I have been an Army Officer a little over two years since graduating from West Point in 2013. Over these past two years, and even while I was a Cadet at West Point, people would be shocked when I told them I was in the military. They would (and will) always comment- “You’re so feminine” or “You don’t look like you’re in the military”!
Even Courtney, my photographer, has asked me how I stay true to myself as an individual and work in an organization that is very regimented. I have thought about this for awhile and decided to write a blog post about it! I have shared a lot of “blush” material on here and think it’s time to share a little bit of the “camo” (which is a significant part of my life). I have always been to afraid to share anything about this aspect of my life because it’s not the normal fashion blogger day job. I didn’t know how my job would be received in the fashion blogging world but it’s who I am and I love being a part of the military. (I get seriously excited for ruck marches, physical training (PT) in the mornings, and the everyday challenges the Army brings! Plus, I get to work with some amazing individuals.)
So, here are a few things I do to stay true to myself while in the Army!
1. I paint my nails every Friday when I get home from work. Women are not allowed to wear nail polish of color (we can wear clear polish) and wearing nail polish is a little thing I like to do to feel ultra feminine. Painting my nails is a way to start the weekend and ease out of the work week. On the weekends I can go makeup free, but to step out of the house I have to have my nails painted to feel like myself!
2. I buy colorful undergarments. A female colleague of mine told me this when I first became a Cadet and I took her advice and never looked back! I wear the same uniform to work every single day (I’m not complaining though because that uniform is comfortable with a capital “C”!). However, there is no guidance on the type of undergarments you wear. I like to splurge on these items (and I shop anywhere from Nike to Victoria’s Secret) knowing no one will ever see them, but they help me feel a little bit more feminine throughout the day.
3. I take the time to “style” my hair everyday before work. It is required that I wear my hair in a bun everyday (which I love because I like having my hair out of my face). I experimented for a few years trying to find a style that met both the Army requirement but also felt like me. After a few failed attempts (a few of them out of regs.. oops!) I finally wear a bun hairstyle I love. When I am in uniform I wear my hair pulled back in a natural twist (seen here in this post) and then pulled back into a bun using a hair donut. I love using the hair donuts because it helps to make the bun look like a perfect circle. I would love to do a tutorial for you all about how I do my hair. If you are interested just leave a comment below!
4. I love to wear makeup during the duty day. I don’t wear a lot- just a bit of CC cream, bronzer, and concealer but this helps out in a big way when I am attending meetings throughout the day! Plus, I love my pulling out my makeup kit and applying the products. Check out my beauty routine for work here!
5. I “decorated” my cubicle. So, I didn’t go crazy with the decorations because I am in an environment where you don’t want to draw unnecessary attention to yourself. However, I did purchase I small bouquet of fake flowers, a neutral patterned desk planner, and a really pretty gold pencil/pen holder which I love. All these items take my desk from looking drab to feeling more like myself throughout the work day.
There you have it! These five steps I take make all the difference in the world to feeling more like myself during the duty day, staying within the Army’s regulations, and overall making me feel more confident throughout the day!
What do you think of these steps?! I would love to hear from you in the comments below!
Thank you SO much for stopping by Blush & Camo! Make sure you stop by tomorrow for a fashion post you won’t want to miss;)!