“Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman.”
This quote is from the famed early 20th century fashion icon Coco Chanel. Learn more about the fascinating rags-to-riches story of Ms. Chanel.
Although perhaps sounding snobbish at first, Ms. Chanel’s words actually speak a truth that each of us is aware of: The clothing we wear provides the first impression of us to others and affects our sense of self.
Now, I am definitely not one to promote overly priced uncomfortable clothes. If I could, I would walk around with the price tags still on my clothes showing how much money I saved! I live for bargains and am thinking of changing my last name to “Marshall’s”!
But I also realize that through my clothes, I can feel confident and show others the respect I have for myself as well as the respect I have for them. Doors are often opened first to those who appear inviting.
Unfortunately, for those who have found themselves in financially difficult situations, especially homelessness, having the right clothes to get back out into the working world and find open doors is not easy.
Luckily, the giving spirit motivated others to create Dress for Success which is “an international not-for-profit organization that empowers women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.”
Check out the local Albany chapter of Dress for Success and read about all of the wonderful work done there.
Part of my inspiration to write this blog on clothing came from a National Public Radio (NPR) story that I recently came across about a business that I realized, similar to the work of Dress for Success, reflected the mission of the Sisters of Mercy to do all they can to create “a just world for people who are poor, sick and uneducated.”
The story focused on a business dedicated to helping those who are sick to maintain dignity in the midst of their illness and treatment by providing them with clothing that is functional but also fashionable to replace those infamous tie-in-the-back hospital gowns. The business is called INGA Wellbeing (“Inga” being the name of the mother of one of the founders of the business), and you can read all about it.
I know the business will be inspirational to the Nursing students here at Maria College!
I will wrap up with a bit of clothing trivia: Did you know that 96% of Americans own at least one pair of jeans?!!! Check out this fun two-minute TEDed video on the origin of blue jeans.
Until next time…