Going back a few years for this story... but I've been thinking about it lately.
Back when I was getting married, I went with my mother to pick her dress. It was really pretty, with a cream lace top and latte colored skirt. As it often goes, they didn't have her size. We picked it out based on the sample, but when it came in, ONE WEEK BEFORE THE WEDDING, it fit differently than we thought it would. It was low cut-- nothing scandalous, really, but definitely not what mom would have picked. The woman who worked there told my mom to "embrace her womanly figure." I saw my mom's face when she said that... not gonna happen.
I'm not great at confrontation, but when I'm advocating for someone I love, I can do it. While my mom got changed back into her regular clothes, I took the saleswoman aside. I told her, "My mother is an elementary school principal. She doesn't want cleavage on her daughter's wedding day. If you don't fix this, we're going to leave here, get in the car, & go to Boston to find another dress."
That did the trick. They got the dress company to overnight more lace to the store & remade the dress. It looked awesome.
The moral I've recently discovered to this story? Embrace you. You'll never be able to truly pull off something just because someone tells you to. It doesn't matter if something is expensive or "in," if you're not going to feel right in it, don't wear it. For me, that means no cold shoulders and camouflage clothing. No cold shoulders because I'm always cold. Why would I wear clothing that promised I'd be cold? No camo because I've always disliked camo. I'm not going to allow trends to change my feelings about camo. I'll never look good in clothing that genuinely isn't me. What are you unwilling to "embrace"?
And I wanted to share some of my favorite smells of fall. I've smelled all of the Yankee Candle scents here, & it's a split between MacIntosh & Autumn Leaves for my fall favorites. I've smelled most of the Gilt candles here & they're also lovely. I just thought it would be fun to add them here because I'm feeling very Autumn-ish on this first day of fall....
And it candles don't get you feeling fall-y enough, Starbucks' Maple Pecan latte will put you over the edge. Seriously. I have a new favorite latte.
I started this project near the end of the summer, and in my line of work, that's a great time to make a change. I started back to work (I teach high school English) last week, and each day, I tried to stick to my goal of thinking about what I was wearing, putting a little time into it, and choosing things that made me feel good. Each day at work, at least one person has complimented me on my outfit or accessories.
Once I noticed this trend, I found myself feeling a little vain. Why did I care what other people thought about how I looked? You're not supposed to let other people determine your self esteem, right? So here I was, apparently accomplishing what I sent out to do, and feeling oddly guilty about it.
Then, yesterday, I saw a student I taught last year (who was used to my old "style"). She told me, in typical high-school-speak, that I was "rocking it [my outfit]," and that compliment shifted my thinking. My school is the place where 1000 kids go every day. If you head out of the house looking scruffy and unkempt, it says something to the people you see when you get where you're going. When you look like you spent some time preparing to go somewhere, you say that you care about where you're going, and when people compliment you, they're telling you that they get that you care.
I think that we all get that at some level. That's why we all spent lots of time getting ready for dates. Somehow, though, we lose sight of that and go into outfit-survival-mode: Is it clean? Does it fit? I'm putting it on.
I'm definitely done with that thinking. I'd prefer to think that I'm letting my students and colleagues (and family and friends) know that I care when I'm getting ready to spend time with them. And I won't feel guilty or vain if they compliment me. I'll just smile and say thanks.
I never really thought of ordering clothing from Amazon until recently, but I've been super-lucky with my last few purchases. Cute stuff at fantastic prices (the advantage of Amazon taking over the world is that they have so many customers things can be sold for cheaper prices-- check out what's happening with Whole Foods' prices since Amazon bought it!). Still figuring out how to narrow down my searches and learning that it's important to read reviews! I got one shirt that showed up with holes in the seams... but I've also had some big hits. Anyone have advice for how to find great stuff from the great big world of Amazon?
Two great buys I've recently gotten from Amazon:
And some cool stuff I'm looking at...
I'm so grateful to have you here with me. I LOVE being a mom, but I'm trying to still be "me" while being a mom, & this blog has been a tool for me to figure that out. Hopefully it's that for you, as well. I look forward to hearing from you so that I can make this blog meaningful for you. Thanks for being here!