I remember the excitement and absolute fear that swirled in my brain and body at the end of Summer and how nervous I was the morning of the first day back to school. I couldn't wait to see all my friends again after 3 months of fun in the sun but first day back also conjured up fears of embarrassment over not wearing the right thing, having green hair from swimming too much or even not having the right shoes or backpack. I wore a uniform to school for much of my life, so it wasn't so much about trendy clothes, but more worries of not fitting in, or, for instance, wearing my uniform when it was a uniform free day. The last ten minutes of the drive to school were the worst for me. I'd start worrying endlessly about it not actually being the first day back or that I was wearing the wrong uniform and I'd ask my mom to pull up slowly until I saw someone else wearing their uniform. Then I could finally relax, say I love you and leave the car and all my fears behind. I'm not sure why but the fear of standing out in a negative way and being mocked was a huge anxiety for me as a child and admittedly, hints of it have traveled along with me to adulthood.
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Even in this time of fashion where individual style rules and almost anything is acceptable and "in style," the first day of anything is riddled with enough fears and doubts that worrying about what to wear shouldn't be one of them. Even though it was always the most worrisome factor for me, I think that maybe it was just my way of transferring my fear to something that mattered less than the anxiety of of first day failure and my worries about not being able to make friends at school or fit in at a new job.
So, to combat this particular part of the process, here are 5 tips to getting your first day fashion ready without the worry.
1. Plan and prepare your outfit ahead of time
... and not just the night before. If this is a big opportunity like a new job or as a member of a new group or committee, start a week in advance. It may sound trite, but it will leave you feeling confident knowing what you're going to wear. If you wait until the night before, you may not have the right garments to pair with each other or worse, they may not fit right, adding to your stress and lowering your confidence level all the way around.
2. Stick to basics
Whether you're too fashion forward or timid about your style and fashion choices, or even just worried about wearing the right thing on the first day, it's always best to stick with your basic wardrobe building blocks like crisp white button down shirts, clean blazers, a pencil skirt or well-fitting trousers or slacks with simple black or neutral beige pumps. It's always great to have these items on hand in a pinch as a go-to style that will look classic, classy, and timeless.
3. Get confident!
Choose items that make you feel good about yourself like pieces that are conservative and flattering at the same time. Fitted is to hugging your curves as skintight is to squeezing them so they ooze out of your garments. Not attractive.
4. Keep it simple
Don't overwhelm your look with accessories and crazy shoes. Keep your makeup more natural and your hair sleek and sophisticated.
5. Be prepared
Since you may not be aware of a dress code, better be safe than sorry by wearing closed-toed shoes, pants, or stockings or tights if you're wearing a skirt. Also, bring a cardigan or wear layered pieces in case of wacky temperatures.
After your first day fears and worries subside, and you've gotten a feeling for your new environment, you can let your style personality shine through a little more, keeping any dress code in mind, of course. First day jitters are best quelled with confidence and sophistication.
How do you dress for success on your first day?