The Art of the Business

A blog dedicated to artists who are serious about their business.

My Makeover March 24, 2010

Filed under: Attitude,Musings,Perception of worth,photos,Success — Rebecca Coleman @ 6:17 am
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I have a shameful secret. Because I work from home, and no one sees me when I’m behind my computer, I look like this:

My daily routine is the same: roll out of bed, pull on something made by Lululemon, make coffee, open the computer, get to work. It doesn’t matter what I look like, because no one is going to see me.

Now, when it comes to meeting clients or going out in public, I’m a bit better. I’ll throw on some jeans, or a clean shirt. Or even dress pants and a nice, white blouse. But over all, my dress is casual. I argue I can get away with it, because my business is pretty casual. And it takes a lot of time to do hair, makeup and pull together a nice outfit. And people are hiring me for my brain and my track record, not because of how I look. And sometimes heels are uncomfortable if I have to walk a long way, and I’m just going to pick up Michael at school, anyway….  The rationalizations go on and on.

I’m an avid fan of TLC’s What Not to Wear, and one night when I was watching, Clinton Kelly said “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.”  Now, don’t get me wrong, I love my job, and despite the advice of my business adviser, am not even looking for corporate clients. If I can make a living in the arts, I’m happy. But I am a business-owner, and maybe it’s time I start dressing the part. And if I do, what will happen? Will new or potential clients look at me and view me as having a higher perception of worth? And how will my own perception of worth change? I feel different about myself when I dress up–more confident–how does a confident attitude affect my work?

I love to shop, but I am also hopeless, and I had no idea where to start. So, I hired Jasjit Rai, who is a stylist and wardrobe consultant. Jasjit says, “as in theatre, it is important to dress the part(s) that you want to play in your life.  Clothing is an easy and immediate way of transforming yourself. This is why uniforms are so important in some professions – once worn, they draw the person into the role. Others immediately respond in return.” She came over to my house and did a wardrobe audit. A bunch of stuff went. Then, she gave me a list of stuff to go shop for, including tear sheets from magazines with photos.

The result?

Photo by Pink Monkey Studios

I’m still trying to get comfortable with this new concept: spending money on clothes still seems a little frivolous to me, and I also feel a bit resentful that people might judge me on how I look. But the reality is, people do make snap judgments when they meet you. I might as well  put my best foot forward. And I’ll let you know if land any high-paying clients, or if my income goes up dramatically.

If you are interested in having your own makeover, I highly reccomend Jasjit’s services.

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9 Responses to “My Makeover”

  1. Susan Weiss Says:

    Rebecca, I like your new/fresh makeover!

    I admit I do the same routine in my home office and I also admit that I have to “spruce up” for Skype video meetings. (And, at the very least, not wear my “Hot Red Dirty Dick’s” tee-shirt, from his great restaurant on the Riverwalk in San Antonio; language on the shirt is a bit much too!).

    I too have no idea how/where to shop, so I asked my friend and colleague, Costume Designer, Rene Durón, (National Ballet of Mexico, Ballet Folklórico of Mexico) to give some pointers and they work!!! Yay!

    Rebecca, just think about what you have to look forward to – “a new summer look” and another shopping trip to Seattle and La Pigalle!!

  2. Aaron Says:

    Best decision I made this year was to start wearing a tie to work.

    Even it’s my joe-job, that I really don’t want to be doing. But it’s had an affect on my artistic career as well.

    Though I think the tie is actually a by-product, not a cause. It’s all part-and-parcel of taking yourself seriously and acting like a professional.

    Smart move, Rebecca. I applaud you.

  3. Sean Says:

    I’m like Aaron. I don’t need to wear a tie to work. In fact, by looking at some of my colleagues, my business casual attire is a bit dressy. However, a few weeks ago I started wearing a tie to work, just because I felt like it (plus I have a closet full of dress shirts and ties from my old job that were going unused).

    I was surprised to find my productivity increased once I started dressing up more. I know correlation is different than causation, but I suspect I’m feeling more like I’m at work because I’m dressed more so for working than any other activity.

    One final note: you realize that by picking yourself up by your bootstraps yourself, you just screwed yourself out of being a candidate on WNTW, $5,000, and a trip to New York? 😉

  4. Today I launched myself out of the house wearing heels, and you know, I felt pretty good–confident, etc. And one of my clients commented on the French pedicure/peep toe combo. Nice!
    Ah, Sean, if only…

  5. Dave Charest Says:

    You know, my wife and I were talking about how it’s time for some new clothes.

    I’ve let myself get a bit lazy since I started working from home. Oops.

    BTW, You look great. I like the “with smile” better than the “without.” Smiles are good. =)

    P.S. You don’t want to know what I’m wearing right now. 😉

  6. Funny, clothes. It’s hard to admit that you do change how you feel depending on what you’re wearing.

    For men, I find ties the strangest things. I like them, which irks me because in this day and age, they serve no purpose whatsoever. I guess it’s the same as me adding a “drop-cap” to the beginning of an opening paragraph I’m designing.

    Thanks, Rebecca.

  7. brittneyfg Says:

    I am on my couch in pink plaid pjs contemplating this post.

    I completely agree with the idea of dressing the part. I definitely project a different confidence when I leave my house in yoga pants and a sweatshirt with no makeup on than when I bother to wear real pants and apply the face paint. It totally seems silly, but it makes a difference in how I carry myself. Which is useful to know. The yoga pants are awesome for teaching art and drama to small children, but I should probably look like a big girl for meetings, auditions, etc.

    Also, I think you look fabulous. But that could just be the big smile on your face…

  8. Lili Says:

    That sounds like fun!
    I got addicted to consignment stores when I moved to Vancouver. Now I have been collecting clothes as one would collect art – and for only a few bucks. I never thought my closet would carry brands like Diane Von Fustenberg, Chloe, Dolce and Gabana and Missoni. And it’s environmental!
    You look great, Rebecca. As usual 🙂

  9. I know on my days off from my real job, I put on the yoga pants and sweatshirt, because its more comfortable. But when I am out for work, it’s business casual and make up. I keep thinking that I’m going to stop wearing make up to work, but I do feel different when I’m wearing it. Now I’m deciding whether I will bring make up on the retreat I’m going to this weekend. How do I want to be perceived?

    And I agree with everyone else, you do look fantastic!


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