Clothes can be such a touchy subject for women. We all have our insecurities, our backgrounds, our limited budgets, our work environments, and personal tastes thrown into the mix. Maybe you, like several women who’ve emailed me, don’t even know what you like and for years you’ve tried to nail it down, all leading to frustrated dressing rooms and hours standing in front of your closet.
I would like to start by encouraging you. Yes, you fellow woman (and maybe some guys reading this who don’t know what to say when their wives or girlfriends ask “How do I look?”)
You are beautiful.
Period. We are all in different stages of our journey…some of us are growing babies in our bellies, nursing, working a lot of hours, trying to have children, dating, or stuck in a rut, but you know how I know that you are beautiful? Because God created you. He created round faces, long faces, tall bodies, short bodies, wider hips, narrower hips, blessed booties and not-so-blessed booties, flat chests, full chests, asymmetrical ears and pointed ears, crooked teeth, straight teeth, curly hair, straight hair, skin prone to breakouts, skin that is flawless, large hands, petite hands…
And He looks at you and says, “You are my perfect creation.”
I believe this is so important to grasp before talking about anything external, like getting dressed every day. We have to understand that clothes are just the cherry on top to a kind of beauty that is everlasting. And clothes, well, they come and go.
I grew up in a modest-conscious community, so my style tends to gravitate towards the covered-up look. There’s always somebody who would probably disagree! But I mostly like to keep my shoulders covered when it’s not extreme southern weather and wear shorts that cover my blessed behonka (translate: booty) well. I love neutrals and branch into the color world on occasion, but if you peeked at my closet it is a row of blues, grays, blacks, browns, and whites. I also like comfort and I hate ironing. I used to beg my younger sister to iron my wrinkly clothes for church and when I left for college it honestly took me 2 months to figure out how to survive without her.
When I got married and first began having children I regret that I didn’t put more effort into how I looked and dressed. Of course, my husband told me I was beautiful and of course, my kids didn’t know any different. But now that I’m a bit older I realize that how I dress and choose to take care of myself reflects the importance I place on others, and that our wardrobe is not necessarily all vanity, like I so naively thought. Dressing appropriately shows that we care. We care about the body God gave us, and the people He’s placed in our individual paths. Whether we like it or not/accept it or not, we send a message to people with the clothes we put on.
There is a lie that bigger closets are better, that more shoes are optimal, and every girl ought to be willing to splurge on a Madewell dress. That’s a myth. In my early twenties, I realized that you really only need a few staples to create a put-together look that is attractive, modest, and appropriate for staying at home or going out. All the time I hear women say that they don’t have the money, or they hate shopping, so they’ve given up on looking put together. And can I just say, I’ve been in that place. Goodwill was all we could afford sometimes. But you can do it! You can find your style in musty, thrift store clothing racks, just as much as you can find it in a J. Crew at the mall.
The point is, that you make an effort. The effort will translate differently on everybody and there will be some days where you’re cleaning the house all day, or moving, or feeling sick, or just trying to recover from nursing a baby all night, but get back up the next day.
Take a shower.
And get dressed.
P.S. I’m sharing a list of wardrobe essentials with links to purchase tomorrow. I’m keeping it around 15 items, because that’s about what I’m living on with this pregnancy and I think it’s totally doable. See you then!