Three Reasons to Dress Your Best from 9 to 5

Posted on Friday, Feb 17, 2017

I will candidly admit that I’m still learning the ins and outs of interning in Austin. True, it’s only been a month that I’ve been commuting to our beautiful Capitol everyday, so I shouldn’t be too hard on myself for still getting the hang of it. But despite the remaining questions I still have (e.g., How exactly does one approach strangers at a reception? When will the House get committee assignments? Whom should I blame for Austin’s traffic problem?), there’s one daily routine that has added a helpful dose of confidence to carpe diem: dressing up.​

In the Age of Activewear, dressing up is mistakenly overlooked. Oftentimes, our outfits on campus are narrowed down to Nike shorts, XXL t-shirts, Chacos, or Birkenstocks (of which, I still agree with the meme that says it’s ridiculous to pay $130 to look like you attended the Last Supper, but I digress.) For nearly all college students today, when it comes to our daily outfits of choice, we choose comfort and convenience.  But to my recent discovery, it just so happens that yes, it is permissible to dress your best not just on weekends, but on weekdays as well. And I’ll extend it even further – not just permissible, but something that I highly encourage our generation to do more often, and here are three reasons why:
  1. Dressing up instantly matures you. I hate to be the bearer of bad news to my fellow millennials, but yes, adulthood is inevitable – The Chainsmokers are wrong, we will get older. But here’s the good news: that’s not actually a bad thing, and my time in Austin has shown me that. Dressing up is one of those daily reminders that yes, I’m actually in the real world. I look more like an adult, I feel more like an adult, and I’m treated more like an adult. This newfound sense of maturity has been exhilarating, and I have my “business attire” among other things to thank for that. I’m not suggesting that the real world is always a walk in the park, but at least I get to wear a cute pair of heels while walking down Congress.
  2. Dressing up adds confidence. Nine times out of 10, the buzzword “confidence” does not grab my attention; its association with the “girl power” cliché has quite frankly made it uninspiring and stereotypical. Amazingly though, the very word comes to mind when trying to describe my fascination with dressing up. Simply put, it helps you hold your chin up higher and adds a little bounce to your step. A fun little throwback I like to imagine would be those vintage photos from the 1940s, where you see the confidence not just of Old Hollywood starlets, but of everyday women walking down the streets and going about their day. Despite the mundane routines of everyday life, these women still dressed their best and seemingly radiated poise– that’s something to admire and to imitate. Fabulous job, ladies.
  3. Dressing up makes you go the extra mile. I mentioned earlier that we’re often used to choosing “comfy and convenient” outfits during the week, and I fully understand why; dressing up requires time, effort, and money. However, once you put the effort in smaller things like daily outfits, there’s the chance then to start looking at ways to go the extra mile in other realms as well. With your newfound sense of maturity and confidence, you just might be able to tackle other challenges. Personally speaking, this desire to go the extra mile has grown tremendously during my internship; I want to learn more and to work harder. Of course, there are numerous factors that have led to my personal quest to escape mediocrity, but I will readily attribute dressing up as one of the daily reminders to go further than what is simply expected.
So to all future interns, future young professionals, and future adults, my humble advice is simply to dress your best. It’s an effort that’s very much worthwhile, and you’ll look fabulous doing it.

Cassidy Zgabay
Office of State Representative Dwayne Bohac
Austin, Texas