The Uniform

Posted by Kathleen Smith

It sounded like an oxymoron – Women in Homeland Security Fashion Show.  But this very powerful event, which brought together women from all levels of their careers from both industry and agency, showed us that we can all go outside of our comfort zone. We realized that we are very comfortable in our uniform, those varying shades of blue or black that is that standard for the homeland and national security dress code, but once we got out of our comfort zone, we could enjoy ourselves and have more courage to tackle on our daily challenges.

“It was such a privilege to work with Women in Homeland Security for the 2013 Fashion Show. We wanted to help our members find outfits (beyond the usual business suit) that work for them in a variety of career-related situations," Christy Monaco, Senior Federal Agency Executive and The Stylist Online

It was a challenge for all of us to push the limits of what was comfortable, but with the careful and compassionate guidance of Christy Monaco and Amy Wister from The Stylist Online, we learned a new appreciation for color and style that complements our work style and body type. Most of us groaned with how painful the first few outfits were to try on and the frustration for many of us mounted after very long days in the office when we couldn’t find outfits that fit. We all wanted to go running for the comfortable black heavy suit rather than branching out to the wild colors and bold designs. But with perseverance and not that much time, all 15 models were able to find and show off dazzling outfits that most said “yes, I would wear this and think I will!”

One model shared how the outfits were so outside her normal uniform and it wasn’t until she came out in a stunning evening gown did we all realize she meant a military uniform. It was an honor to have Ms. Veteran America 2012, Denyse Gordon, join us on the catwalk. Denyse is a passionate advocate for homeless women veterans.

Anne, Kathleen & Kristina

Once we got beyond the comfort zone, met new people and tried on new colors, we all found that we had very valuable insight into our own courage, awesome new outfits and key colleagues to strengthen our careers. You need to step outside your own comfort zone and uniform every now and then to expand your professional and personal horizons, but most importantly to remember how great you are and how to have fun!

Photographs courtesy of Annie Elis photography.

This entry was posted on Friday, February 15, 2013 10:01 am

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