Dressing for Success? How to Find Your Power Outfit!

What does it mean to dress for success? A couple of weeks ago I had a meeting to prepare for that was a bit out of my comfort zone. What on earth was I going to wear?

Since I work in a writing center and am surrounded by peer feedback and collaboration, I immediately started asking for suggestions. Not so much what specific pieces in my wardrobe should I wear, but what vibe did I want my outfit to be giving? Just as in any group feedback situation, I received a bevy of different opinions. And that was wonderful! Those different opinions helped me see my way out of my confusion and decide on my power outfit.


My Tiger Print Coat

The advice that resonated with me the most was that I should wear whatever gave me confidence and made me feel powerful—what that outfit actually was didn’t even matter. This made me think of my wardrobe in a whole new way. In addition to having seasonal wardrobes, I’m more aware of having fall power pieces, winter power pieces, etc.—and how I might utilize them when I need an extra boost! And I realized that setting outfits aside for special occasions was something I was already doing! When I know that I’ll be presenting at a conference or reading poetry at an event, I like to wear an outfit for the first time—after the special occasion it enters my “regular” wardrobe, and I can enjoy wearing it more often.

Five of My Power Pieces

1.  My tiger print coat! I was in love with this coat as soon as I bought it at a consignment boutique on vacation a few years ago. I saved it for a conference presentation, and wearing it was every bit as wonderful as I had imagined!

2. Any jewelry or scarves that belonged to my Grandma Ruth! My Grandma Ruth was such an influence on me both personally and professionally, and her style was on point!


Clip Earrings that Belonged to My Grandma Ruth

3. Snake jewelry! I have a few snake bracelets, and they always make me feel powerful. Snakes are great symbols of rebirth and transformation, and I like to always be transforming myself through fashion.


Snake Bracelet

4. Fans! Fans are my new obsession. Look for a future blog post all about fans!



5. And hats! I always feel that a hat elevates my outfit. Look for another upcoming blog post all about hats! This one is reversible and came from my favorite neighborhood hat store Susan Hat34837448_10157903967633849_3109987863438032896_n

What I’m seeing right now is that I need a longer list! I didn’t even include capes! Or my snake print coat! Or my growing collection of caftans! I guess that means I’ll need to keep revisiting this idea of fashion and power. More for another day! Regardless, one of my takeaways is that no two people’s power outfit will be the same but that confidence is key. And don’t be afraid to ask for advice. Feedback helps you see different options, whether in writing or fashion, and ultimately helps you learn more about yourself and where your power comes from!






Sure Signs of Spring: Tulips, Pink Lipstick, and the Beginnings of a Grammar Manifesto

Happy Vernal Equinox to all! The beginning of spring is a wonderful time to take stock of both our wardrobes and our projects and revisit what is most important to us, and for me, that means returning to my blog. Even though Grammar Fairy Godmother has been on unintentional hiatus (due to an ongoing attempt to figure out how to teach and blog at the same time),


Trying a paler than usual lipstick

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From Flappers to Emojis: One Hundred Years of Words

According to the writers of the Oxford Words blog, in 1915, the Oxford English Dictionary could easily have chosen “flapper” for the word of the year (if choosing a word of the year was a thing that happened a hundred years ago). This year, I was fascinated by the non-word pick—more about that shortly—but as I was doing a little research, I happened upon the Oxford Words blog post about “flapper,” and since there are so many ways that the flapper ethos is a style inspiration for me, I had to read more.


Postcard of a flapper that I’ve had for the past twenty-five or so years. On the back, it says “A Modern Society Beauty in her Boudoir.”

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Wherein I Make a List and Revisit Some Foundational Beliefs

Today’s post has, among other things, a list of my favorite fall items12068653_10154505966173849_7735625417753374077_o, and while I thought this would be a short post, I’ve found a lot to write about. I’ve been struggling with my writing schedule all fall, and I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that it will be nowhere near as easy as it was this summer to write posts on a regular weekly schedule. That being said, I do think that weekly posts are important, Continue reading

O Scarves, O Fringe, O Sparkling Things: Musings on the Vocative O

Today I went out for a nice wander in my neighborhood. It was a lovely fall day, though still a little warm for my preference. I’m fortunate that I live in a neighborhood with great shops in easy walking distance. I went to a used bookstore first,IMG_0356 then to Continue reading

Shawls, Bonnets, and the Latest (Nineteenth Century) Paris Fashions


Modes De Paris, 1844

In this week’s blog post, we’re going to go back to the 1800s—we’ve already been there once before with George Sand, but this time, we’ll be talking about bonnets and changing grammatical patterns.  Continue reading