Monday, October 24, 2011

The Get Dressed Challenge

I found this challenge on a blog that I follow. I love what Sarah Mae is doing. To all those that I know who are "stay at home mom's" or "homemakers" like me, I encourage you to stop on by Sarah Mae's site, Like a Warm Cup of Coffee and read more about this challenge. Or you can click on the link button at left and it will take you to the first post about the challenge.

I didn't realize it, but I privately did this challenge roughly a year ago. I made it a goal to get up and dressed every day, even do my hair a bit and put on some make-up. It was then that I decided to start wearing dresses and/or skirts exclusively and to stop wearing jeans and "yoga" pants.

For me, my reason (or "why") was because I wanted to feel better about myself since feeling like a frumpy housewife wasn't doing any wonders for me. I've always liked wearing dresses and nice looking outfits, but for the most part I did so only on Sundays for church. I wondered what was stopping me from dressing that way all the time.  I suppose I thought that there was no real reason to "dress up". I was home all day, who'd notice or care? But I realized that I cared. I wanted a change, and I wanted it just for me, not to please anyone else-just myself.

At first, I did feel a little strange since I was unaccustomed to "dressing up" everyday. My friends and family probably thought I was crazy, I'm sure they wondered why I was dressy when everyone else was casual. And at first, I did notice that I was causing a bit of a stir wherever I went. I'd notice that people would look at me, watch me walk by, seemingly to be wondering to themselves about me. I found that women, total strangers, would stop me to ask if I was wearing something vintage or tell me just how cute I looked in that skirt! This was something of a surprise to me, somewhat unwelcome if I'm to be honest about it. I am more accustomed to go about my life unobtrusively.

I also found that my new commitment to dressing better took a bit of work. I did not own that many dresses or skirts, so it took lots of Goodwill hunting and on-sale shopping deals to supply me with enough suitable outfits.

I threw out nearly all my pairs of pants/jeans and let me tell you--I sure do not miss them. I do still have some, though, and I wear them when I need to get dirty in the garden or when I'm doing some other hard work but I reserve them for that purposed only.

There is just something about a dress (or a cute top/skirt combination) that makes a woman feel really good about herself. This is true for me. I feel beautiful. The way I've always felt about myself on the inside is now reflected on the outside.

Another upside to this is that I feel a little more appreciated by my husband. He has really appreciated and enjoyed the change in my dress code. My apologies if this shocks you--I even feel more sexy and feminine now, something that has made a positive impact of certain aspects of my marriage (I'll leave those aspects unnamed, I'm sure you can figure that one out.)

This personal dress code of mine has even brought the admiration of my sons. I find it delightful when I come home from a thrift store shopping trip, show off my purchases and my sons tell me how pretty the clothes are. There also is almost no describing how amazing it feels when, after getting dressed, putting my hair up and tossing on a bit of lipstick, one of my sons sees me and says, "You look really nice, Mom!"

Initially, I decided to dress more feminine simply because I wanted to. However, having seen the affect it has had on my entire family, there is no way I am going back to "casual Friday" all week long.