You guys. This might be my most seemingly-superficial post to date. Don’t judge me. (Or quit reading.)
This post is about clothes. That’s right. Clothes.
But I’ve been thinking a lot about clothes. I’ve been thinking about them because a few months ago, I bought this wild pair of leggings. They were quite a bit out of my comfort zone, but I really liked the pattern, and I really wanted to be able to wear them. And they were not expensive. So: why not?
At first I wore them a bit sparingly. I’m not usually a loud dresser.
Or, not lately.
But as the months have gone by, I’ve started wearing them more and more. And I’m buying a second pair. And when I wear them, I feel confident. Kind of like I can kick butt, actually.
I remember a couple of years out of college, when I was shopping for new shoes with my roommate. (I buy new shoes about every two or three years, so each trip is kind of a big deal.) She’s a great shopper – she has a good sense of style and is also budget-minded. And she’s very good at making decisions. So she had me try on these square-toed black boots (does this date me?). I hemmed and hawed over them for at least thirty minutes, walking up and down the aisles of DSW.
They just don’t exactly feel like me, I complained. Although I do like them a lot.
Buy them. You’ll grow into them, she counseled. I promise. As you wear them, they will start to feel ‘like you.’ You will grow into them and their personality.
Well, I ended up buying – and then absolutely loving – those boots. I got them resoled at least once because I couldn’t bear to stop wearing them. I think I had to retire the pair after four or five years. She was right.
And it was the same for these leggings. I grew into their personality, into the spunk they demanded from me when I wore them. And I loved that version of me.
In recent years, I’ve become a more and more conservative dresser. When I first left my job at Carnegie Hall (where every day I wore dresses, skirts, and pants from Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, and T J Maxx), I was ecstatic that I could wear t-shirts and jeans all day. All the drawers of casual clothes that had been collecting dust could get some love. I was comfy all the time.
I also had two babies during said years, so nothing ever fit quite right and it seemed impossible to keep my clothes clean between the milk stains and spit-up, the “washable” marker and peanut butter. At that point, I basically gave up on my wardrobe. I wore the same thing so many days in a row that I lost track and anything that wasn’t cotton was relegated to the back of the closet or given away.
I’m not sure if my confidence started to mirror my clothing choices or if my clothing choices mirrored my confidence.
But as I think about it now – there’s a definite connection.
I’ve always been someone who didn’t care much about clothes. At times, I’ve even had a pretty self-righteous attitude about it (who, me???). I wouldn’t ever spend that kind of money on a bag/shirt/dress/sweater. And I certainly don’t need more than one. I am saving my money for more important things.
And then came the leggings.
When I went through my grunge phase in early college or my psychedelic-shirt-phase in later college, it was because I wanted to say something about myself. I had sparkly “going-out” tops and I had plaid pants and I had preppy button-up shirts and blazers. And they all reflected different aspects of “me.” I had big earrings and I had toe rings.
I suppose – now that I think about it – my clothes have always reflected something I’ve wanted to express about myself. Maybe some characteristic that I wanted to believe in about myself, even when I didn’t feel it.
But It’s what’s on the inside that counts.
Who says that the outside can’t reflect some of the inside, too? Or even that what’s on the outside can’t influence a bit of what’s on the inside? Or bring out something buried deep beneath outer insecurity?
Like my leggings. Like that first pair of boots.
Somewhere along the way into early motherhood I guess I forgot about that. I got lost in sweatshirts and comfy jeans, and lazy in dressing up whenever I did go out (since usually it was a struggle just to get out the door anyway. AND I was always running late).
I’m obviously not going to advocate excessive or irresponsible spending on clothes, and in all honesty, my own habits will probably only change about 5%. But I recognize the value now. I’m a changed woman. I can – and will – be a good steward of my money and still buy things that make me feel good.
And feeling good is important. It’s important to wear clothes that make you feel good about yourself. Confident, self-assured, proud. Sassy, spunky, sexy.
So go buy yourself some wild leggings. Maybe they will change your life. 😉
This is in no way a promotion and I was not paid to write this. But the particular brand of leggings that I fell in love with can only purchased from a consultant. Click here to be taken to the page I use to purchase (you’ll need to request to join) or contact me below for more info! They are amazing!