Sunday, November 2, 2008

What Not To Wear, and Why We Should Care

Stacy begging, "Please, buy the best quality you can afford- not a lot of cheap things that don't work for us and that don't last. Please, Esther- accessorize to add punch to your wardrobe!"

Stacy wants you! to keep your body shape balanced! It is amazing to behold the miracle that occurs when you do!

Look at those shoes! And see how she's wearing brown, black and navy bracelets all at the same time? You can wear any neutrals together!

Stacy London has had a hard year. Her cat is sick, she turned 39 and isn't married and doesn't have kids, she quit smoking and gained weight so that her wardrobe didn't fit, and her boyfriend broke her heart. She confessed to coming home and (gasp!) wearing sweats!

Dear ones, even as I type, I am wearing my most comfortable, favorite sweat outfit. It's my black walking pants, my white tshirt and my red zipper hoodie. If I could own a zipper hoodie in every color and wear them daily, I would. You know I'm comfy right now. But here's the point: I feel cozy, but I don't feel my best. I think there's a time and a place for feeling cozy, but not all the time.

Why is it that when trouble strikes, the first thing we let go of is taking care of ourselves? Because we have a deeper confidence in ourselves than our appearances. We know that we are loved and are loving and sometimes we just don't have time to make sure we fix ourselves up before we fix others up. Recently, it was all I could do to not take Daniel to the ER in my flannel sock monkey pajamas. And it was a small miracle that I changed my pants barely before I walked out the door. But there have been times when I've gone to the closet and had 4 hours to get ready and to look my best and I don't know where to start. Not just because I don't fit into any of my clothes. Not just because I am not sure what to where and how to wear it. But because in my heart I feel as though there is a disconnect between my body and my soul. So I go with comfort and I go with cozy, but I know it isn't the best of looks for me, and I therefore come home and feel bad about myself so that the next time I go to my closet I start on the same cycle. And before you know it, I'm 39 too, and have no idea how to dress myself and feel good about myself.

We heard from women in the room who were recovering from breast cancer, who were post-partum, women who were beautiful and fun and smart, but who had lost themselves for one reason or another and who, though they were beautiful, just didn't feel it and believe it. They were women who had lost their style.

So here's the thing: It's not about fashion. It's about style and knowing myself well enough to show my style- not just in my words and actions, but also in my clothing and my hair. I'm not joking when I tell you that for about 15 years I've only owned dresses in black, navy blue and tan. And guess what color my accents are? Black and white, basically. When I've been feeling particularly perky sometimes I throw a splash of pink or green in there, but usually, I wear your basic neutrals and go about my business. And I do this for a few reasons: Because I don't know how to dress all the time to look the way I want to feel. And because I sometimes just don't feel up to dressing any other way.

So, Stacy had some good ideas on how to change this cycle in yourself. First you need to love yourself. We're all good enough, and our bodies should not be seperate from our minds and our hearts. Work with what you have and then go out and get what you need is what she says. Know yourself well enough to know what you want and need. As a preschool professional, the 6 inch heels that she was wearing are NOT practical.

What do you do about those blouses that just won't close around the girls? What should you do about the pants that fit great all over but are too long? YOU GO TO A TAILOR. It makes your clothes fit you right and makes you more comfortable in them.

Never buy an outfit without trying the items on. You must LOVE what you are buying. (OOooh! I hate this one, because nothing makes the body loathing come out stronger in me than going into a room with bad lighting and getting naked to find out the clothes don't fit. But apparently this eliminates the going home and discovering the same thing.)

When you do shop for clothes, shop for OUTFITS, not pieces. Then you always have a complete look instead of searching for something to wear with the item you just bought. (What????!! I have very rarely ever done this. I'm terrified of this idea, though it makes perfect sense. I vow to give it a go, Stacy!)

Set aside TIME to shop. It doesn't matter how often. But if you build time to shop into your schedule it wil help you avoid impulse shopping the day of or the day before an event. (Oh, wow. Another thing I've NEVER done. But I'm going to give it a try. Imagine actually enjoying getting ready, and not having panic every time I am going out.)

Finally, THERE IS NOTHING INDULGENT ABOUT TAKING TIME FOR YOURSELF. Feeling good about the way you look and what you wear shouldn't be a privilege; it's your right!

So who's with me with this? Let's really discover our style and allow ourselves to play up our best selves!

Stacy says, "Why not play up your positives?"

Diane, Kim and Stacy teaching me what TO wear! My idols!

2 comments: said...

stacy london is great.
and i agree with you one hundred percent about being comfortable, but not always casual.
i have about three colors in my wardrobe; black, red, and dark blue. i attempt to buy more colorful things, but the black dominates over eveything.

keep up the good blogging!

Sarah said...

Thanks for relaying those tips. I never buy complete outfits either, and I rarely wear accessories... I also hardly ever go clothes shopping (though the latter I'd like to change!) I'm going to give these a go next time I'm out!