From nine years in a Catholic schoolgirl uniform to head-turning rock chick getups in high school and college, clothes always played a part in my experience in the world. One iteration for which I hold no fond memories: the obligatory early-career "business casual" phase: can't-miss office essentials that made me feel like I'd lost myself. With the goal of fitting in in a corporate setting to make my way in the world, donning pastel button-downs and black loafers seemed like a fair penance at the time, but getting dressed in the morning often felt more like a punishment than a pleasure.
A decade after those fateful trips to Marshalls that lined my closets with employee-handbook approved garb, I don't work for anyone anymore, and so off to Dress for Success those garments go. Left to my own style devices, do I dress like Nancy Spungen or some fabulously eccentric baroness? Now and again, sure. I also like a nice Armani blazer as much as the next gal. But most days, I'm into athleisure, like the rest of the world. Yet another benefit of working for yourself to which I am grateful daily: dressing how I want when I want.