How “Dressing to Impress” Is Not All It’s Cracked Up To Be
By Victoria Priola
I’m a person who loves the simpler things in life—Netflix, Nutella, and, most of all, wearing sweatpants. And I think I took Drake a bit too seriously when he said “Sweatpants, hair tied, chillin’ with no makeup on/That’s when you’re the prettiest, I hope that you don’t take it wrong.”
As college students, we’re under enough pressure as it is with maintaining a good GPA and deciding what to do with our future.
What we wear throughout this process is practically meaningless, but there are people on campus who don’t think so, particularly, women who look effortlessly fashionable and flawless all the time.
I was curious if the way they dress enhances their success. Would taking a little more time to get ready in the morning benefit my life? So, desperately wanting an answer, I decided to take on the challenge to “dress for success” and said a teary goodbye to sweatpants and moccasins for one very long week.
I started out small the first day, wearing jeans, a t-shirt, and flats. I put in my contacts and rocked, semi-decently done, winged eyeliner paired with “Skimp” from the Naked 2 eyeshadow pallet. This became my go-to makeup look of the week.
I work at a department store that has an all-black dress code. Whenever I had to clock in, I decided to focus on makeup and refrain from wearing glasses. Instead of wearing black leggings and a tank top, I stuck to black slacks and black button-ups, matching them with studded earrings and black flats.
My coworker, who’s worked with me for the two and a half years I’ve been there, asked if I was a new hire when I walked into the store on the first day of my experiment. Throughout the day, I noticed my confidence increased because of the makeup and didn’t have glasses. People said “Hello” instead of walking right past me.
Not all things were great, though. I was late to every single thing I had to do during the week, mostly because it took me more than my usual thirty minutes to get ready. I’d spend an embarrassing amount of time picking out what to wear every day and, after the second day, my imagination was fried. It had become clear that after twenty years of loving the simpler things in life, it was a struggle for me to put together a decent outfit.
I didn’t know I could hate clothing with a passion until this experiment. Jeans are the bane of my existence. My legs felt like Tilikum at SeaWorld—they were not made for this discomfort and restriction. Walking around campus constantly tugging at my pants and hoping that my butt was not showing each time I sat down was not my idea of a good time. Needless to say, my affair with jeans was short lived.
My acne has always brought my confidence down. When I discovered foundation, I realized that I could distract people’s attention from my flaws easily. It was a comfort knowing that makeup allowed me to feel more comfortable around people, but I’m aware that it’s only a temporary fix.
I saw a tweet that said, “Give a girl the right pair of shoes and she can rule the world.” I think that’s garbage. It should say, “Give a girl a brain and she can rule the world. And great taste in shoes.”
As a result of my experiment, I’ve learned that no one cares about what you wear. Half the people I came in contact with during the week had no idea I was doing an experiment until I told them. I did not receive a gold medal for having the best outfit at school, nor did my winged eyeliner save the world—life is just as it was before.
People that don’t wear makeup shouldn’t feel any less confident than those that do. If you’re a crappy person, no amount of foundation can hide that. Wearing sweatpants opposed to a mini skirt doesn’t make you any better than you are.
Dress the way you want, be who you want to be and wear sweatpants as much as you can because you’ll never know how much you’ll miss them when they’re gone!