Cattails, Rabbit Trails, and Thistlefish: Slay your Day: 6 Ways to Dress for Success (and why you should)

Monday, August 29, 2016

Slay your Day: 6 Ways to Dress for Success (and why you should)

Even though it's still fairly humid outside, the fall semester of college is in full swing.
Which means many of us will be spending a lot of time either in our homes or in tiny, grungy coffee shops trying to keep our minds off of social media and invested in our homework assignments.
And for those of you who aren't in school, September still seems to bring a fresh waves of beginnings and new reasons to be busy.

While it sometimes seems sensible to tackle these kind of days in comfortable clothes for maximum productivity and focus, I have found the opposite to be true: I am the most productive when I feel like I look the most productive!

Think about it, though...
Do you feel motivated to tackle the world before you've brushed your teeth?
Do you feel confident in sweatpants?
Do you feel like your putting on your best face when you haven't even put on mascara?

When I feel like a killer boss beauty, I actually have the confidence to "slay my day."

So what does that look like for me?

Why bother?

All of these tips are "fake it til you make it" tips. The idea is that when you look (or, feel like you look) productive, you are more motivated to be productive.
It's basically tricking your body and your brain into feeling beautiful, confident, and ready-to-slay.

1. Mascara

I feel like I have no eyeballs before I have mascara on, and it's one of the worst feelings when I realize I forgot to put it on.
To feel like my best self, I shouldn't be cringing when I glance in the mirror. Put on something quick and simple that helps you feel like you look your best.

2. "Get rid of" my hair

I don't actually ever "do" my hair. I really can't curl my hair very well, and I'm too lazy to straighten it or blow dry it every day. But I get so distracted when it's in my face!
So, to be/feel productive, I need to get it out of my face. Sometimes that means a head scarf, a few bobby pins for my bangs, or a sloppy bun, but today it's a quick french braid because my hair is still wet. Later, I'll stick a few bobby pins in it when it starts to dry and fall apart, but for now it is out of my face and at least half-cute.

The idea is doing something with your hair that will keep you from thinking about it later.

3. "Real" clothes

Even though the sweats are tempting, I have found that I work harder, longer, and produce higher-quality work when my self-esteem is higher.
Some days this means wearing that one bra that makes me feel awesome (c'mon, every woman has one) or even wearing something business casual to make me feel like I am working at a real office instead of a home office. Today, it's some high-waisted skinnies that make me feel confident about my legs, and a tank that I feel is equally cute and forgiving of the brownies I ate this weekend.

The idea is to find an outfit that makes you feel confident without being uncomfortable, and makes you feel cute without being something you have to worry about all day.

4. Every-day jewelry

I typically just throw on my basics, like my anchor necklace I always wear and some basic earrings. Lately I've added a Pandora necklace my sweet husband gave me, and a Lizzy James bracelet I got for my birthday.
Regardless of what your every-day pieces look like, I have a hard time feeling like any outfit is complete without a little bit of jewelry somewhere.

The idea is to "complete" your outfit, still keeping it not-distracting and not-hindering to you work.

5. Planning for the environment

Are you studying on the couch all day? Don't wear a mini skirt.
Are you studying in a cold, coffee shop? Don't wear your summer's best.
Knowing what your environment will be like is also key to be the most productive. I'm wearing jeans (and later, grabbing a cardigan) because, even though it's super warm outside today, I want to study at a library later where I know it's always-never-fail cold. And nothing is more distracting than when you're trying to study but you're too cold (or too warm) to focus.

The idea is, again, to wear something that you aren't going to have to think about (to keep you focused!)

6. Feeling good internally

Basically, when you feel like your best, you act and accomplish your best. So the last thing I do to get ready is try to fill my body and environment when things that encourage me to feel my best. 
Coffee, worship music, and a giant water bottle are always things I start my morning with, and they help me feel healthy physically and spiritually. Don't start your day with your bank account or your homework or something stressful, but things that "center" you, or help you focus on what's most important.

The idea is to try to "look your best" internally, too.

Again, when you feel like your best, you act and accomplish your best.

What are some ways your dress for success on days you need to be productive?

Hope this has given you a few ideas on how to start your day (and your semester) off ready to slay.
Tag me in your "dressed for success" outfits at #TheModestBudget or @themodestbudget!

Linking up with Michelle's Pa(i)geMy Bows & Clothes, The Pleated Poppy50 is not oldClassy Yet TrendyThe Red Closet DiaryHome of MalonesMix Match FashionStylin' in St LouisHappiness at MidlifeMomfessionalsBright on a BudgetTwo Thirty Five DesignsAdri LatelyBirdie Shoots, & Fizz & Frosting


  1. Love this, Casey! And it's so true - when you dress like a boss, you slay like a boss.

  2. Casey, these are super great tips! I love and agree with all that you said. I feel so much more productive and confident when I look put together.

    Thank you so much for linking up at Grace + Lace!