When Non-Essentials Matter More Than You Think

I’m typically rather obsessed with not caring about the little things, and sometimes that can be a bad thing. My husband , for one, has long told me I don’t pay enough attention to detail at times, and I know I have made mistakes as a result. Come to our house at Christmas to look at how we each wrap presents and you’ll immediately understand what I’m talking about.

Screen Shot 2013-06-12 at 10.26.45 PM

This spring, I read a great story in a book that highlighted this very concept, and brought to mind situations where the little things really do matter. The story comes from a book called Good Girls Don’t Have to Dress Bad by image consultant Shari Braendel, and although it is specifically about image consulting, the lessons go far beyond knowing your coloring and looking your best.

Here goes:



“For a number of years I owned an image consulting firm in Miami, Florida, and helped professional women of all ages look their best all the time. One day, I got an unusual phone call from an attorney who needed some advice, and fast. The woman was representing a client going througha divorce, and they were going to have to appear in court to finalize the proceedings. The client was hoping to recieve a lot of money from her cheating husband, but there was a chance she wouldn’t get a dime. Her husband could afford a much more expensive attorney known for winning divorce cases. This woman’s attorney didn’t beat around the bush.

She asked me, “What color suit should my client wear to earn pity from the judge so she will be awarded a large amount of money to keep her children fed and clothed?”

Wow! It was a loaded question….Before I could give an educated response, I needed to find out a few things. I asked the attorney to tell me what her client looked like. What was the color of her hair, her complexion, the shade of her eyes? After we talked for a bit, I finally suggested that her client wear a suit in a muted shade of gray, as that was a very unflattering color for her.

Was I right? You betcha! I found out later that the woman going through the awful divorce case was awarded a very handsome sum of money. Now, I’m sure it didn’t have everything to do with the sahe of her suit, but still…I’d like to think it helped.”

Interesting, no?

And powerful to think about how important something like color – something surely some might’ve scoffed at – was for the situation in question.

Thanks again to the lovely Sandra Vander Zicht (the Zondervan editor who edited dear Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts and the wonderful Lysa Terkeurst bestsellers) for giving me my copy of Good Girls Don’t Have to Dress Bad.


The day she gave it to me, I was wearing all black. Or something like that. 

[P.S. If you are a gal (or guy!) interested in image consulting, the book prompted me to not only take the test to figure out my own coloring and order my color swatches, but also get in touch with the lovely Shari, who is just as awesome as everyone said she was.]

So what about you. Do you care about the little things in life? Or do you let non-essentials fall by the wayside?


Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

8 thoughts on “When Non-Essentials Matter More Than You Think

  1. Colors can evoke different emotions. You learn in the graphic design world that if a certain feeling is trying to be impressed upon, the designer’s color choices are crucial to the campaign’s success. Sounds like the same rules apply in divorce proceedings…

  2. Our choice of clothes can really be an art in itself, as there is much more to our clothing choices than we would imagine. For most people, what they wear is merely a matter of habit, but when we dress in the morning it might pay to be a little more careful in the choices we make. Doing something different with your clothes might be a way of changing the impression others have of you, in an instant. 😉

  3. Being detailed-oriented takes a great deal of time and effort, and there is no substitute for it. All great achievements in art, music, law, literature, architecture, fashion, and sport depend completely on enormous attention to the minutest of details. As they say, the devil is in the details. But you can’t be extremely detailed-oriented about everything. There isn’t enough time or energy. You have to pick your battles. 😉

  4. I am very detailed -oriented just like Walt Disney, and it really bugs me when people are less detailed conscious than I am. Their slip-shod, messy, unkempt, careless way of creating and just leaving things drives me batty!

  5. I pretty much wear the same thing all the time: black suit, white shirt, and regimental tie for court; khaki slacks and a black polo shirt for casual. I vary the shoes from time to time, but usually it’s cowboy boots for court and desert boots for casual. Clients should always just be themselves and dress comfortably. Honesty is the best policy. As Abraham Lincoln said, “You can fool all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.”

  6. I might be the opposite – caring too much for the little details. I like colours and I’m pay attention to what I put on, especially for big things. If I don’t have the right colours/outfit on, I just feel out of place and I can’t be myself. A lot of times I wish I could care less, though!