“Six months into my corporate law job at a boutique firm in Manhattan, I was working late one night when a partner came into my office and shut the door behind her. “I want to talk to you about your appearance,” she said. I was horrified. I care a lot about what I wear and the stylistic choices I make, and I had spent those first six months virtually emptying my bank account on Shoshanna dresses, Kate Spade skirts, and Theory suits. What could I possibly be doing wrong?
“When you get dressed for work every morning, I want you to pretend you have a meeting with your biggest client that day,” she instructed. At this point, mind you, I was barely allowed in meetings with other lawyers, let alone clients. “These pants you are wearing are too slim and unprofessional and you need to reevaluate them. I’m trying to help you become a better lawyer, that’s all.” She opened my door and exited, leaving me in my entirely work-appropriate J. Crew slacks to ponder my fashion missteps.”
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