Step 3 - How We Dress
We all loved playing dress up as toddlers, raided our friend’s closets as tweens and experimented with daring looks in our teens.
And as adults we love shopping for new outfits, preening for a night out and choosing a stunning ensemble for a special occasion. Amirite ladies?
And most of us – adults and kids alike – love dressing up in costumes for Halloween, wouldn’t you agree? We’ll get to this fun bit in just a minute, and we’ll be hearing from Glam Soldier founder, Alisha Ramsey about her favorite costumes.
But first, let’s talk about how we dress and why we put so much emphasis on clothes.
The Power of Dressing Well
Here at Glam Soldier - a unique Boho-inspired boutique in downtown Apex, North Carolina, we still play dress up – live on Facebook every Thursday night, modeling the store’s latest offerings and loving every minute of it. “Who doesn’t love trying on new outfits,” says Elena our very own Southern Glam, who’s a big hit on our live shows. “Although we’re modeling clothes, I pray more importantly that it is one hour we can bring hope, cheer and laughter to our Glammies,” she adds.
And it’s a proven fact that dressing well can be powerful and uplifting. What we wear can often make or break our day. Dressed in a carefully chosen outfit, paired with just the right accessories and shoes, we feel well put together and ready to tackle anything. But when we’re running late and just throw something on, we end up feeling unkempt and things can fall apart. It affects our performance, attitude, and can ruin the whole day. We’ve all had times like this.
How can our clothes hold so much power over us and why does it matter so much what we wear?
In a society where first impressions often do count, and people tend to make snap judgments simply from our appearance – our clothes matter a lot. Psychologists, stylists, and fashion experts have proven that how we dress can have a positive (or negative) influence on ourselves as well as others.
“What we wear has cognitive, social and emotional consequences,” according to Karen J. Pine, professor of psychology at the University of Herfordshire, England, and author of Mind What You Wear, The Psychology of Clothes. “The right clothing can change who we are, how we think and how we feel. So, we should never underestimate this power,” she adds.
Make a Statement!
Dressing well is not just a matter of vanity, fashion, and trends. There’s so much more to the story of clothes, and it reaches far back into history – and deep into our psyches. Clothing can make powerful political and social statements and have been used to make an impact over the decades. Think of the Flappers, the mini skirt, and go-go boots. How about t-shirts (and white dresses!) with messages and slogans, punk rockers, hippies in loose, free flowing garments or the Boho style, we love here at Glam Soldier! Clothes are also a mark of authority - think military and police uniforms. Even wearing a suit can make us look and feel more authoritative and garner more trust, whether warranted or not. It's just a perception.
So, what do our clothes mean to us and how does our wardrobe define us? How does a particular outfit make us feel? Can changing our style really spark changes in our lives as some of the experts claim? How do others perceive us? Who are we trying to please by the way we dress? What messages are we giving out? And who do we dress for - ourselves or others? Think about these questions when you get ready in the morning.
Dress for Success
As for work clothes, attitudes and values have changed dramatically since the term ‘Dress for Success’ was coined in the late seventies, with the publication of The Woman’s Dress for Success Book, written by John T. Molloy in 1979. We now have less rigid workplace rules, casual offices, remote jobs, and generally, a more tolerant workforce.
Of course, our choices are dictated by what’s ‘in’ at the time, what’s available, affordable within our budget, and how confident or daring we are. Some people like retro and go for vintage outfits, others like to keep it classy, whereas many prefer to keep up to date with current trends. Here at Glam Soldier, we offer a mixture of the new and trendy, Boho-styles, classic basic layers like this go-to cami, vintage, and retro pieces. People love our upcycled militaria like our unique jackets. It doesn’t have to be expensive or hard to achieve a certain look you admire. You can start by investing in one awesome piece and build around it.
Others really do notice our clothes. Over the years, women have been unfairly judged for the way they dress - too scantily, too masculine, too young (remember the phrase mutton dressed as lamb?), unprofessional, too frumpy (the dreaded mom jeans for example), too girly, Goth, grungy, and so on. But thankfully, attitudes are changing allowing us more freedom to express ourselves. And some of us have always been unconventional and disregarded the naysayers regardless.
“Fashion has two purposes: comfort and love. Beauty comes when fashion succeeds.” Coco Chanel.
Here at Glam Soldier we agree and believe women should dress as who they really are and choose outfits they love and clothes they feel good wearing. We believe comfort is paramount, and our founder, Alisha Ramsey always reminds us: “if you ain’t comfy, you ain’t sexy!”
Accessories just make the outfit Darling!
And how about that saying, accessories make the outfit? You bet they do. A statement piece necklace or earrings can transform a basic outfit, like jeans and a white tee or shirt, making it pop. Add a one-of-a-kind jacket, and you’re a true glammie!
Sexy Cops and Desperate Housewives...
And now for the fun bit – Halloween costumes! What are you dressing up as this year? The choices are limitless, and you can spend a small fortune on store bought costumes. But many of us like to create our own.
Alisha wins the prize for uniqueness. “When I found out I was pregnant, I dressed up as a desperate housewife and I put a fake pregnant belly on that made me look eight months pregnant,” she explains. “I surprised everyone at my Halloween party by telling them I actually was pregnant, so that was kind of a cool costume.” Alisha found the pregnant belly at Goodwill and reminds us that thrift stores are great places to find costume pieces as well as inspiration.
And how about last Halloween? “I dressed up as a sexy cop,” Alisha laughs. “I had an old sheriff’s shirt and added high Lisa boots and a little mini skirt and a baton.” Using fake traffic tickets she found at the party store, Alisha went around writing tickets for people’s costumes.
I'm Too Sexy for Your Party!
“I issued tickets for the sexiest costume and warnings for showing too much cleavage or I’d issue tickets for drunk Halloween partiers, or the scariest costumes,” she says, adding, “My husband dressed up as Elvis in an actual vintage Elvis costume from a Vegas impersonator. I basically beat people with a stick who were hitting on my Elvis husband!”
From desperate (and pregnant) housewife to sexy cop, Alisha knows how to create and rock a unique costume. What will you be dressing up as for Halloween this year? What’s your favorite Halloween costume of all time? Please let us know in the comments below.
Just a reminder - the team here at Glam Soldier, a women owned and veteran owned boutique in Apex, NC, can help you choose an outfit for any occasion and pick out one-of-a-kind accessories to make it pop!
Glam Soldier is located upstairs 114C N. Salem Street in downtown Apex, and we're open six days a week, Tuesdays - Saturdays 10 am - 6 pm, Sundays 12 - 5. Come in and see us!
Join us for Witches Night on Salem Street in Apex, on Oct. 29th for a super fun night! (wear a witches hat for giveaways!)
Remember to buy your $10 ticket for our Holiday event! All day on November 14th you can shop our holiday items early. Only 100 tix avail. All ticket proceeds go to Advocates4Vets charity.