Do Clothes Make the Mom?

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Fashion is not a big deal in our house.

As the only female in a house full of boys, I’ve come to accept — and even appreciate — the overwhelmingly blue stacks of laundry. I wander past the girls’ clothing sections in the mall and am thrilled that I don’t need to fight the battle of appropriate vs. inappropriate clothes. My boys throw on jeans (or shorts) and T-shirts pretty much every day and I am 100% completely fine with that.

Most days, my dress is pretty casual as well. Blue jeans are standard. Why would I wear anything else in my crazy, boy-centered life? True, I tend to dress them up a bit when I’m going out on the town (belt, nice shoes), but you’ll almost always find me in jeans. Except when I’m still wearing my jammies. There are some perks to the homeschool/freelance lifestyle!

But fellow freelancer and mother-of-many, Meagan Francis, made me re-think my stance. In her blog post, shopping, showers & self-sacrifice: the lesson of the blue dress, Meagan emphasizes the importance of self-care. Even moms deserve to feel great! And we rarely feel great in frumpy, ill-fitting clothes. Yes, our children are our first priority. And yes, if money is an issue, we’ll wear our shoes another season (or three) instead of denying our child a pair of shoes. Putting our needs consistently last, though, tends to make for an unhappy mama, and that’s not good for anyone.

I saw Meagan and her blue dress at the ASJA conference, and her post hit home precisely because I’d purchased a fabulous dress before heading to NYC. It was a designer dress in a figure-flattering shape and a pattern called, “Wonder Woman.” If ever there was a dress for me, I decided, this was it. It’s colors and shapes inspired me; the entire dress somehow seemed empowering.

So like Meagan, I dropped more than I typically do on a dress. But unlike Meagan, I didn’t wear my dress in New York. I have yet to wear it out of my bedroom.

Why?

I could tell you it’s because I haven’t found shoes and jewelry to match yet. And that’s true. After reading Meagan’s post, though, I realize there’s more to the story. After spending so much on a dress, I felt guilty about even considering shoes. After fading into the woodwork most of my life, I was afraid to wear such a bold dress to such a public event. I’d somehow gathered the courage to buy the dress — but not enough to wear it.

That’s going to change. I’m going to find some shoes. I’m going to buy some jewelry. And I’m going to wear that dress. Even moms of boys deserve to feel pretty.

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