Somewhere along the way our society became very casual in the way we dress. Maybe it began with the concept of “Casual Friday’s” in the workplace. For those of you too young to remember, you might be surprised to know that the idea of ‘dressing down’ or wearing jeans to work was extremely controversial at one time. Now it seems to be the norm.
I recognize that even as I am writing this, I am in a profession that takes the crown for casual wear. After all, we sport spandex and sneakers every day! It doesn’t get much more casual than that!
I also realize that I am not living in an urban area where the dress code might be a little more ‘upscale’. In general, however, I believe the trend is out there, and quite frankly, I just don’t think people dress the way they used to.
We had a discussion about this at the Studio a few months ago, and the consensus was that we have become very sloppy. Being ‘comfy’ has taken the place of a ‘dress for success’ mentality. In fact, you can walk into any store or coffee shop and see teens dressed in pajama bottoms and women wearing extra large sweatshirts with sweatpants sagging off their backsides.
My question is – what have we lost in this trend?
In a time when there is an epidemic of low self-esteem, it might not come as a a surprise that our dress code has gone so far south. With obesity at an all time high, it’s pretty easy to see why we dress for comfort rather than results. But I am a firm believer in the idea that you act the way that you dress, regardless of your size, shape or age. What we wear on the outside is a direct reflection of what is happening inside, and that is where I think we have lost something very important.
So then the question becomes — how do we change it?
Well, at Studio 8 Fitness, we decided to create an occasion for people to dress up. Instead of ‘dressing to the 9’s’, we decided that at Studio 8 we dress to the 8’s, and that became the name of the event. In addition to giving people a chance to dress up, we also announced the winners of our Biggest Winner Challenge and inducted 5 people into the Hall of Gr8’s as recognition for training with me for more than 3 years.
With all of that on the plate, it had to be a great night. And it lived up to its name! People who are usually dressed in stretch pants and shorts were decked out in beautiful dresses and sport coats. The women were stunning as they showed off their toned arms and long legs. The men looked healthy and strong! Throughout the party you could see people standing tall. In fact I joked with them that for all the time we work on posture, I didn’t realize I just needed to have them dress up in order to stand so straight.
The reality was that they felt good about themselves and it showed in the way they stood, in the way they carried on conversations with complete strangers and in the way they laughed all night.
So, I offer this thought to you as a possible idea. I’m not suggesting we can change the world by creating a single night for people to dress up, but if we want to help our clients feel good, we need to find ways which allow them to show off their physical success. Designing an event, posting before and after photos, or creating other unique ways for people to ‘stand tall’ will foster self esteem and make people feel better.
And that’s just a thought…
With love, Kelli
P.S. You can check out a video of our Dress to the 8’s Party at this link — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mME0FS2Lg5M&feature=plcp