Introduction by Melissa Tosetti
The last week of March, I have a four city speaking tour in Virginia. I'm really looking forward to the events, but realized this morning that it might be worth my while to invest some time and money putting together one more speaking outfit before I go.
One of the things I've learned over the last five years and 100+ speeches is that how I feel in what I'm wearing makes a massive impact on my presentation. That’s why I typically rotate through the same 3 – 4 outfits when speaking.
I have to wear comfortable, stable shoes. I don’t want to be thinking about how much my feet hurt or whether or not I’m going to take a header. I have a pair of black one inch pumps and a pair of black lace up high heeled boots that I wear on a regular basis. In fact, I've worn those boots on so many "stages" that I can honestly say I built my business in them. If there's ever a Savvy Life Museum, they'll be on display.
I have to be able to easily move my arms so if I’m wearing a jacket, it can't be restrictive. I talk a lot with my hands and hate it when I feel constricted through the shoulders. It’s distracting.
Over the summer I found a vintage looking black dress that has become my holy grail – all other speaking outfits will forever be compared to it.
It’s comfortable, I feel great in it. I also feel polished and professional. Polished is a word I would never previously associate with myself. I grew up on the back of a horse and spend four nights a week punching and kicking 200 pounds bags and sparring partners.
One of the other important lessons I’ve learned is that it doesn’t matter how much you spend on an outfit. If it doesn’t fit right or isn’t the right color, it’s going to look dumpy.
In anticipation of needing a new outfit, I was doing a little research this morning and found this wonderful article by my friend Alison Gary who is the founder of Wardrobe Oxygen. The article is titled How Does One Get The Polished Look?
Whether you’re a naturally pulled together woman or, like me, you have to work hard at it, the article is worth the read.
One of last summer's speaking outfits that got culled from the herd.
It's obvious from this picture that I'm not feeling that great in it.