Ate Advice Blog

3 Life Lessons… Because I Wore a Romper to Work.

It’s old news that rompers are the ‘thing to wear’ especially between the warm spring and summer months. However, I had deterred from getting one because I am only 5’2” and somewhat pear-shaped. I stumbled across one when I was online ‘window shopping’ a flash sale and, well, stopped window shopping and made the purchase.

I ended up loving it. The fabric was thin enough for the heat but not see-thru, and it covered everything without making me feel like I was wearing a potato sack. My work offers a relatively casual dress code, so I paired it with some cute, hot pink ballet flats and onward I went.

And this is what I learned…

1. Be cognizant of your ‘me time.’

Listen: going to the bathroom as a woman is tough as it is. You have to ‘build the nest’ and worry about buttons or holding onto your skirt or dress so it doesn’t *cringe* fall into the water. Wearing a romper (or a jumpsuit) is a whole ‘nother issue. You can’t just go last minute: you need to plan. There is no ‘quick trip to the restroom before the meeting.’ You’re committing to completely undressing just to take care of business. Plan accordingly.

But also: why DO we wait until the last minute to take care of ourselves? I see a lot of great people: moms, dads, sisters, brothers, fur-moms and -dads, etc. and they take care of everyone else before they take care of themselves. Ultimately, this ends up looking like either crashing and burning out of exhaustion, OR trying to squeeze in some ‘me time’ at the end of the day (or week… or month… or year…) Take the time to take care of yourself. Look at the calendar and plan that vacation ahead of time. It’s not selfish; it’s necessary.

You can’t pour from an empty cup.

2. Take chances.

I love wearing dresses to work because I don’t have to worry about matching up outfits: it’s only one article of clothing that I need to worry about. There are also so many dress options available that I found several cuts that are flattering to my body type, and typically only purchase those. So you would think that a romper would be right up my ally: one article of clothing, super cute, and (depending on the type of romper) work appropriate! But I hesitated for so long because all the ads I’ve seen are of these gorgeous, leggy models wearing cute little rompers. I am short, and I have thighs that have never shown the glorious light of ‘thigh gap.’ Ever. Even in my skinny, awkward phase (which basically lasted from 11 to about 6 years ago).

Recently, I’ve also been feeling pretty self-conscious about my body type – I’m not growing any taller but I’m sure growing wider. It’s as if the amazing metabolism, one that I’ve taken for granted my whole life, decided to just shut down 18 months ago. It’s what prompted me to change my diet. It’s also what’s prompted me to second guess literally everything I wear, or even shop for.

I’ll admit that purchasing the romper was an ‘easy chance’ for me to make: I’d try it on in the safety of my home and quietly return it if I didn’t like how I looked. But it’s a chance that I probably spent too much time thinking about. I’m glad I made it though, because it’s now one of my favorite go-to items to wear. My work wardrobe now have a whole new world to shop for! (Sorry, honey.)

3. Know your audience.

As I mentioned, my work has a pretty casual dress code. That being said, we don’t walk into the office in holey sweatpants or skimpy mini dresses: we’re still put together. If we have guests or a special occasion, we’ll absolutely ‘dress to impress’. My romper was cute for a regular work day, especially during the humid summer we’ve been having, because we didn’t have any guests that day. The particular romper I was wearing also had three-quarter sleeves, which was a nice balance to the somewhat shorter hemline (that still offered full front and backside coverage ifyaknowwhattamean), and I purposefully paired it with flats. I wasn’t walking on the boardwalk; I was in the office.

When I’m networking, or posting across my social media channels, I go through a similar thought process: who am I seeing or speaking with? What am I trying to say? Am I speaking amongst good friends, or am I addressing a larger audience?

Anyone who knows me knows that I can be very opinionated (sorry not sorry). That being said, I also like to be sensitive to what other people are living, or what they think or believe. Everyone has their own perception (which, in turn, makes up their reality) and even if it doesn’t align with my own, it doesn’t mean they’re incorrect in their own beliefs. This often times manifests as a frustrating conversation, especially if you feel like the other person isn’t taking your feelings or beliefs in consideration (or just lack serious tact). When I find myself dealing with a difficult personality, I often remind myself about what someone once told me years ago:

“Everyone has their own capacity for living and expressing themselves; they are truly doing the best they believe they can, with the tools and within the capacity they believe they have.”

You don’t need to be a 'people pleaser' and agree with everything and disregard what matters to you; at the same time, you don’t need to answer to everything (or dignify accusations) either. Give them a break. And then excuse yourself as quickly, and politely, as possible.

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