Dress for Success

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So this post is going to be about something that isn’t really a problem but sometimes I just make things into a problem. Maybe not really a problem but something that just kind of makes me not want to do something.


Alright, in the back of my mind, I knew that Showstoppers is typically a “dress up” thing. But until it was pointed out to me on Wednesday, I could just imagine that it wasn’t the case. OwnerGuy even said it yesterday at party – we expect you to dress nicely. That may not be exactly correct but it was the tone of the comment.

I was talking with another student and she loves the whole dress up aspect of things. There are people like that who love pulling out the fancy duds every now and then. Me, I’m all about comfort over style – within limits. I do always wear a shirt with a collar to my lessons but, since I’ve stopped working, they are casual shirts.

I’m the type of person who is happiest in the summer where I can just wear a t-shirt and shorts most of the time. I’m not fully comfortable going completely against the grain so I do bend my will to the herd from time to time. I mean I had to wear nicer stuff when I was working – although I still stuck with my gym shoes because I wasn’t going to let the man completely own me!! Power to the people.

I could get into this!

This is probably one of those things that you won’t get unless you have a strong individualistic streak – which I do. I mean there are certain times when a more formal look is appropriate. What’s wrong with just pulling out the dress pants and a vest or jacket? I mean is it really that bad?

Yes! See it isn’t me. They tell you to dress for the next job you want. I guess I want the beach bum job where I can just hang in my shorts, t-shirts and flip flops. Dress pants and something besides a shirt are just not me. Don’t even get me started on the whole tie thing. I have no idea who decided that wearing a torture device that cuts off oxygen to your brain is high fashion.

So it feels like I’m pretending to be something I’m not. Even when I was forced to wear nicer stuff, I intentionally picked shirts in all the colors of the rainbow. It was funny because at the last Showcase, they wanted me to wear a white shirt for the Fox Trot. I don’t own a plain white dress shirt. That’s entirely too corporate for me.

There are two movie scenes that resonate with me. Since I don’t see recent movies, they are from the 90’s.

Pretty Woman – I think this scene is at the polo match. The sleazy lawyer finds out that Julia Roberts is a hooker and makes a typical sleazy comment to her. She freezes. Later, she tells Richard Gere that if she was in her own clothes, she could have handled a guy like that.

Necessary Roughness – Football movie. Long time gruff assistant coach has to lead the team in a game when the head coach is ill. To look the part, he wears a suit (ill fitting and you can see he is clearly uncomfortable). At half time, with the team down, he goes into a speech about analyzing what was working which leads to rant about how the suit and tie aren’t working for him. So he tears them off and the team wins the game. (Found the scene but there is way too much language to share it here)

Now, for all of you who are totally familiar with ballroom, you are probably saying to yourself “umm – you are forced to dress up at competitions and showcases”. Very true (except for the solos where I get to wear a costume). But dance clothes are different. They move. And what you wear for Rhythm would never be found in a corporate office. Besides, at a Showcase or comp, you are there to dance and the dance wear is totally appropriate. It helps get your mind into the game.

It is different for a party at the studio. I know this is probably supposed to be practice for going to an event like a wedding or perhaps being on a cruise where you are expected to dance while wearing nice stuff. Get that. Doesn’t mean I like it. Doesn’t mean I want to put that stuff on. I mean, let’s be honest, you should never dance a Mambo in a tie. There is no way that fits. Mambo isn’t about being stuffily formal.

I think I will probably just wear my dance pants. I mean they look like regular dress pants but they move a whole lot better. I’m definitely not going to put on a freaking tie. I’ll wear a vest – I can deal with that but the tie is right out. I’ll only follow the herd so far.

And, hey, if dressing up is your thing, more power to you. As I said, I know people who like it. I’m just not one of them. Oh, I still plan to wear the gym shoes – I mean I’m going to change into dance shoes so why wear dress shoes for just a few minutes. Find ways to show your individuality!

Yeah, that quote is a little over the top for this situation but I liked it.

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