Dress for your crazy, beautiful, complicated life

My guess is you are ridiculously busy. You’re so busy, in fact, I’m honored you’re taking the time to read this.

We are bombarded with messages to ‘simplify’ and ‘say no.’ But the truth is, I love this complicated life. Kids, parents, husband, friends, work, hobbies, I wouldn’t want to simplify one thing out of my life.

I just want to look good doing it all.

Dressing for your life can be a challenge when you’re life is full to the brim. We have to start by being completely honest about what our life includes. To that end, I would ask you to make a list of everything you do, everyday, for one week. Then sit back, look at that list and say ‘Dang! I am amazing.’

Because if you are caring for kids, working inside the home, working outside the home, volunteering, creating art, working out, entertaining friends and family, dealing with pets, making sure the fridge is stocked and keeping some sort or ornamental plant alive in a pot outside your front door, you are amazing.

So why don’t you have a closet full of clothes that work for your amazing, everyday life? A complex spell of advertising, body image issues and lack of respect for the work we do on any given day has bewitched us into buying impractical clothes. We open up a catalog, see a woman looking fabulous while vacationing in Rome and think, ‘great dress!’

But the truth is we are not, for the most part, spending our time vacationing in Rome. We are running the marathon days of our lives, getting everyone where they need to be, making sure our families are clothed and fed, and have maybe even brushed their hair. None of this is easy. Take grocery shopping. It’s a big job that takes planning, coordination and patience, yet it isn’t even considered work, it’s just something mom does. You would never open up a catalog and see a picture of a woman grocery shopping in the perfect ensemble.

I hope that this post will help you do two things; 1. Appreciate just how much you do on this earth. 2. Allow yourself to take the time and energy to look great while doing it all.

I have created a planner for you to download here. Dress for your life

I ask that you write down everything you do, and think about what you would ideally be wearing for it. Really think about everything you do, because if you leave something off the list, you may be stuck doing it in old and ratty clothes. Depending on the level of craziness in your life, you may need to print more than one copy of each page.

Did I say craziness? I meant richness.

There may be some activities for which you really don’t know what you want to wear. That’s OK. We’ll talk in a future post about how to figure out what you want to wear on any given occasion.

Beware the tendency is to dress poorly for anything that might get you dirty, or expose you to inclement weather. We think, ‘Oh, I have to work in the garden when I get back from the store, then cook dinner. I’ll just wear this ratty old shirt and stained jeans.’ Thus we are spending the entire day looking awful, and wonder why we don’t have the style of other women.

Is there any reason we can’t do chores in attractive clothes that hang well on our body? Cute ensembles can be washed just as easily as ratty old clothes.

The next thing I’d like you to do is keep an eye out for women who are dressed stylishly and appropriately for what they are doing.

I’ll never forget the time I saw a woman wear Hudson mud boots and an adorable rain jacket to her daughter’s swim lessons, so that when she was washing her daughter’s hair in the shower after the lesson she didn’t get soaking wet. Brilliant! I, of course, was wearing ratty old clothes, because I was going to get wet when I washed my daughter’s hair in the shower…

This work is the very foundation of the beautiful wardrobe you will build. Take these worksheets to a coffee shop, or print out a few copies and do them with a girl friend over a glass of wine or cup of tea. Have fun celebrating all you do, and planning how fabulous you will look while doing it.

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