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'm an English teacher, a wife, a dog lover, a bibliophile, & a wanna-be fashionable mom. Well, I'm already a mom. Just trying to get the "fashionable" part going...