The Shyness Project

Archive for the tag “dress for success”

I Wore a Dress to School!

On Friday I finally decided to wear a dress, and it was the first time I had worn a dress to school since…well, preschool I guess, back when my mom got to dress me.  (After that in elementary school I rocked leggings until I was 7!)  Supposedly it was going to start raining again on Sunday so I figured Friday would be my last chance to really dress up for a little while, and wanted to end on a high note.  (though I’m still going to keep dressing nice)  I had looked at this dress in the beginning of April and told myself by the end of the month I would have the confidence to wear it to school, and I finally did wear it.  I worked up to it by wearing fancier tops and skirts first.  I know for some people wearing a dress to school is no big deal and is an easy decision, but considering that I used to dress as simply as I could so I wouldn’t get any attention for my clothes, it’s a good improvement for me.  I didn’t want to wear shirts with words on them either because I didn’t want people trying to read my shirt, especially if it said something embarrassing like “Kiss Me I’m Irish” (I’m not even Irish!) or something about cute boys that my mom would pick up and try to get me to wear.  I still think that’s embarrassing though, haha!

But back to the dress.  I decided the night before to wear it since the weather was getting really hot.  That morning though, it turned out to be really windy and a little cold even.  Why the weather always tries to make my plans more difficult I don’t know, but I was still determined to wear that dress.  My mom tried to talk me out of it though and thought I should change into something else, but this time I stood my ground on this and told her this was going to be one of my last chances to do this.  Her doubts hurt my confidence a little bit, but I walked out the door to the car, no turning back.

I was a little cold, and I did feel a little self-conscious, but I put my sunglasses on and walked through the halls telling myself that I looked nice and to remember to focus on what other people were wearing.  I did have to keep my hands down just to make sure the wind didn’t try to pull any fast ones on me though.  It certainly would have been easier and less nerve-racking if there was less wind and the dress was a little longer.

While walking to first period one of my girl friends said I looked nice today and one of my guy friends resonated with a “You do look really pretty!”  Another friend turned around and saw me and exclaimed “Oh my gosh you look so pretty!”  So that was a nice reassurance to hear in the morning, and I told them they all looked nice too.

On my way to fourth period, I had to pass through a crowd of people in the quad.  Maybe it was just my imagination, but it seemed like one of the good-looking popular guys I passed looked at me longer than someone normally would when you’re passing them, like with interest or something.  And it seemed like one of the popular pretty girls was giving me a glaring look.  It was kind of funny, and not something I’m used to.

When I saw my friend Annie at lunch, she did a double take when she saw me!  She exclaimed that I looked really cute, and then said these past few weeks I’ve been dressing really cute.  I thanked her for noticing and told her I was trying to dress more confidently.  She asked where I was getting all these clothes and I told her that I’d had them for a while but never wore them to school or anything, the only time I’d worn some of this stuff was at swing dancing.  She said she wanted to start getting some cuter clothes too since she feels like she’s been wearing the same thing for a while now.

Although I did feel self-conscious whenever I was walking, it was sort of fun standing out and looking pretty at school.  I didn’t wear any make-up and most of the time I don’t bother to wear any anyways, but I still felt pretty in my dress.  It was a bit of a pain because I had to be so careful with it, but it was worth it.

On the left: Not a dress, but one of the many notorious outfits my mom put me in.  And on the right:  What I wore yesterday, taken afterschool when it was finally nicer and less windy!

Laura Croft and Skirt

Yesterday I wore my beige jeans for the first time and a nice top and came to school sporting my sunglasses.  I didn’t think I was dressed up enough to get any notice, but my friend Annie raved over me and my sunglasses exclaiming that I looked like Laura Croft (Tomb Raider), which made me laugh.  It was flattering but I don’t think I quite looked like Laura Croft.  She said all I needed was brown hair and to braid it.  Annie was wearing a skirt in heels and I complimented her and said she was the one who looked really nice.  She started talking about how she didn’t think it was going to be chilly today but it was after all and she was kind of cold.  I took notice of this because I’ve tended to do the same thing when people have given me a compliment when I wear a skirt.  I tend to thank them and babble about the weather automatically like I want to take the attention off me or something, haha.  But I pay attention to it now and it does seem like a natural response for others too.  It helps avoid any awkward pauses after compliments too I suppose if you can’t think of anything else to say after you’ve been complimented.

Today I wore a long flowy brown skirt and a fancy white top and sandals.  It was kind of windy out and colder than yesterday, but I decided to go for it anyway.  One of my friends asked why I was dressed so fancy today and I just said for the heck of it and why not.  I was cold sometimes but for the most part I was inside and protected from the gusty winds outside.  When Annie saw me at lunch she gushed over my outfit again and I thanked her and complimented our friend Emily since she was wearing a nice green dress.

It’s been nice dressing up and giving out more compliments.  When I dressed up this morning, I just decided to focus on giving out compliments and not about what I was wearing.  That way I’d feel less self-conscious about the change and more outwardly focused.  The more I’m dressing up, the more I’m realizing that it’s a positive experience and no one thinks it’s weird to come dressed more fancily than the typical blue jeans and plain shirt.  It’s kind of nice knowing that when I dress up I’m likely to get some positive feedback too.

Skirt Surprises

This week I jumped right into things and wore a black skirt, pink sparkly top, dangly silver earrings, and black sandals to school because I thought it was going to be a hot day again, but it turned out to be windy and on the cold side.  I was kind of surprised by what did (or didn’t) happen when I wore the skirt though instead of my regular jeans.

In the morning after I complimented a friend’s necklace and mentioned how cold it was compared to yesterday, I had to actually point out that I was wearing a skirt before she noticed and said it looked nice.

In the first few periods of class the two friends I have those periods in didn’t really notice or say anything, until snack time one of them noticed and said they liked my skirt.

At snack I saw one of my closest friends and she noticed right away and said I looked really cute today and gave me lots of compliments.  I said that since I don’t normally dress this way at school (I usually just wear skirts and dresses when I go swing dancing) so I wanted to go out of my comfort zone a little and she understood and resonated with a “yeah, like switch things up!” and smiled a lot.

Later on some other friends said I looked nice or cute throughout the day, but no one seemed surprised or anything.  It was an interesting discovery, and it really just goes to show that people don’t notice as much as you think and are mostly focused on themselves.  I know that we’re told that all the time but having an experience like that does really help you realize it. I was surprised more people didn’t make a bigger deal about it or try to embarrass me.  I guess just because one friend did that before I somehow got it in my head that it would happen again, but it didn’t.

I did have a few negative thoughts throughout that day that I was able to pick up on and refute.  When I first got to school and was walking past two boys in an empty hallway, I thought I heard them say that they were glad they weren’t girls or something like that, and thought maybe they thought I looked silly all dressed up or something.  But I realized that I could have heard wrong and even if I did hear right it might not have anything to do with me and I don’t know the reason why they would say that.

Right before snack when I was about to meet my friend who gave me all the compliments, I thought “I look stupid” as I walked down the stairs, but then immediately caught onto that and told myself I look good and I don’t look stupid.

I’ve also been giving out a lot more compliments too, and have been taking notice of things others have been wearing.  I try and give 3 genuine compliments a day now and for the most part I’ve done that.

Besides switching things up clothing wise, I’ve still been participating in class.  In third period I answered a question without even thinking about it and it seemed like no big deal.  And yesterday I raised my hand in psych class (remember this one, the one that was so difficult to participate in?) to answer a question without even thinking about it and without any preparation or nervousness.  And today I answered a question 6th period without thinking about it.

Whoa.  What’s happened here?

Hope you all have a great weekend!

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