Evidenced by my guest RepMan post discussing Project Runway, it’s safe to say that I’m a fan of fashion. So, during my morning scan of yesterday’s headlines, an article in the New York Times caught my eye : “$150,000 Wardrobe for Palin May Alter Tailor-Made Image.”
$150K Wardrobe. Wait, WHAT?!
I have no doubt that Mrs. Palin needed some new clothes for the campaign, but that is such an amazing amount of money, it’s practically an economic stimulus for Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus. That’s equivalent to about 125 Jimmy Choo handbags, 190 pairs of Manolo Blahniks, or 234 Brooks Brothers suits.
The political implications aside, does it really require $150,000 to dress in a way that communicates success? Not in my experience.
Each month, I volunteer as a personal shopper with Dress for Success, where I assist women who are trying to make strides towards financial independence by re-entering the work force. I work with the women to pick out interview attire that fits appropriately and, most importantly, makes them feel good about themselves. The majority of the clothes are donations, and while I occasionally stumble upon a Calvin Klein suit or Prada pumps in the shop, most of the time the ladies walk away with outfits originally from off-the-rack retailers like the Gap or Dress Barn.
These women look good, no matter where their suit came from, because they are put together and dressed for their body type in an outfit that makes them feel empowered. Whether you are dressing the part for a television appearance or a job interview at JCPenny, that confidence is the asset that has the strongest correlation with personal success. It is your most important accessory, and you can’t buy it. Not even for $150,000.