All of you who’ve schlepped around the Upper Midwest in winter for a sales territory or any other reason — you know.
You know what it’s like to never leave home without gloves, a scarf, an umbrella, probably boots, often a turtleneck and the lumpy layer of a dark parka or a heavy, shapeless woolen coat. It’s necessary. For months every year.
Even when it’s not snowing, the residue remains. Salt on the streets, windshears of icy air assaulting your face. Perpetual bad hair days from always wearing a hat.
It’s hard to be a girl in all that!
When I lived in Chicago, I’d get off the El train, wishing I could somehow glam up my go-to cold weather ensembles. Day after day, I’d slink back into my uniform of boots, turtleneck, black pantsuit and my reliable caramel wool Max Mara overcoat.
When I went to Minneapolis, things got even worse. Frigid is the Minnesota state word. (JK!)
Once, I went to Mall of America in desperation to buy some Uggs just to wear around my hotel room.
Every Friday night, I’d take the Blue Line home from O’Hare. Peel out of the heavy garb, trudge across the street to the health club for a 90-minute deep tissue massage.
When I got transferred to California where it was warm and people weren’t wearing 28 layers just to get around, I could see the different fashions no longer hidden by coats and parkas.
People wore colors. Black wasn’t the only menu choice!
Very quickly, it became evident I needed to up my sartorial game. Dispense with the funereal black.
This is how I learned to start integrating colors and softer shapes even for the business world.
I also started hiring stylists to help me perfect the more casual, California lifestyle look.
Fashion helped me be more playful and make my work life so much more fun and feminine.
And, eventually, as I honed my style I began to make a lot more money, because clients responded so well to my softer look. Fashion really can make a huge difference in your professional life and your psyche.