Okay, he's technically not a man just yet, but when you stand face to face with Connor, you'd never know it. His deep voice, his six foot frame, his quick wit... It's hard to believe he hasn't even graduated high school yet. I'm pretty impressed, he's totally dialed in on a lot of things most adults haven't even figured out.
Connor has realized that hard work earns you money, which gives your independence. Something every 17 year old is dying for. He learned that a lack of hard work at school has a direct effect on getting into certain colleges. And he's learned that being a sharp dressed man gets you respect.
When Connor first started at Deering High School, he was focused on wearing shorts year round, hoodies and camo Crocs. I would cringe every morning as he walked out the door, saying, "people are going to think we don't care about you"! It took a few years, but now when Connor walks out the door in his slim fit button down oxford, chinos and boat shoes, I can't help but be a proud Step-Mama Bear. My little cub figured it out.
Once Connor finds a style he likes, I buy a TON of it in different colors and patterns. Luckily, Connor looks great in Old Navy oxfords and chinos, so we didn't have to break the bank. And, I bought him extra pieces, knowing half of them would go missing by mid-year. Boys will be boys.
Now, Connor can walk into any situation, knowing he looks as incredible on the outside, as he is on the inside. Putting your best foot forward and looking your best will make you feel like you can accomplish anything. Be a sharp dressed man. Get the respect you deserve. And for goodness sakes, do it on a budget.
*Photo Credit: Kimberly Paulin Howard