Sunday, June 20, 2010

Why An Innovative Educator Like Me Hired a Stylist

The day I came to grips with the idea that a regular person like me needed a stylist was in the mountains of Vermont after a day of skiing with some long-time friends. I shared how frustrated I was to have closets bursting full of clothes but had tremendous difficulty finding something I wanted to wear. It was at that time that I realized that though I was a 40-something with dreams of making the world a better place, I was still wearing my 20-something and 30-something clothes much of which was purchased when (and even before) we all first met. I needed an update that conveyed I was a professional to be taken seriously. So, on the advice of a few of my highly successful, and fashionable, friends I hired Amy Salinger a stylist.

I admit, at first, this seemed a little crazy for someone like me. Unlike my big business and high-fashion New York City friends, I work in education. Like others drawn to the field I love the work/life balance the career provides and have an active and fun lifestyle that has never been much focused on what I wear. As a teacher the dress code is pretty lax and in my free time I ski, snowboard, play beach volleyball, football, and dance. I hadn’t given too much thought to my appearance. But when my friend who's also a career advice writer and speaker Penelope Trunk first posed the idea and the two-year president of the National Association of Womens' Business Owners Melanie McEvoy and high-profile photographer Amy Fletcher resoundingly supported this idea, I had to rethink my position.

I am now in my forties and as a professional educational administrator who loves speaking to individuals, small groups and large audiences about ways to educate innovatively, I knew it was important that I presented myself well because my message would be received more effectively if I looked on the outside like the experienced and stylish professional that was on the inside.

So, I hired a stylist and learned a lot about doing so. I invite you to read about what I learned here.

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