20 years ago, I was climbing the corporate ladder in my well-tailored business suit and killer high heeled pumps. I left the workplace to go home and raise my children, one of the best decisions that I have ever made. Being home full-time, my once strong conviction for always looking my best began to be overtaken by my logic of “why bother getting out of these pajamas”. This ultra-comfort and ease attitude began to creep into my fashion sense, even when I left the house.
The years went by. I hated seeing pictures of myself. The photos were rude and unkind. I was in denial but the photos told the truth. Finally, I began to wake up. I walked across the room and caught an image of a woman in the full-length mirror. Who is that? I looked at my clothes hanging nearby. I had accumulated a collection of over-sized sweaters, men’s t shirts, baggy shapeless jeans and a few pairs of unattractive sensible shoes. Thankfully, my husband had been placed under a blissful spell and hadn’t even noticed that his once sexy wife had gone away. Maybe he thought that she was on a business trip or had gone to visit her Mother. Maybe he thought that tent woman was my temporary replacement. You know, like the show where the wives trade places. I realized that I needed to make some changes.
Now, I may want to look my best but I don’t love spending tons of time to get there. I have come to realize that it takes exactly, and by exactly, I mean exactly the same time and effort to get dressed, even if I choose well-fitting garments. My closet doesn’t contain a lot of clothes but the clothes I now have, I absolutely adore and if I don’t adore it, I don’t buy it. I now buy t shirts that are made for women and they are sized for my body. I find blouses and sweaters that come in at the smallest part of my waist. I try on jeans until I find one that actually hugs my female curves. I have dresses to wear for those special occasions that arise and I have always loved high heels, so I began wearing them again. Presto – with these minor changes, I instantly looked like I came to play the game of life, not just watch from the sidelines and even more important – I felt like I could play and win.
The real confirmation came one evening when I was attending a weekly meeting where I volunteered for a community service organization. One of the volunteers asked “why are you so dressed up?” Are you imagining that I had pulled out one of my business suits and a pair of pumps? No, I was wearing a well-fitting sweater and jeans with boots. That’s it! Oh yes, I had showered, dried my hair and put mascara and lip gloss on too.
I want to encourage you – if you are looking as though you have given up and are just sitting on the sidelines, invest in you and put a little effort in and give yourself the gift of confidence. Your smiling self will feel fantastic. Confidence allows you to reach out to other human beings. Reach out and be a blessing to someone – there is no better feeling.