My parents were slightly confused, they were traveling to Puerto Rico from NYC, the flight attendant approached them and ask to see their boarding passes, “Mr. & Mrs. Ortiz, please follow me”. They thought they were in the correct seats. It was right there written clearly on their boarding passes. As they followed the flight attendant she re-assigned their seats…to First Class, but why?

As a child growing up in the projects, my parents always had pride of ownership, yet they owned nothing. Their apartment was something out of a magazine, they took great pride in their decor, and that spilled over to their appearance. With the little money they had, they loved to dress up and made sure we always looked presentable.

It didn’t matter if we were food shopping, having company or going to church on Sunday, we looked our best. My mom would send me to the hairdresser to get my hair washed and curled for Sundays, which is a practice I still do today!!! She would press all our clothes until I was grown enough to handle an iron and then it became my chore. I pressed bed sheets, my dad’s handkerchiefs, shirts, linens, everything was pressed!

So you see traveling on an airplane was a luxury for my parents, they wore their Sunday best, and because of it, the flight attendant moved them to first class. It was the appearance, not their bank account that warranted them a courtesy that otherwise, they could never afford.

Nowadays the idea of dressing up has become antiquated and nonexistent.

We have become so relaxed that it borderlines sloppy.

It has spilled over to our Sunday church, our workplace and day to day living. Back in the day, ripped jeans were either patched, cut into shorts or simply thrown away. Now the bigger the hole, the greater the fashion statement.

As a family that is building a brand in menswear, it’s interesting to observe the trend.

Dressing up and looking presentable lets the other person know that they matter and makes you feel good about yourself.

Looking presentable is a courtesy you are extending to them and yourself.

The other night I was celebrating a friend’s birthday at a restaurant that had live music and dancing. The gentlemen on the dance floor had suits and ties! Yes, for dancing! They showed up letting their dance partner know that this evening was significant.

Nowadays, we leave our dressing up for funerals, weddings, and some graduations. When did we become such a casual society? When did we decide that looking presentable is not necessary and that our sloppy attire is good enough?

What folks don’t seem to understand that within your attire speaks your character. How you present yourself is how you are letting the world know how to treat you. It’s unfortunate but true!

It’s not about fancy or expensive clothes, it’s about being presentable. Know this, that wherever you go, the moment you walk in, you are being judged by your appearance.

I remember when my son, Robert, was born. He must have been a month old. Robert and I went out to the mall, and I put Rob in a onesie. It was adorable, and I thought he looked cute. He was a MONTH OLD! During our time in the mall, we encountered the personal dresser of the POTUS at that time and another special friend. Each asked to see Rob and each time I pulled him out of the stroller my husband’s heart sank. He immediately whispered into my ear, “don’t ever take my son out not looking presentable”..I chuckled to myself, but immediately understood why. At his tender age of one-month-old, how we presented him mattered. I never did that again…

The casualness of life and its sloppiness has slipped into our everyday interactions, our conversations, our finances, and relationships. It’s more than how you present yourself, but how you live out your life. We have become a society of maybes, and I don’t know, instead of a firm yes and a firm no.

I would challenge anyone reading this blog to try to dress up, look presentable once or twice a week. Be firm and focused on how you live out your life.

Hey even wear your Sunday best on SUNDAY!


Think about how you show up and make them stare!

‘Til Tuesday

Originally published at


  • Annette Ortiz Mata

    Annette Ortiz Mata

    I am a proud Latina. I am Puerto Rican from The Bronx, NY (which makes me a United States Citizen - wink!) My experience being bi-coastal has brought a lot of range to my life and has expanded my vision on how Latinas are perceived on both coasts. With the desire to be informed, educated and entertained, I pursued a career in Communications. I am a graduate of USC Gould School of Law with a Masters in the Study of Law with a certification in Entertainment Law. I am passionate about the truth. I am a news junkie and love to learn something new — Blogger (writer) for Soul of a I am also the author of "Unpredictable Outcomes - Unmasking my Faith" - My hobbies are reading and singing and dancing...I love to laugh out loud. Married to a fantastic man and mother of two incredible sons. Annette Ortiz Mata