Today at work, I received such a nice comment about my outfit and how I always look so put together. Everyone loves compliments, and it was so nice that someone recognized my style. In fact, I do put a lot of energy into my wardrobe and try to look as professional and stylish as possible.
I do remember the day, 20 years ago, when I was sent home for my appearance. At that time, I moved back to Green Bay with a two year old and a 2 month old, and joined my father in general surgery practice. One morning, after being on call and being up with a crying baby all night, I showed up to work in scrubs and a ponytail. That's not too unusual in today's world of business casual and athleisure attire. Well, my father sent me right home. I felt like I was a young child being sent to my room. He caught me in the parking lot as I arrived to the office and said, what are you wearing today? I told him I had been up all night with surgery and a crying baby. With a look of disappointment, he told me to get right back in my car and return like I had not been up all night.
That was the last time I ever wore scrubs into work!
From that day forward, I began preparing for my day. I plan my outfits. I have spent time researching shoes that are stylish and that I can put on 5 miles in the hospital. I know what pants are comfortable for 14 hour days, and I invested in a personal shopper.
That may seem like overkill in today's more casual style, but I myself feel professional and confident. Back then, I looked pretty young. My appearance mattered to my patients. Not all of them trusted that I had the experience to operate on them. I needed the extra style to overcome the appearance of "being too young" or " being too new." Scrubs are our uniform in surgery and are very much accepted. Twenty years later, I don't get too bent out of shape if I see patients in the office wearing my scrubs. However, I do make it a point to show up every day looking professional and put together.
I've learned to buy quality over quantity. Spend money on good shoes and really nice pants. Some of my basics I have owned for years. Get rid of anything you haven't worn for the last year. I know it's hard, but just donate it or give it to someone who will wear it. Avoid super trendy items or keep your trendy items inexpensive. Get a really nice bag. Consider a personal shopper if you are pressed for time or don't have too many stores in your area. Many stores will also deliver items to your home.
Show up in style! You will feel amazing!