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These things we do

We're going to have to meander a bit in this post...and I hope you don't mind winding on a path a bit...

The Hump Day is around the corner and I've got fabulous topics from fabulous bloggers. You'll want to either rearrange your schedule or make one for these.

First, Emily R at Wheels on the Bus (creator of the very popular music hump day) hits a home run again with this suggestion for Wednesday, December 5: Making new friends and keeping the old...or, something we need to learn again and again.

Second, next week December 12 is from Maddy at Whitterer on Autism: personal pet peeves, we all have them, but I like the unique ones. Ones that other people don't share and most importantly, the why?


Sometimes, things slam into my mind with a startling burst of accuracy, other times they glide gracefully across my consciousness, slowly seeping through barriers, and gently whispering to me at appropriate moments. Sometimes, they are both.

Andrea's (garden of nna mmoy) post See and Be Seen, was both. It was a post that can reach across every type of person and dig deep into your interior, whether it is clean and well-lighted or dark and twisty, and shine a beacon of insight into who we are and why we do what we do with our exterior, especially our clothes.

She wrote:
No one is ever going to give you permission to dress the way you want (except me). No matter how young or thin or pretty you are. It has to be a right that you claim for yourself, not because you think you are pretty enough to earn the right to be looked at, but because you are smart and strong and good and interesting enough to earn the right to be yourself in every way.

But you should really go read the whole post. Because it's perfect.

That's why I awarded it the Perfect Post for November. (Click on Perfect or Post to go see the rest of the awardees.)

Congratulations, Andrea, and thanks for opening wide a door. I cleared out my closet. Really I did. I got rid of my "fat" and "I feel like crap" and "this is sensible and will last years" clothes. Things that don't flatter me much, fit any more or make me feel great. I sold some and donated the rest.

And I've been going to nice stores, good ones, boutiques. I've looked for good bargains on things I really like and that work for me. I bought stripy pants in fall shades, instead of practical tan chinos (which I will still always love, anyway). I bought trousers in dark olive green with an ivory pin stripe in a Kate Hepburn style. I added a fitted crepy ivory blouse that shines with hidden gold thread in certain light.

It's corny but I've decided I'm worth it...again.

That's a concept that expands beyond clothes, and it started a bit before the clothes, but it all works together. It's funny how I let the concept, the idea, into my interior before allowing it outward, too, on my exterior. Funny odd, not funny humorous.

I used to always dress for show. I felt a high sense of urgency to always look good, which was a struggle against my inner clothing slob and lack of fashionista tendencies. And yet, I worked at it, and somehow developed a style.

At my older stepbrother's wedding, his mother came up and gave me a hug and said, "Oh you look lovely, so unique and stylish, you always look so unique and stylish!" I was wearing a short A-line purple velvet dress with a filmy scarf pinned in front and tossed back over my shoulders. I had strappy high-heeled sandals. It was an outfit I threw together under less than ideal circumstances: my luggage got lost and the only store close enough, considering the limited time before the wedding, had slim pickings. I was self-conscious because it was such a bold, eye-catching outfit, and I knew I was already bold and eye-catching enough. That's why I usually went for understated and sedate, clean and simple, classic clothes.

Underneath my self-consciousness, a part of me liked the outfit and felt pride at pulling it together. But it took an outside opinion to let that loose.

Did that make my new fondness for the dress real? Or simply a reflection of another's approval?

How much of anything I do is due to me knowing what I want, versus aiming for the right reaction from others?

I let outside opinion matter too much, and therefore I often force it to matter too little. It's a precarious out of line imbalance.

Some people were surprised (and perhaps a little dismayed?) in some comments by my honesty to my husband's boss. He was not surprised or dismayed (except, perhaps, to confirm how important my husband is to me on Saturday). Although I presented the dialogue humorously, thus possibly making myself sound way too sassy, it was a good chat. He's a good person, and he opened the topic with me out of consideration. I responded to his honesty with my own, and we did it all in a jokey way so we could fall back on humor as a cushion for what might have been a difficult conversation...but wasn't. I could tell he cared what I thought, and he could tell I cared what he thought, but in the end, this wasn't something I could compromise on, and because I do compromise a lot, and my husband compromises a lot, we were working from a very reasonable position.

But I think this hardly matters to some people...some people who probably thought I was way out of line. Therefore, despite any admiration or envy for what I did, at the end of the day, they simply would not, could not. The reasons why bespeak a slight head shake at my reasons why I did. I crossed a boundary, stepped over a line...overstepped myself.

I do care about what people think, but sometimes not more than what I need. It is the sole characteristic that has saved me from being an utter suck-up and people pleaser.

So maybe sometimes I overstep a little from other points of view. I do my best to ensure that it's simply a traditional boundary I step over, and not a foot I step on.

Nevertheless, generally when you put the word "over" in front of any personal adjective or adverb it means you have stopped thinking more about others and begun thinking more of yourself. It means you are endeavoring to fulfill a personal need or agenda more than provide what someone else needs.

For some reason, this concept sounds nefarious---especially coming from a woman, since it's reinforced with us that we are here to "do" for others---and yet, it doesn't need to be. It might simply mean saying, "I'm sorry, really I am, but this event is too important to skip." It might just mean drawing a reasonable boundary, actually.

But it might be selfish. It's an easy line to cross.

Believe it or not, this concept can apply to clothes, too.

Overdressed. It might say I need you to see me, be impressed by me, know my worth and value...which in all likelihood we can both agree is greater than your own.

"Under" can do the opposite. Underdressed. It might say I am not worthy of your attention, of nice clothes, pretty things that flatter me.

At some point, I began underdressing too much, too often. I began thinking I was not worthy of nice clothes, or of looking attractive.

In part, I think it is because I thought I was not worthy of spending money on myself...since I was not earning money. Instead of pulling my fair weight income-wise (as I had always done, as I was taught I must do), I was staying home, raising kids, indulging my volunteer and writing passions. In fact, staying home is a privilege, although not a purely self-indulgent one. Not by a long-shot. It's largely selecting a life of service to others, a life of self-sacrifice, in which you often have little say or do for yourself.

Due, a little, to this, my sense of self-worth plummeted, falling farther and faster with my decreasing health and increasing weight, until I wore shapeless and colorless clothing.

It's not good to be a not-quite-youthful overweight woman in this society. People assume they know your character based on your looks, and older and overweight often mean a person not worthy in this society. Add colorless and shapeless clothing to this and my billboard message was clear: I don't think I'm worthy and neither should you.

And then I felt angry that I couldn't be seen, was overlooked, ignored.

Was a job the only path to self-worth? No. It's the most obvious but not the only. I found other paths, other interests and then I was doing me sorts of things, such as testifying at an EPA hearing.

A reporter there caught me after my testimony and asked what motivated me to speak up. Under the question was the same thread most women have when one stands up in the line of fire---at risk of an onslaught of attention: what possessed you to think you could and should do something this bold?

I replied that I believed this was a serious issue, one worth speaking up about, and that I thought I could do it and therefore should do I did. I put actions to words. (It didn't matter that I didn't have a Master's from Harvard School of Public Health or a law degree from Yale with an EPA pedigree, as gentlemen on either side of me did. I was an expert at being a citizen who lived in these polluted conditions.)

She nodded as if she knew what I meant, and you know? She might. Or she might think I'm an arrogant ass who gets above myself. I get that too.

In truth, I think on some level I do believe in me, at least for the most part. It is how I have lived the life that I have. I will believe strongly, fiercely, loyally in you, too.

At some point, though, I lost the faith.

Recently, I decided to believe in myself again, and do these sorts of things. As I did so, I also found the courage to begin dressing with confidence.

It's okay if you look at me. I will be wearing the clothes, they will not be wearing me. You will see a woman who---most of the time---believes she is, "smart and strong and good and interesting enough to earn the right to be [her]self in every way."

What about you?

Copyright 2007 Julie Pippert
Also blogging at:
Using My Words
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Anonymous said…
For me, the hardest part about making a clothing come-back is that I "let myself go" during my late thirties. I feel as though I'm coming to on the other side of a bridge. Clothing I liked before no longer seems appropriate and it's not made to fit my current (out-of-)shape anyway. Classic looks matronly. Bohemian looks weird.

And you just reminded me that I don't have an outfit for a party tomorrow night. Gah!
Gwen said…
I love to see over-weight, not-young women dressed well. I think it's a big, fat fuck-you to all the naysayers in the world. But I dress for me. Sometimes me wants to wear my jeans and camo tennies and sometimes my me wants to wear a hounds tooth pencil skirt and knee high black boots .... to take my kid to karate. But I have never skimped on my wardrobe, even as a stay at home mom. Not that I'm shopping at Neiman Marcus (let's try Old Navy, Target and yup, that about does it), but I'm very good, if you can say it that way, at making sure I love the clothes in my closet. Yay for me (?)

I dress for me. Usually. I have a party to go to next week (like sober briquette), and since it's for my husband's work and he works with all these young hipsters, I worry. I don't want to look suburban housewife and I don't want to look like I'm trying too hard. This post has inspired me to try just to look like me.
Mary Alice said…
I think that was beautifully said. I think it is important to dress well and to show pride in yourself. My mother always dressed well, despite the fact that we had little. She had few things but what she did have, she choose with the utmost care. I remember her applying lipstick every morning, digging down into the tube with a lip brush, making every last bit count. What I learned from my mother was that by taking pride in yourself, others take you seriously. You are less apt to be marginalized and more apt to make a difference.
Julie Pippert said…
SB, that's it, exactly. I let myself go in my mid to late 30s.

Since I got a correct health diagnosis, have been feeling a little better, have been exercising better and am *this close* to my GOAL WEIGHT (woohoo)...I crossed a bridge, too. I'm down almost 4 dress sizes.

But, my old clothes don't suit me any longer.

As to what style now, well, that's why I like the smaller shops. I have begun mixing classic with slightly funky.

GL finding the outfit. Get something gorgeous enough for you.


Gwen, amen. Yes, yay for you. IMHO. I love that you'll wear a hounds tooth pencil skirt and boots to karate. I wore the stripey pants and cropped jacket to shop yesterday.

And GL to you too on the outfit. Yes, just look like you.


Mary Alice, how perfectly put! Your mom had it going on. My sister has said for a long time that you never have to be afraid to get the good things for you. She intuitively knew what your mom did. How great your mom passed that message to you and good for you receiving it.
Suz said…
You don't need a "hump day hmmm." Your posts are always thought provoking and, today, about a topic dear to my heart....clothes.

Clothes have been difficult for me lately for several reasons.

First, I'm a size too large for many of my favorite stores and it's hard for me. It's like society telling me that my body is TOO BIG, NOT RIGHT and therefore doesn't deserve to look stylish, wear the best fabrics. I don't deserve to spend money on myself. It's hard and, well, it sucks.

Second, my "natural style" is a formal one. I love suits and tailored clothing, but little call to wear these clothes, especially as I work from home. You've shown me, though, that I need to find a way, a less formal style, but still a style, that works for me where I work.
thailandchani said…
Wow.. interesting topic. Many people might see me as "costuming" in the way you allude to here. You know, that we dress to make a statement to others. Maybe I am. Maybe not.

I have a very unusual style that on the surface looks kind of bohemian.. hippie.

It probably is more of a statement than I realize, even though when others comment it's usually some pleasant remark about how colorful it is.. or how unusual it is.

Funny I hadn't thought about it in this frame but perhaps I should. To me, it's just an affirmation of a way of life I've chosen. My value as a person isn't tied up in it at all. I would be the same person whether I was in these clothes or raggedy jeans.

At the Barbizon School I went to as a teenager, I remember one of the instructors saying we are all "walking advertisements".

I also remember being repulsed by such a concept.
Julie I heart you. And how you speak up for a woman's right to just be...herself.


PS: I don't want to offend == but I don't see how you overstepped any boundaries by simply telling your husband's boss the truth.
Anonymous said…
Thank you!
dharmamama said…
Oh, wow, I just wrote about the same thing! And Emily left a lovely comment. I am SO ready to change how I dress. It started about two years ago (you see how long it takes me to change) when I realized I was dressing *just like* a guy I lived with... TWENTY years ago! Seriously! T-shirts, jeans, shorts. In the winter, long t-shirts. And most of the t-shirts were XL. I am SO not an XL up top. I think I liked how they hid me. No more! But I went to a site, missus smarty pants, that's supposed to help find stylish clothing that fits your body type, and I got SO overwhelmed! What are my colors? What's my season? She recommends shoulder pads for my type. Seriously? And in the first link I clicked for clothing suggestions, it was a shirt for ONE HUNDRED AND TEN dollars. That's $110.00 I know, I know, you can find the same style cheaper, it's a suggested style, etc. and some of her other picks were more reasonable, but yikes! That was not a good start. I need baby steps, man. I haven't worn a bra in twenty years, and rarely any makeup. But I know I'm ready... well, almost ready... to change. I am a woman, it would be nice to dress so others could see that. blah. Maybe. Or I'll just keep hiding out.
alejna said…
Some excellent food for thought. I love to read about it when women make a stand. I need to learn more confidence in general.

I tend to underdress in daily life, I suppose. I'm just a casual dresser. I think in my case it's laziness, and a greater than average lack of concern about my appearance. Though I say that, and I also realize that this attitude is probably part of a construction I've made. At some point in my life, I started dressing to make myself less visible. Some of it was from taking public transportation in large cities, where attention drawn to looks is often negative. When I lived in Paris as a teenager, it was unsettling and even threatening to have strange men compliment me on my appearance. In the street. In the subway. Wherever. Likewise when I had a semester in Brazil in college.

When I started school again and taking public transportation, and walking around the city late at night, I found that dressing down made me feel safer. Not that I expect attention from strange men any more at this age, but people look less at a woman in plain baggy clothes and glasses.

I do like to dress up for special occasions. I feel like I'm in costume when I wear makeup and nice clothes.

But on a daily basis, I still tend to dress down. I'm in a field where it's the norm for women, too. It's part of my construction as an academic in a science discipline.

Sorry, I meant to leave a short comment along the lines of "yay you," but I rambled...See, you done went and provoked my thoughts.
Anonymous said…
I can't express enough how much I admire your ability to go full circle in these posts. Day after day you manage to present a complete thought here. It sounds trite, but I'm sure others who blog understand what I mean. Your posts re so fully fleshed out, as though each one was drafted and edited over weeks, not hours.

But I just want to say that the post gives me hope. Six weeks ago I sold and donated all of my maternity, too small, or too corporate clothing and have yet to replace a single item. Right now, I'm still deep in unworthiness. My first check from freelancing has yet to arrive, I've had no income for almost two years now. And my body has been wrecked from pregnancy and the surgery. I don't recognize it. I'm not ready to decorate it. Your post, however, presents the possibility that things can be different for me in the future. Perhaps that is still months or years away. Sometimes, the possibility for change is enough to keep us moving forward.

The Callipygian Chronicle
Unknown said…
Good for you, Julie! I love that quote and also what you said about wearing your clothes and them not wearing you.

I have gone up and down of the weight scale so much in the past few years that I have three full wardrobes in my closet! As a result, I too have felt unworthy of spending even MORE money on MORE clothes. But, I think I will take your advice (and borrow some of your confidence) to buy things I love and feel good about.

I have been so stuck in buying the "basics" to fill the many holes in my wardrobe each my weight changed, that I haven't really gone out and bought one of those, "must have because I love it" items.

Thanks for the boost!
Liv said…
This dialogue about wardrobing is interesting. I always sense that there is some bias against women of a certain small size bracket by the mainstream. Of course, the mainstream would accurately note that marketing propaganda shouts and touts the skinny girls. The skinny girls don't really have personal advocates. What is my point? I suppose it's just that I've worked my ass off to be able to wear beautiful clothes--
expensive and cheap. And it was because I wanted to, for me. The body was built on push ups, excruciatingly healthy eating and constant activity from yardwork to housework to plain working out. I love my wardrobe, and love that I am finally truly able to enjoy what I've earned.
Melissa said…
Lots of stuff to think about here...

I totally understand about losing the faith. That's why I started blogging. I need to prove to myself that I can do things again.

As for clothes...well I try. Some days are better than others. :)
Julie Pippert said…
Liv, I wonder why the dropping of shame and sense of empowerment for larger sized women implies a bias against smaller sized women.

Some of us are just bigger. I can work my ass off and starve myself and still never be an 8. I'm not built to an 8. I'm probably half a foot taller than most women, anyway.

So I've worked my hiney off (literally) through exercise and healthy eating and am a slightly-tight 9/10 and slightly-loose 12.

Ironically, the same size I was in college, when I was lighter on the scale than now.

I think my point was more to the concept of acceptance of the varying healthy sizes of women without bias in any particular direction.

And women, regardless of shape or size, feeling like they are worth it because of WHO they are, not what SIZE they are. KWIM?

Your comment totally encapsulated that, thanks.

That's it exactly, that idea of doing it for you, appreciating it, and enjoying your wardrobe.
Julie Pippert said…
Melissa, I am in an ancient dark blue cardigan with track pants. I never changed after my "run" this morning, largely because I am allegedly painting a bathroom. Blogging has been a big help.


Yolanda, thanks! Yes, have hope, please. It has been a three year journey for me, but one I am glad I took (though of course part of me wishes it hadn't been necessary).

Yep, stuck in basics is exactly where I ended up. That's okay. Sometimes, we need a little simplicity.

But I do enjoy starting to add a little on top of basics.


Alejna, that is me, too. I do have an inner slacker; I do not have an inner fashionista.

As my sister says, I'm east coast basic.

That's fine, that's me. But I can do basic with flare and joy, or basic in a more underdressed way.

Even more interesting is the point you make about costuming.

Dressing a part for work.

I wonder what makes it so important for us to have more or less a uniformity to our work clothes.


I've noticed my work clothes tend to be a little more masculine than is my norm.

I'm glad you rambled.


Dharmamama, I hear you about getting overwhelmed. That's why I like the boutiques. Small. The big stores snag me with displayed clothes that look great...on a mannequin. I think you should go with what feels good to you, KWIM?


Heidi, thanks. You know, I don't think I ever really have a day in which I don't feel some disapproval or that I have let someone down. I'm not really sure how much this gets to me. Some days, a lot, some days not at all. Depends on lots of factors. However, it is nice to hear that you think the conversation was fine.


Chani, I don't think your clothing is a statement, much less any sort of castigation. Not from what I know of you. I think you are wearing the clothing rather than the other way around.

It's a natural extension of who you are and what you believe. It is not aggressively done, although it might just very well be assertively done (and bravo for that).

I think in daily life we can tell the difference between natural exterior versus aggressive statement exterior.

This is why, "To me, it's just an affirmation of a way of life I've chosen. My value as a person isn't tied up in it at all. I would be the same person whether I was in these clothes or raggedy jeans."

Absolutely, and therein lies the very important distinction.
Julie Pippert said…

Just read my comment to you, Melissa!

Blogging has been a nice promotion of finding a positive niche for myself, my interests, my talents, and my desire for community.
It has NOT been a help in painting.

ALM said…
Wow. Guess this really does relate to my post, huh? I actually took the orange one out of the bag, and it just looked/felt so.... luxurious... that I was sold!
I tend to dress by my weight. If I'm feeling overweight its mostly jeans & big tops... skinny then more fitted stuff.
I also dress seasonally. I hate winter. Makes me blah. So I dress blah. In the summer it's more dresses, skirts, and fun stuff..
But. Ultimately. It comes back to weight and how I feel about myself - and I've been noticing that I've been dressing like crap lately. It's ridiculous, because nobody notices the extra 5 lbs but me... and I think that to feel good you have to make yourself feel good. Like if you make yourself smile you feel happy.
ALM said…
And, actually, I remember once saying to a very "fashionable" friend of mine that I have no "fashion." No style that I wear. Not preppy. Not hip. Not "mom." and she said "But you have your own style.". And as simple as that was... it really made me think. What I thought was just a throwing together of stuff... even t-shirts & jeans was thrown together in my way. I picked that shirt and those jeans... and that's my style... It was a deceptively powerful statement.
Maddy said…
A long time ago I would deliberately go out without wearing my glasses [or contacts] This wasn't vanity [well not always any rate] but a way of seeing people as a blur as it helped stop me from making snap judgments.

On a technical point - when I try and put your blog on my google reader is says that they is no 'feed.' Any ideas?

This is my calling card or link"Whittereronautism"until blogger comments get themselves sorted out.
flutter said…
that believing in yourself thing is tough, no?
Emily said…
Oh. I have this issue. I am home alone so much -- why bother? Just for a quick trip out to (insert something)? But, it starts to weigh on my self-image. I partly fixed it by having only casual comfy clothes in great colors, good glasses, and a good hair cut.
Since I'm about to move one of the things I have been dreading is the closet. I don't have that many clothes but I definately have more then I wear and I want to get rid of them. This post & Andrea's post is good moral support for the clothing monsters. It's interesting to me that the people who most pass judge on my atire are my family, and they know how to make it hurt. sigh. And just so you know I highly admire you for being so honest with your husband's boss.
storyteller said…
You've made so many excellent points I hardly know where to begin, but I'll choose two:
--the issue of whether or not the way we dress is designed to please ourselves or elicit the desired response from others
--the idea that you will be wearing the clothes rather than the clothes wearing you

Once we accept ourselves for who we are (just as we are) and discover what we like (and dislike) we're more likely to choose clothes we look good in AND that make us feel our best for our own reasons, regardless of what others think. Seems like that's an uphill struggle for many if not most women, but well worth the time, attention and energy required.
Hugs and blessings,
Unknown said…
I love this. You are right-- it's not the clothing- but the attitude. You go girl.
Gotta ask though, what do you think of women who wear hats?
More than for a special occasion and more than for warmth on a cold day?
jeanie said…
Wow - you are so hot this week with the topics, Julie. What I really need for my own mind a self image - something to chew on and find my own direction on.

I used to have my own unique style, and it changed with my development but remained "me".

Since having my child, losing (in several manners) her father and travelling through my 30s as a somewhat lost "who the heck am I" shell my identity has become more and more invisible - both to myself and to the world.

Do you know, I can identify the 10 items I have bought for myself in the last 3 years. Not one was full price, only 1 was a "yes" moment and it is getting harder and harder to create a non-tattered wardrobe out for the fatter and more introspective me...

Wow, what a downer - but you HAVE inspired, because it is a kick in the sarong (lol - it works from home!) to actually take a fully focussed look at what I am doing to myself and a chance to find my direction again.

I shall take great pleasure in archiving all the bits that don't make me feel great - I may be left with slim (yet fat) pickings BUT at least I will be able to see which holes to fill...
I absolutely LOVE this post! I think this happens to so many women, especially is insanely easy to justify spending on your children...but not yourself. I finally bought myself some nicer clothes earlier this year...and it felt nice..nice to think of myself...for ONCE! :)
S said…
I'm so glad to hear this, Julie. You are valuing yourself, as you should, as we all should.
That was a great post to award!! I also need to clean out my clothes and reorganize my closet and thoughts :)
Lisa said…
What a wonderful post Julie.

As I get older each year, I begin to take better care of "me." That includes clothes, hair, make-up, exercise, etc. (I'm getting there clothing wise but I've still got a long way to go. heehee)
Anonymous said…
Good for you!

How I dress and feel in my clothes has a lot to do with how I feel in my skin. After the birth of my second child I was the heaviest I had ever been and felt dumpy so I dressed dumpy. Once I started taking more time on my appearance the extra weight didn't bother me as much.

Lilly Slacker-moms-r-us
Cristina said…
I never really thought about clothes this way, but you are right. Clothes do make a statement about one's confidence level. I have been wearing lots of sweatpants lately, but when I recently wore a nice pair of slacks to an event, it DID make me feel better.

On another note, that is awesome that you testified at that hearing! I just read your other post about it. Wow. Good for you!
Sukhaloka said…
Same transition here. :). From Mom dressing me nicely as a kid, to wearnig old-fogey stuff till last year, and now onto stylish things that compliment my figure but are still comfortable.
I'm not a slave to convention - not in the least - but I like to look good and feel good! The fact that I can pull off anything I wear shows that I'm finally okay in my own skin.
Liv said…
Julie, Believe it or not, there are a lot of really snarky comments out there on the internet toward thin women...almost as if they somehow have to be vilified for being slender. Notice statements surrounding larger sizes such as "real women". Believe it or not, it's every bit as offensive to have it suggested that you are not a real woman as it is when more ample figured girls complain about media pressure to be small.
Magpie said…
Alas, I dress for comfort - physical and mental: jeans and a black shirt. I don't recognize myself otherwise.

Great post though - we are strong smart good women.
Lawyer Mama said…
Great post, Julie. And such an important topic to so many of us. I really think the first step to finding your own style is to be comfortable in your skin and that's really what it's all about, isn't it?
That means accepting how you are, not how you used to be or how you want to be. If you don't feel that comfort, then it helps to fake it for awhile by wearing things that you know work for your body type and getting accessories that speak to you.
But I guess first you do have to feel as if you're worth it. And I know sometimes that can be the hardest part!
Anonymous said…
Have you ever seen that show What Not To Wear? Preferably the English version with Trinny and Susannah.

This thing you speak about -

"At some point, I began underdressing too much, too often. I began thinking I was not worthy of nice clothes, or of looking attractive"

- it is more of a phenomenon I think. It is something that happens to a lot of women.

The truth is we all feel good when we're wearing an outfit we think we look good in. If we go around wearing outfits we think we look bad in all the time, it is only logical that our self esteem is going to take a dive as well. But we don't think of it that way. We think of it as "dressing comfortably" or "covering up the bits we don't like".

We can do comfortable without doing "I look bad in this" and we can cover up the bits we don't like while showing off the bits we do like.

That is something I have learned from that TV show I spoke about. It is a worthwhile thing to know.


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After being confronted with written evidence, Julie admits that she is a total attention whore. In some things, in some ways, sometimes I look outward for validation of my worth and existence. I admit it. It's my weak spot, my vanity spot . If you say I am clever, comment on a post, offer me an award, mention me on your blog, reply to a comment I left on your blog, or in any way flatter me as a writer...I am hopelessly, slavishly devoted to you. I will probably even add you to my blogroll just so everyone can see the list of all the cool kids who actually like me . The girl, she knows she is vain in this regard , but after much vanity discussion and navel-gazing , she has decided to love herself anyway, as she is (ironically) and will keep searching for (1) internal validation and (2) her first person . Until I reach a better point of self-actualization, though, may I just say that this week you people have been better than prozac and chocolate (together, with a side of whi

In defense of vanity...I think

Do you have one of those issues where you argue with yourself? Where you just aren't sure what you actually think because there are so many messages and opinions on the topic around you? I have more than one like this. However, there is one topic that has been struggling to the top of my mind recently: vanity and perceived vanity. Can vanity be a good thing? Vanity has historically been truly reviled. Vanity is number seven of the Seven Deadly Sins. It's the doppleganger of number seven on the Seven Holy Virtues list: humility. There are many moralistic tales of how vanity makes you evil and brings about a spectacular downfall. Consider the lady who bathed in the blood of virgins to maintain her youth. Google Borgia+vanity and find plenty. The Brothers Grimm and Disney got in on the act too. The Disney message seems to be: the truly beautiful don't need to be vain. They are just naturally eye-catchingly gorgeous. And they are all gorgeous. Show me the Reubenesque Pr

Is your name yours? How your name affects your success...

Made by Andrea Micheloni Not too long ago I read What's in a name? by Veronica Mitchell. She'd read the NPR/USA Today article, Blame it on your name , that shared new research results: "a preference for our own names and initials — the 'name-letter effect' — can have some negative consequences." Veronica's post and that article got me thinking about names, and their importance. Changing to my husband’s name and shedding my maiden name was no love lost for me. By the time we married, I’d have gladly married any other name just for a change. My maiden name was a trial; I was sick of spelling it, pronouncing it, explaining it, and dealing with the thoughtless rude comments about it. My sister and I dreamed and planned for the day we could shed that name. So I wonder, sometimes, whether I adequately considered what a name change would actually mean. Heritage and genealogy matter to me and my maiden name reflected a great deal of familial history. Histo