We were recently at a celebration of life and as we were waiting in line to enter – observing those in attendance coming and going – we noticed how respect [in the lines of] presenting yourself has diminished. Traditionally speaking, am I showing my age? Or simply in dismay at how very few dress according to celebrations or events anymore.
The way you dress tells the rest of the work how you expect to be treated… anonymous.
Sometimes I think maybe I’m just getting older. Sometimes I can hear my own mother in my head stating “What are they wearing?” But in reality, dressing for the occasion seems to be a thing of the past.
While attending this celebration of life, we noticed other attendees in shorts, flip flops, jean shorts, or even tank tops…. Like it was a back yard BBQ. Actually seeing someone in a well-thought-out outfit; pants, button up shirt, blouse, dress, etc demonstrated they had a sense of respect for the family. They had taken the time to present themselves to this family who was in mourning.
Where have traditions gone?
Where has respect gone?
Where have manners and values gone?
I was raised to dress for success. Dress accordingly – with regards to school, work, or a social event. When I was young, I was told what I could not specifically wear to school or an outing by my parents and I was also encouraged and followed suit to what was appropriate to wear as well. My parents taught me to show up dressed respectively.
I then passed that along to my own children who dress impeccably for any sort of school, work event or social gathering. They have learned through myself and my husband that dressing accordingly -traditionally speaking, is not only dressing for success, but also for paying respect.
To explain in broader terms… dressing accordingly displays:
- Confidence and authority
- Shows you have self-respect
- Shows you have self-worth
- Attacks like-minded people
- Tells others about you
The clothes you wear and the way you present yourself will change the way others hear what you say. It can determine whether they listen or ignore you – trust or distrust you. It can create comfort and as well as ease.
Sidenote: Not only have we begun to see a decline in the way others dress to funerals, weddings or interviews, but watching young females wear next to nothing at the mall or social gathering is boggling to my brain. Society tries to tell women that they can wear whatever they want – yet get their knickers in bunch if men look at them or flirt. The way you dress will attract the people accordingly. In other words, how you dress will attract the people you represent. You don’t want to be gawked at.. then cover up.
I believe we need to inherit the ‘old’ ways of the world and bring back tradition. Bring back respect. Bring back values and etiquette. The world has forgotten how to present itself. There is nothing wrong with expecting more out of others. Stop lowering the bar just to accept everyone and raise the bar to allow others to have something to strive for. We need our future children to have goals and values to aim for.
Don’t know where to start?
Begin by stepping up your daily attire. Leave the sweats and ‘comfy’ attire for those lazy rainy days and slip on some nice pants and a sweater. Set an example for your children and plan out their outfits together by limiting (or removing) the oversized pajama pants, the low-cut tank tops or the daisy-duke short shorts. Teach them to dress appropriately for birthday parties, dances, or work. Casual Friday’s at your workplace does not necessarily mean hoodies and lululemon yoga pants – but rather nice jeans and a top.
Our world will only change for the better if YOU step up. Make the change today and not only be respectful towards yourself, but respectful to those around you. Shine like God intended you to shine. You are worthy, loved, and respected so show that to the world. Little by little, we can shift back to being a society that would make your mama proud.