I’m trying to be more stylish lately. I’ve taken stock of my wardrobe & found it severly (painfully) lacking: Oh hai there boring black skirt and black sweater and white cotton t-shirt. Screw you, stupid black half-heeled sandals from literally 9 years ago. Yawn, maternity-shirt-that-I-cannot-for-the-life-of-me-stop-fucking-wearing.
In spite of the fact that ALL of those things still maintain a mention in my closet (oh for shame…) I have made a purposeful attempt at styling shit up a bit. What’s that? You wanna try? Of course you do! High fives all around!
1) Copy and Paste. Fer real, yo. That girl that always looks so damn put together in her profile picture? Pay attention to what parts of her style you find so interesting & find yourself something that looks like it. That chick at the grocery store you want to roundhouse kick because she looks like a million bucks while you look like a buck fifty? Follow her down the aisles for a bit (maintain appropriate stalker distance so as not to arouse suspicion) and see what she’s doing right. Maybe she has bobby pins holding her hair up cute while you’re rockin the mommy-staple-ponytail. Maybe she’s got jeans and a tshirt & some rockin cute heels on. Maybe she’s wearing a fucking belt! (mind. blown. Belts are where it’s at, who knew? She did.)
2) Practice Makes Perfect. If you like it, if it makes you feel good, you will look good while wearing it. Try it. If you see a shirt on the rack that screams at you, pick it up and try it on. Maybe it goes with nothing in your wardrobe, maybe you can’t think of a single place to wear it. But don’t you love it? Are you doing that spinny thing in the mirror? You know the one: side profile with one heel up, shoulder pulled forward, totally flirting with yourself in the mirror, followed by the slow turn to check out your butt, flipping your hair, pulling it into a sexy half-bun…no, just me? Hokay then… If you think you look good in it, you WILL look good, because it gives you confidence. Try it. Just try it. Baby steps.
3) Don’t Be Scared to Be Original. There really is no one in my circle of influence that likes vintage as much as I do. When I pick up a gramma-shirt I get the side eye and the “Oh Alicia….” And that’s ok. It’s better than ok, it’s me. What’s more? No one is going to steal the good stuff you’re picking out:)
4) You Have to Start Somewhere. I started here. (<- go read Mandy’s blog. You will die laughing, you will swoon over her cute kid, her hottie hubby, her hilarity & her swagger. You’re welcome.) I was really drawn to how this chick looked in her clothes and, more importantly, how I could really tell she felt good in what she was wearing. She’s a mom of a young girl and as such myself I never felt like I had time to care about what I wore. She, and her fellow readers & contributors, reminded me that it’s just as easy to throw on a cuter shirt and a kicky skirt as it is to blindly button a pair of mom jeans and toss on a concert T. And then I found myself borrowing inspiration from everywhere. Here. Here. Even here.
I have also put myself on a mission…and I’ve damn-near accomplished it too. I have committed to not buy anything new piece of clothing* from a retail store for an entire year. (*disclaimer: I buy underwear & bathing suits new. Cause? Ewww…) Since September 1, 2010, everything I’ve bought, save for the dress to my brother’s wedding, has been used. I’ve spent lots of time in the change rooms of Value Village, Priced Green & St. Vincent de Paul. I’ve had lots of near-misses and many more holy-crap-that-looks-fantastic-on-me-and-it’s-only-5-bucks moments. It’s a treasure trove if you have the time. Bring hand sanitizer.
PS? If you want to try thrift shopping & have no clue how to not get overwhelmed, read some great blog posts on the do’s and don’ts:
a) Mandy from Harper’s Happenings: High on Thrifting
b) Emily from Last Train to Pooksville: Thrifty is Nifty
So if you think you look frumpy, if you’re just not happy about how you look, if you want a not-so-drastic change…try a new outfit. Something a little out of the box. I don’t try to be “on” every day, some days I will just throw something on I don’t put much thought into and that’s perfectly fine. I just make sure I limit those days to few and far between.
Because it matters. It really does. When you’re a mom, you’re so focused on how your kids are doing, how they’re feeling, how you can help…start by flipping that back on yourself. How are YOU doing? How are YOU feeling? How can YOU help YOURSELF? The lessons of self-acceptance are way easier to teach when you’re practicing them yourself.