When a judge rose from his bench to allow the prosecutor to make some enquiries, I pulled a copy of Vogue which I bought at the station that morning and began flicking through the fashion pages. There were a few us left in the courtroom.
Vogue? – sneered another lawyer- How about a copy of Archbold? Someone laughed, a short, ill conceived laugh that died as soon as it started.
Oh John- I said, voice like a sugar syrup-you don’t have to feel sorry for me. I have two law degrees, one of them masters.
Others laughed. Joke was on him and I went back to reading Vogue.
This was a few years back when I was a trainee solicitor in London. I was lucky to get a job in a practice based in the City and I was training in criminal law. I loved it. I would rock up to the office every day in a perfectly ironed shirt and in a sharp suit (often made to measure), hair and make up done. Looking good, groomed and perfectly put together was non negotiable for me. Whilst my bosses appreciated my efforts, I was shocked to discover that other practitioners I often met at court had a different attitude.
It was somehow not done, to look good, to have clean shirt and polished shoes. It meant one was a bimbo. A “real” lawyer had other thinks to think about, like law for example. It was ok to turn up to court with dirty cuffs or crumpled suit. Or just to look a little bit dishevelled- and not in a sexy, French way.
I could hardly believe it. How did they arrive at a conclusion that person who looks put together could not be a worthy custodian of a tough criminal case? This was a ridiculous notion!
I have always believed that how we chose to present ourselves to the world determines our reality. It sends so many signals about us to the world. About our our attitude, values, often social standing. It tells the world who you are. I’ve always felt that looking my best is a sign of respect for myself, and when you respect yourself you send a clear message that you a person to be reckoned with.
I think each one of us must find our own distinctive style. Especially now, when Instagram sameness took over the world, when nearly every you girl wants to look like a famous blogger, finding our own, true style is increasingly important. The style that will makes look great and feel great too, in that genuine way that comes from truly knowing yourself.
So what is your style? What items of clothing make you feel strong and powerful when you put them on? What brings on your best features? For me, it has always been a well cut jacket and a white shirt. Over time my style has evolved but the main components are still the same- well cut, good quality, slightly masculine clothes which make me feel like I can take on the world. And really, it doesn’t matter how many women I’ll see this summer wearing those beautiful Zimmerman, flowery dresses. I can admire them from afar but they are completely not my style. And that’s ok with me.
How about you- what makes you feel and look amazing?