A case for being EXTRA + learning to stand out

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When I was a freshman in college, I dressed pretty shitty most of time. I often stole my friend’s massive sweatpants to wear to night classes.

In one class, there was a girl that looked fantastic.

I sorta-kinda-always looked at her admiringly. Subconsciously, I wished to be like her:

Eye-catching.

Dynamic.

Hot.

Pulled-together.

One night, my friend whose pants I stole, met me for food. Mouth full of french fries, I mentioned “night class hottie” and on how she always looked so good. I was insecure.

“OMG, how does she do it”?

He shrugged.

Stealing food, he continued:

“Nicole, maybe stop wearing my enormous pants and others would look at you that way too. She makes an effort to look hot.”

It had never occurred to me that I had something to do with this situation.

My friend’s comment made me realize the only difference between my classmate’s attractiveness and mine was she that sprinkled hers like fairy dust and I was behaving like a festered unicorn.

Being really well pulled together captures attention because it’s that extra that propels something or someone above the ordinary. Sadly - like my sweatpants - ignoring the EXTRA can even have an opposite effect: forgettable, underwhelming, and even negative connotations.

EXTRA is in everything done well.

EXTRA is what makes cookies so good you wait in line for them.

EXTRA is what makes your mom’s baked ziti better than your mother-in-law’s.

EXTRA is what makes Amazon Prime better than regular Amazon.

EXTRA is what keeps Everlane selling out.

Extra is what gets Kendrick Lamar a Pulitzer.

EXTRA is about extending beyond the basic or easy, and being noteworthy.  

EXTRA is what happens when you take care to do your best work, present your best, and be your integral self.

My classmate made effort everyday to enhance and highlight her physical appearance. She didn’t toss on what was nearby or comfortable. She chose to be EXTRA and bring out her best.

Being EXTRA effort got her noticed by me and a lot of others too.

Make the EFFORT to be EXTRA and you will capture rooms, your partner’s gaze, and an interviewer’s eye. This is true about the content of your character, the quality of your work, and the chicness of your wardrobe.

Improving the way you look in the most dramatic (or subtle) ways will enhance your life in tandem with other goals.  With that one area of change, you’ve raised your standards for yourself and those around you; up-leveling your life everywhere you go.  Best of all, solving the frustrations of shopping or complexities of dressing isn’t out of reach. There’s no reason you can’t look and feel the way you want.

It is the same with Amazon, Everlane, or mom’s baked ziti.

Start being EXTRA. We can help.

P.s. Go follow me on Instagram. I teach accessible style and will probably make you laugh.