What Are You Wearing?

One of the first true signs of independence as a child is being able to dress yourself.  Picking out what you want to wear, not what someone else lays out for you.  It gives you a sense of freedom, pride and self expression from a very young age.  You have your own, very strong voice, at 4 years old, and it needs to come out.  If you want to wear a princess dress or superhero costume, a tie with a t-shirt, pajamas all day everyday then that is your prerogative.  No one judges you for it, or even thinks twice.  It’s too bad that doesn’t carry over into adulthood, but we’re pretty sure it would be frowned upon, or at the very least judged, if we walked into school pick up wearing pajamas.  

Growing up a dancer I have always loved being creative, whether that was through performing or through fashion.  I wasn’t a girlie girl, but loooooved playing make believe. I had a trunk full of dress up clothes, and was thrilled to eventually have a career where I could continue to play dress up everyday.  The clothes allowed me to become the different characters I was portraying. When not on stage, living in NY and LA I could spend hours wandering the streets, window shopping, scouting out local boutiques, sample sales, and people watching.  I’ve always been fascinated by the different styles that show up even within the same city.  From the East Village to the Upper East side in New York, and Silverlake to Malibu in Los Angeles, what became clear to me was that… what you wear really does affect your mood, attitude and how people perceive you. I hate to admit it and sometimes wish that wasn’t the case, but presentation matters.  We are all taught not to judge a book by it’s cover but honestly most of us still do… and what if that book felt better about itself based on its cover? 

Which brings me to my point.  When I lived in NY I dressed well, fashionable, mostly in black, sleek and very put together.  I was a working Broadway dancer, and I looked the part.  LA was more laid back and relaxed, so my style transformed too.  I felt most comfortable in jeans no matter where I was going, flip flops and a tank top.  Beachy, chill, surfer girl who doesn’t surf, vibe.  Then, upon moving to Columbus, I didn’t know what to wear.  I was pregnant, living in the burbs and trying to find my place among all the changes.  I got super comfy in big, baggy sweatpants and sweatshirts and honestly since I was now married and not trying to “make it in the business” I didn't really feel the need to dress to impress.  I’ll say it, I got lazy.  Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying if you wear sweatpants everyday you’re lazy and have given up, I’m just sharing my journey.  

Obviously if you have to get dressed for work everyday this is very different, but for me, a stay at home mom, dance teacher, gym owner, getting dressed doesn’t have to happen everyday. Now with a lot more of us working from home via zoom I’m sure you can relate. I could literally stay in pajamas all day long, or change from pjs to leggings and back to pjs.  For a while this is exactly what I did, and there are many days that I still do this, especially during the global pandemic.  However I’m beginning to realize that when I do this, I don’t always feel as good about myself and my self worth. I sometimes long to wear a power suit or dress up like a Hollywood celebrity but let’s be real…leggings or sweats, (although mine are no longer big and baggy, but rather cute and more jogger style, more on that later) are super comfortable and practical.  I go from getting the kids ready for school, to working out, to working on Need Want Wear Share, to teaching dance and back home.  I don’t need to get “dressed”, but I do have to admit that since starting this blog I have been dressing more and I definitely feel a mood shift when I do.  

My style these days is pretty simple, jeans and a sweater, or a cute top for nights out, timeless classic pieces that I can wear forever. I’m not into things that are super trendy, because at this point in my life I know what works for me, my body and lifestyle. It’s been an interesting social experiment to see how my mood changes with my clothes.  It sounds ridiculously simple, yet it’s amazing what a huge effect it has on me.  Putting on make-up, doing my hair, choosing an outfit, changing accessories etc…gives me a renewed sense of confidence.  We all like to look good, and it’s ok to do it solely for yourself. I lost sight of that somewhere between NY, LA, Columbus  and baby spit up.  It’s not to impress a guy, or other women, or to break into the biz, but just because it makes me feel good.  Our whole mantra is that motherhood should be more about balance…so take the time just for yourself, and get dressed more often, even if you have nowhere to go. I promise you will feel better about yourself if you do! When we feel good about ourselves we are happier, more confident, more productive, better friends, mothers and wives. So if you’re stuck in a sweatpants rut here’s your reminder, to get up, get dressed, get after it! Imagine you’re 4 years old again and wear what you want, just like Madonna says, express yourself! Be the cover of the book you would want to read!

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