Do you have a core wardrobe of clothes you love? Can you go to the closet and put together awesomeness any day of the week? You need this!
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About this time last fall, I had an epiphany. It wasn’t earth-shattering, but it was life-changing. I realized that I had let my appearance “go to pot” as they say, but even more importantly, I came to the understanding that I could do something about it. Not only could I give up my stained and outdated t-shirts, but I could also make myself look and feel put together every single day, no matter what my plans were.
Now you might be thinking, Why does one’s appearance matter? Why spend time and money fussing about something as silly as fashion?
That’s what I would tell myself. In fact I had a lot of reasons for staying in the rut I was in. But in the end, I realized that letting myself go and dressing frumpily had a direct impact on how I felt, how I acted, and how I treated other people.
It’s not as if I was walking around grouchy because I looked frumpy, but, I was distracted.
And since I work from home, teach my kids from home, and often have no reason to leave my home except for train drop-off and grocery shopping, I didn’t think it mattered. My activities (or lack thereof) certainly didn’t justify spending time and money on a wardrobe.
Or did they?
Why I Have a Core Wardrobe of Clothes I Love
In the last year since I started to fight the frump, I’ve realized that:
I’m prepared to leave the cave without needing to go clothes shopping.
In the past when a special event, or any event, rolled around, I would need to go shopping for appropriate clothes. Sure, I could putter around the house and shop at Walmart, but attend a wedding, visit relatives, go on a trip, or simply join a group like a Bible study? These things would require shopping.
Now that I’ve spent some time, and yes, some money, building a core wardrobe of clothes I love, I’m pretty much prepared for anything. Date nights are super fun because I know I’m looking my best, and I’m certainly less self-conscious about going to Bible study because I know I’m put together. A dress for my brother’s wedding? I’ve got several to choose from.
I’m better able to enjoy an experience when I’m not worried about my appearance.
Since I have this core wardrobe of clothes I love, I always have an outfit to wear that I know looks good and up-to-date. This means that I’m not wasting time worrying about my appearance. Call it vanity, but a bad hair day or feeling self-conscious about a ratty t-shirt meant that I was distracted from the conversation, dinner, or event I was attending. Now, I can focus and be more the person I want to be, rather than fixate on what I look like.
I enjoy feeling pretty.
Now, I know that I won’t win any beauty contests. I’ve got one eye smaller than the other, a pregnancy mask that hasn’t faded nine years postpartum, a few extra rolls around the middle, and plenty of sun-damaged skin from those 1980s of tanning with baby oil slicked across my skin.
But, now that my years of youthful, flawless skin and eating whatever I want without gaining weight have passed me by, I’m more in the mood to appreciate my strengths whatever they might be. Ahem, my hair. 😉
I’m not trying to be vain; rather I want to be thankful. Thankful and appreciative of the unique looks — and hair! — that God gave me. I enjoy feeling pretty, and I’m not going to apologize for that. A core wardrobe of clothes I love helps me do that.
I’m worth it.
Did I just say that? Yes, I did. For years I thought it was a mark of humility to ignore my appearance or spend nothing on clothing. Since I didn’t have an “important” job that required me to dress a certain way, I didn’t bother.
What I realized last year was that I have the best job in the world for me. To be the best ME I can be. If being THE BEST ME means feeling good about my appearance, then it’s worth the effort to rock it!
Sure, it took awhile for my kids to stop asking where I was going or who was coming over when I got dressed and did my hair and make-up. What I found was that this extra self-care was infectious. Everyone in the family started paying a little more attention to their clothes, and we all feel pretty good when we go places.
I no longer tell myself that my appearance doesn’t matter or that my daily occupations aren’t worth dressing well. Those are lies. How I feel about myself affects how I live my life, do my work, and love my people.
Just being me is worth having a core wardrobe of clothes I love, even if I build that wardrobe on a limited amount of money.
How I Built this Core Wardrobe
Last fall when I first started to fight the frump, I realized that while I could research current styles and figure this out on my own, I wasn’t going to succeed without help. I got professional help and it was one of the best things I ever did.
That “professional help” came in the form of the Style Challenges. I’ve now participated in four seasonal style challenges in which I rebuilt my core wardrobe, adding some classic pieces as well as trying some trends.
Over time, as I heard about new trends and how to style different pieces together, I’ve tried new things. I’ve learned that I love long cardigans, that boatneck tops do not work for me and my DD-cup, and that I just really am not crazy about ponchos. But vests and kimonos are growing on me!
Take the Fall Style Challenge!
The new seasonal GYPO Style Challenge is about to begin! For this Fall Style Challenge, I shopped my closet — now a core wardrobe of basics and up-to-date pieces — and found that aside from a few tops and shoes, I already had what I needed to look great this fall! Happy dance!
If you’re looking to fight the frump, or simply refresh your wardrobe, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND the GYPO Style Challenge. With the fall style challenge, you’ll get a shopping list (with store links) for a 27-piece wardrobe as well as 21+ days of outfits that mix and match those pieces. You also get access to a private Facebook group where you can ask questions and get feedback on how you’re styling the different pieces.
If you’re really hip with fashion, you may not need it. I was NEVER hip and always felt like a dork — until last fall. It was amazing how great I felt going to bible study, co-op, date night because I was put together and not ten years out of date.
Get the details here: https://vm235.isrefer.com/go/GYPO/fishmama/
There’s also a Fall Work Wear Capsule available if you need to dress a little more formal in your day-to-day.