Image Enhancement TrainingMy granddaughter had a bad experience as a young teen that made me acutely aware of the need to know how to answer when someone asks with a sneer, “Why ya so dressed up?”  It wasn’t a compliment from the boy who asked her. Driving the insult, he added, “Who do you think you are, Miss Priss?” So hurt and embarrassed, she ran back home in tears.  I realized then, I had to put some ideas in people’s heads to come out of their mouths when someone said something like this to them.

I wasn’t alone in my concern about this common cut.  I wrote about it in 2000 and a gal named Zephyr, in her College Fashion blog in 2009, wrote 25 Reasons Why You Should Dress Up Every Day.  Zephyr asked, “…as if wearing something cute is a strange thing to do…Since when did it become an unusual thing to put effort into what you wear and have fun with fashion?  Since when is anyone not wearing sweatpants and a hoodie breaking some unwritten social rules?”

I’m on her page; as if there is something wrong with dressing up.  In reality, people asking “Why ya so dressed up?” are putting you down to build themselves up.  They want to bring everybody down to their level, and it’s working! People have been made to feel like they’re the ones out of place dressing up to any degree.  As a result, they too, have dressed down in faded distressed jeans and a t-shirt every day and everywhere.

It’s now 2018 and predictably, the dress-down trend in America has magnified to the point of social decline in language, manners, and the reported loss of civility and productivity.  Related negative influence includes the predictable closing of retail clothing stores due to the fact that people are not wearing or buying nice clothing anymore.  Online sales figure in, but be aware, even Amazon’s increase is based on the sale of Nike shoes.

Inspired by the need, I’ve launched the DressUp Club™ to encourage a turn-around.  As part of that effort, I’m expanding on Zephyr’s approach.  I’ve collected from family, friends, clients, and students, reasons to dress up—a little or a lot.  I now invite your input. Let’s see how far beyond 100 we can go with good to great reasons to dress up again.

In 1990 I offered the following reasons for response:

  1.   Because I’m worth it.
  2.   Because I know better.
  3.   Because today’s a special day.
  4.   Because I respect myself.
  5.   Because I want to get the job!
  6.   Because I’m nicer to look at.
  7.   Because I wanted you to notice me, and you did.
  8.   Because this is my gift to you.
  9.   Zephyr wrote, “Because it obviously annoys closed-minded people (like the guy who asks why YOU are so dressed up.)  The fact that it annoys them so much is all the more reason to keep doing it. They don’t get to control YOU.”
  10.   “Because dressing up helps you weed out friends who don’t love you.  If they have a problem with the way you dress, they’re not the kind of friends you want around.”
  11.   Expanding on this number, I’ll add “Because it makes me happy.”
  12.   “Because I don’t want to be seen as sloppy” added another and so on…..
  13.   Because it makes you look like you’ve got a brain.
  14.   Because it communicates my attention to detail.
  15.   Because it makes every occasion a special occasion.
  16.   Because it opens the door to opportunity.
  17.   Because I don’t show so much skin.
  18.   Because my style is sharp, sassy, and spectacular!
  19.   Because I want to show how fabulous I can be.
  20.   Because it makes me feel young, ageless.
  21.   Because it’s a means of self-expression.
  22.   Because life’s too short to look like a slob.
  23.   Because I deserve to look terrific!
  24.   Because I’m not a fashion follower.
  25.   Because people recognize me as someone who is more capable.
  26.   Because I don’t look like a slob.
  27.   Because Zephyr says, “nothing beats the rush you feel when you look in the mirror and LOVE what you see!”
  28.   Because I want to reflect my personality.
  29.   Because you never know who you’ll run into and I want to be ready.
  30.   Because I won’t settle for sloppy.
  31.   Because I’ll never improve my sense of style if I just give up.
  32.   Because it’s so much fun!
  33.   Because life’s too short to just blend in.
  34.   Because it makes me feel good and behave better.
  35.   Because great looking clothes are great conversation starters.
  36.   Because parties are not the only time to celebrate—I want to celebrate all the days of my life.
  37.   Because I want to set my own style!
  38.   Because dressing up helps me avoid fashion faux-pas.
  39.   Because it boosts my confidence.
  40.   Because fashion is an art form you can wear all day long.
  41.   Because it speaks to my soul.
  42.   Because it takes me anywhere I want to go in life.
  43.   Because people treat me better.
  44.   Because it brings me joy.
  45.   Because my amazing dress cost too much to be worn only once.
  46.   Because people see me as someone worth knowing.
  47.   Because people always ask me where I got my clothes.
  48.   Because I want to be my own kind of beautiful.
  49.   Because I want to be an influencer in my community.
  50.   Because I want to and that’s reason enough.
  51.   Because if you don’t, you’re putting people out of work.
  52.   Because I please the eye of the beholder.
  53.   Because I can afford to—H&M, TJ Maxx, and Dillard’s sales fit my budget.
  54.   Because their rags probably cost more than what I’m wearing did.
  55.   Because I meet a lot of people for the first time and they’re sizing me up.
  56.   Because dressing up is an art form that expresses my individuality.
  57.   Because if you know how to dress it’s your responsibility to be an example to others.
  58.   Because dressing up isn’t just for the rich and famous.
  59.   Because I know and like who I am when I’m dressed up a little or a lot.
  60.   Because I want to get comfortable with the look and feel of dressing up.
  61.   Because Judith would not appreciate seeing shredded jeans with sequins and spike heels, and that’s enough for me.
  62.   Because I want to be a positive example for my children and grandchildren.
  63.   Because dressing well means I don’t have to rely on my hair and makeup so much.
  64.   Because it gets me out of a ho-hum mood.
  65.   Because I’m more apt to balance my body and overcome my negative body image.
  66.   Because I walk taller.
  67.   Because I want to dress with style and grace.
  68.   Because I want to experience what it feels like.
  69.   Because it gets me off my butt and my inclination to do nothing.
  70.   Because I don’t want to look like something the cat dragged home.
  71.   Because I want to be ready to wear a suit or jacket to work—to know how to do it.
  72.   Because I want to maintain good impressions in the minds of others.
  73.   Because I look more capable, credible.
  74.   Because someone will want to hire me.
  75.   Because I like you.
  76.   Because I’m more open and helpful to others.
  77.   Because I want to keep my job!
  78.   Because in today’s world, it makes a few people think when they see it.
  79.   Because gradually I’m getting better at it.
  80.   Because it communicates I won’t make trouble.
  81.   Because I entertain a lot at home.
  82.   Because there’s no reason I shouldn’t.
  83.   Because I have a lot of interviews and it avoids a confrontational relationship.
  84.   Because I love being ready for a drink party or afternoon tea—Oh, and ready for the races.  (From England)
  85.   Because I was ready to meet the in-laws.
  86.   Because I feel awful all day at home in my pajamas.  I want to make the change.
  87.   Because I’m ready to celebrate a christening, baptism, graduation, and school awards day with my kids.
  88.   Because I’m a home-schooling parent and the kids pay attention better.
  89.   Because I don’t want to get pulled off the airplane.
  90.   Because I want good service.
  91.   Because Judith said it takes courage to dress up and I’m up for that.
  92.   Because I don’t want to look homeless.
  93.   Because I am homeless.
  94.   Because I’m less likely to be stopped by police for drugs.
  95.   Because I’m more comfortable.
  96.   Because I want to be a good sight for sore eyes.
  97.   Because it makes a good impression.
  98.   Because I know why lawyers dress up their clients.
  99.   Because it’ll make you smile to yourself and everyone else you meet.
  100. Because people smile back at me