Stepping Out of the Comfort Zone

{On me: Top, shorts, headband and shoes: c/o Marshalls. On Diana: Dress and shoes: c/o Marshalls. Photographed by me.}

Confidence is everything. But let’s be honest, sometimes it’s hard to find yours. In fact, after surveying more than 1,000 woman nationwide, Marshalls discovered the below eye-opening statistics.

·         71 percent of women wish they were more confident

·         75 percent of women have said no to an activity or opportunity based on a lack of confidence

Geez, those are high stats. Looks like it’s time to up the confidence level. It’s time to feel better about ourselves. And that’s exactly what I did this week. I grabbed faithful reader Diana Stapp and we gave ourselves a confidence boost with a little retail therapy at Marshalls, where we could get a lot for little and then we headed to the pier in Sunny Isles on a beautiful day for a shoot, which even included animals in their natural habitat.

I picked Diana to join me in this challenge because she’s getting ready to embark  on a new chapter in her life. In just a few weeks she graduates from law school and will move to the next phase as a professional. That’s big stuff. It also means making the major transition from dressing like a student to dressing like a lawyer. To give her a confidence boost, we decided to kick off her new style for her first step into the real world: Graduation. And while we were at it, why not find something we love so much that it encourages us to step out of our comfort zone? We’ve got this.

But I’ll let her tell you all about it:

“For the past three years, I have pretty much been wearing jeans and a T-shirt because law school requires nothing more from me. There are the occasional days I go to court for my internship, and so I throw on a navy blue suit. Now it’s time for a change, and what better to think about than what I will be wearing under my cap and gown on May 10.

When Ginger invited me to go shopping with her at Marshalls, I started thinking about my clothing comfort zone, and what I typically shy away from. First, I usually stick with solid colors and shy away from prints. I have this idea in my head that I can’t pull off prints. Second, I am self-conscious about my arms, so I don’t love sleeveless items.  I told Ginger my “issues” and we went to work. All of the dresses we pulled for me to try on had prints. There were definitely dresses I wouldn’t have ever thought to try on, but it was fun. Eventually, I ended up with the perfect sleeveless dress. After finding the dress, we went to find shoes. Instead of sticking to the black sandals I would typically be attracted to, I found some great fuschia color flats that added some vibrancy to the whole outfit. This shopping trip with Ginger was a great reminder that just because I am entering into the professional world dominated by black, navy blue and gray suits, I can still make my wardrobe exciting with a some fun prints or a pop of color.” –Diana

And she looks great, too! Diana usually stays away from sleeveless and prints, but both of these work great on her. She boldly stepped out of her comfort zone and it paid off. Plus, we got design stuff for not designer prices. Winning.

I decided to step out of my comfort zone, too. I started with my favorite thing ever—shoes! A great pair of shoes can make you feel like a million bucks. And these designer gladiator sandals look like a million bucks but were only $40. I normally opt for heels when I’m showing my legs. That’s what happens when you are 5-foot-1-inches tall. In fact, I think very few people, aside from those I do yoga with, actually know how tall I really am. But today I decided to challenge myself and wear flats with shorts. I like the shoes so much, I didn’t feel self-conscious about showing my legs. As for the rest of my look, like Diana, I gravitate toward dark hues. But not today. I made myself opt for color. I went for a pop of neon pink and a gauzy white. I even wore my look to dinner later that night. And I felt great about it, myself and my short legs in flat shoes.

Who says fashion can’t make you feel better about yourself?