blue loose knitted vest over a crisp shirt, with my (at the moment!) favourite pair of dark blue jeans and my new white, very comfortable sneakers! I even knew how my hair should go and which earrings I wanted to wear. But, as you may have noticed in my ‘picture’ of a hostess there are no WHITE sneakers and also my jeans were too tough-looking! And so I started to check if I had other shoes in my closet that fitted my ‘picture’. I had some shoes which would be alright, but then I would have to change my whole outfit as they absolutely did not go with the jeans. On top of that, they were not as comfy as the sneakers would be!

I faced a dilemma:

Staying with what I felt to wear or changing it into wearing something that would fit more with my picture of a hostess?

I could feel that before this day I had often chosen to dress in a way I thought I should dress for a particular occasion.

By seeing and realising this, I chose to stay with what clothes I felt to wear this time.

And by doing this I could feel that I allowed myself to be me – to wear what I felt I wanted to wear for my new job felt very supporting of myself. The result – my outfit turned out to be perfect for the occasion and I had a very good time with myself and the people I worked with!

This whole experience confirmed for me once again that trusting and honouring what feels right for me, is very important. And that it is also important for everyone to claim this for themselves.

230 thoughts on “Dress Codes in the Workplace – Dressing How I Feel

  1. “honouring what feels right for me, is very important.” Choosing to wear clothes that we ‘think’ others will like leaves us at the mercy of other people’s pictures.

  2. Many times I have gone shopping for clothes with a picture of what I would like to buy. Trusting my feelings .. when I try the clothes on and if they don’t confirm and hold me as the glorious feeling I know then I do not buy the clothes.

  3. If we keep following the standard way which does not honour our inner feelings and knowings how are we ever going to truly change our ways? Having a reflection of someone like yourself Lieke honouring their body and what they feel offers the opportunity for others to do the same.

  4. We are so wise when we listen to and honour the wisdom from our bodies, ‘This whole experience confirmed for me once again that trusting and honouring what feels right for me, is very important.’

  5. I have noticed for me that if I choose to go with what feels true to wear on a particular day then I am supported through whatever I am doing by my choice whereas if I fall for a picture of how I want to present myself then I am often conscious of what I am wearing (it may just be a small part of the outfit) and it intrudes on my ability to deliver all of me to the situation.

  6. Trusting and honouring our feelings allows us to express all who we truly are in our own unique way.

  7. Just goes to show that feeling into things and following through with your feeling is much more intelligent than thinking we need to fit a picture.

  8. I can relate to often having dressed to a fit a picture and role that I felt I would be best received and to fit in with others. What a difference it makes to supporting our whole being when we take care to dress to simply be ourselves with no mask or image hiding our true reflection.

  9. I agree, it is so important for us to trust and honour what feels right for us in the moment.

  10. What a beautiful confirmation of how honouring what we feel is the true choice to make, ‘I could feel that I allowed myself to be me – to wear what I felt I wanted to wear for my new job felt very supporting of myself. The result – my outfit turned out to be perfect for the occasion and I had a very good time with myself and the people I worked with!’

  11. Having pictures and expectations of how things ‘should be’ isnt supportive. In contrast when we feel what to wear or how to respond in a situation this is much more authentic.

  12. A great realisation to catch the pattern of trying to dress ourselves to fit a picture or role to present to others and that when we simply dress as we feel to we are truly presenting ourselves as we are.

  13. Having a picture of how we should be is void of any appreciation for who we are presently. It’s also very complicated and brings stress into life I find trying to fit life into an unrealistic picture. Life is so much simpler when we own up and out our pictures.

  14. the more we honor what we feel the more we bring the joy of who we are to life. Thank you Lieke for the beautiful reminder how this can happen through and impact every aspect of our day.

  15. I too love the freedom of feeling what to wear it’s like my world expands and I am saying no to being controlled not just what to wear, but whether you accept me or not, it is not up to the world but up to me, in how I feel. I can choose to be and feel me from the most comfortable clothes that will allow myself to express that.

  16. Feeling and honouring what is right for us to wear is an essential part of nurturing ourselves as women. It also means not needing to know everything ahead of time and trusting there will be a reason why we need to wear those particular clothes. When I dress to an ideal, I can feel my body shuts down and feels constrained into the role that I have set for myself eg. Sensible, professional office clothes, practical work clothes etc.

  17. “This whole experience confirmed for me once again that trusting and honouring what feels right for me, is very important.” Trusting what we know to be true and taking action on that is one of the most truly rewarding things we can do.

  18. It is all too easy to get carried away with pictures of how something should look, or how we should behave in certain scenarios imagining the events in our head before they have happened not only is exhausting, it also robs us from living in the moment, with no pictures, and guided only by how we truly feel, a far greater way to live.

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