As women, we spend a good amount of time in the morning on our hygiene routine and selecting that outfit to wear for the day. We get to the office and about 30 minutes go by and we start getting chilly. We then reach for that old sweater we always keep in the office and put it on and now we look frumpy!
I was in day long office meeting recently. Since it had a mix of seniority as well as departments, some of the younger employees took extra care of their professional image that day. I was observing some of the younger women and noticed it is that no different than when I was in their shoes many years ago; I put time in that morning to ensure I looked professional. Before heading to the conference room that I knew would run cold; I would grab my sweater.
Just like these young women who I watched sitting in their warm sweaters; the professional look they worked so hard on in the morning has vanished under a sweater that was not very professional looking.
I am not saying that men are much different; they pull out sweaters too that remind me of what my grandfather used to wear. Recently, I was sitting next to a gentleman close enough to realize that the white speck on his blue sweater was a moth eaten hole and I was looking at his white button-down shirt.
For years and years, I had the one ‘Old Lady’ sweater in my office. It was comfy and had big enough sleeves to fit over whatever I was wearing to the office that day. I will also confess that that perhaps it visited my washing machine once a year.
When I finally got serious about my professional image, the sweater had to go. I finally bought an electric heater for under my desk. It does a great job of keeping me toasty and keeps visitors in my office on topic since they start making comments about how well it works.
The dilemma for me came when I knew I was going to be in conference rooms for the day. I figured hauling my heater everywhere with me was not a solution. I finally started dressing for the room. If I knew I was going to be in and out of rooms; I made sure I wore a stylish jacket.
Then came the day I was at a conference, the temperature began to plummet and I noticed a woman pull out a beautiful Indian shawl. The pattern was rich with earth tone colors and made with a light wool fabric with a slight shine to it. Wrapping it around her, she looked beautiful, feminine and very professional.
That is when I was hooked on buying Indian shawls. They are extremely compact taking less in my bags. I nearly always receive compliments on their beauty and most importantly I stay warm. It is an alternative to ponder next time you find yourself reaching for that sweater in your office.