Feeling like a million dollars

We all have them, right? Those pieces of clothing, those accessories, that make us feel a million dollars?

I do.

I know if I wear certain items of clothing, I’m going to feel good and, when I feel good, everything feels better. I make the effort to get my ‘fabulousness’ on and I’m like Gru from Despicable Me, dancing to Happy….bouncing down the street, happy songs playing in my head…

One of my favourite ever items of clothing, which has sadly been lost, was a black cardigan from Laura Ashley (weird, because I hardly ever wear black). It fitted perfectly, had bead embroidery flowers, leaves and swirls across the top and down the front, near the buttons. They glittered when they caught the light. It made me feel wonderful every time I wore it. It was so comfortable, so perfectly girly, so perfectly delightful.

I felt like a film star every time I put it on.

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So – I wonder – why do I keep all the clothes that don’t make feel like a film star? [And, worse, why do I wear them if they don’t make me feel all kinds of fabulous?]

And why don’t I wear – more often – the clothes that do make me feel good? Why don’t I make the effort to dress up, to feel wonderful, to feel those all kinds of fabulous?

Why do I do this to myself?

[I know I’m not the only one that does this……why do we do this to ourselves?]

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Do we need to give ourselves reasons as to why we should start to dress up every day? How about….

– You deserve to look the best you can [and when you make the effort, you know you’ll feel so much better…so everything will seem better….then everything will become better….it’s a veritable virtuous circle of betterment!]

– Because you want to. [Deep down, you want to dress up. You want to feel fabulous. Why not honour those feelings? Especially when doing so will make you feel wonderful. Why deny yourself that? It’s weird that we don’t honour those feelings…totally counter-intuitive]

– Life is short. [Wear your best with pride! Who knows what might happen tomorrow? Be your best today! (How many platitudes?!!)]

– You’re never going to be as young as you are today ever again a.k.a. “If you’ve got it, flaunt it” [So what if you’re feeling ‘yuck’….get over yourself. Have a shower. Do your hair. Put some make-up on. Put your best clothes on. Accentuate the bits you love (so they stand out and the bits you don’t love don’t). Rock your body. Rock your life. You’ll be feeling old before you know it – who wants to get to the stage where they’re feeling old and then rue the days when you could have rocked skinny jeans and high heels?! (or whatever’s your own particular dream of fabulousness!)]

– You can never tell who you might run in to [I guarantee when I’m sweaty and dressed in my oldest, saggiest, jogging trousers, that’s the day I’ll run in to the person I’ve been trying to arrange a meeting with for months. It doesn’t take much effort to make sure I’m presentable at all times….make the effort…you never know who you’ll meet nor when. “Dress to impress”: its an adage because it’s true – first impressions count and we only get one chance to make a first impression].

– It’s fun! [You get to use all your best stuff…..and feel great…..double win!]

– It’ll help you build your confidence [Unsure you can wear it outside (that you can carry it off)? Try. You’ll be nervous at first but you’ll grow in to it, I guarantee it. You’ll have hunched shoulders, and a nervous face, walking out the door, but I guarantee you’ll sashay your way back home smiling your head off because you’ll have proven to yourself that you can wear something you thought you couldn’t. All women know there’s power in that!]

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I’m my own worst enemy, I have to admit it….I sometimes shower just before my daughter arrives home from nursery (at lunchtime). I sometimes go to the shops in running gear that should have been thrown away years ago. I’ve got a whole closet full of dresses I haven’t worn in over a year. I’ve purchased things thinking “I’ll wear this for so and so event” and when it came the event, I was feeling ‘yuck’ and didn’t wear it, and its been hanging there ever since. Unworn. Unloved.

On the weekends, if we don’t go out, I sometimes don’t change out of pyjamas (they’re so comfortable). My son called me out on this one the other day (which prompted my thinking about this issue)….

“Mama”, he said, “…you’re beautiful. Why don’t you act like it?”.

Oh. My. Goodness.

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For those of us who are Mamas, we all know that the non-verbal messages we send out to our children are so much more powerful than the words we choose to say to them and the verbal messages we give to them.

When we come to see our communication with them in this light, we see we’ve got a responsibility to them, really, to be the best we can…not only in terms of caring for them and being there for them and supporting them in everything they do, but also in terms of giving them a positive role model as to how we take care of ourselves and how much we appreciate ourselves.

How we feel about ourselves determines how we treat ourselves which converts in to how we present ourselves in front of them. Which, ultimately, has a great influence on how they, in turn, feel about how they should appreciate themselves and how they treat themselves.

If I’m telling my son, so strongly, non-verbally – through the way I dress, through the way I present myself to the world – that I don’t feel beautiful, and therefore don’t make the effort to present myself well, what will he learn (and, perhaps worse, what will my daughter learn) from me?

That their Mama doesn’t feel good about herself? That they don’t need to take pride in their appearance, that the way they present themselves doesn’t matter?

(My goodness, what a series of awful life lessons I’m sending out to them)

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They’re not lessons I ever want them to learn – and certainly not from me, their prime role model.

I’m their point of reference for everything.

I want them to see me feeling good, feeling beautiful.

I want to show them a good example in this regard.

Life sends us lessons and even small ones like this matter, and need to be learned from and acted upon….

It’s time to get your fabulousness on, Helen.

Time to get it on. Step up. Walk the walk. Walk the talk.

Get those dresses out the closet and on your body. 

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Who doesn’t want to sashay all the way home feeling like a million dollars?

I know I do.

And, more importantly, I want to teach my children that they deserve to sashay and so should sashay

[P.S. Can you tell I like the word sashay?!]

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20 thoughts on “Feeling like a million dollars

  1. Julie says:

    I’m totally guilty of sliding into lazy dressing when I’m working from home. And I really need to invest in some ‘fancy’ running clothes because seriously .. some days … I’m astonished that dared go out it my old stuff [I’ve enjoyed going to the shop in cold weather because my decent coat and hat hides a multitude!]. I also got tired of hearing myself – when watching fabulous female characters on TV – ‘I wish I had a job where I could dress like they do.’. The fact is – if I work at home I can really dress how I like! I need to remember that on days, like today where I’m head to toe in grey/black jersey. Have you heard of Kelly Rae Roberts’ ‘Wear your Joy’ project? Sounds like just what you’ve tapped into here. x

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    • iwillbloom says:

      Hia…don’t get me started on running clothes….mine are *truly* awful…..! I always wear a sparkly headband on my unruly/usually unwashed hair when I go running (thinking it hides, as you say, ‘a multitude of sins’ when, actually, it probably just looks really silly 😉 [I totally do the ‘I wish I could dress like they do’ thing *all the time*!!!]…haven’t heard of the ‘Wear your joy’ project….I’ll Google of it later…

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  2. Susan says:

    I love this post, Helen. So true! Why *do* I have drawers and a closet full of clothes I don’t wear? Why don’t I go out dressed in my best, or at least things that make me feel great? What an ouch from your son, but also an aha! From today on, let’s all strive to get our pretty on.

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  3. Lizelle says:

    I too love the word sashay. Those kiddos with their shocking revelations we didn’t notice they were noticing! I’m guilty too, I always think I’m saving it for some event then an event happens and in tuest fashion belly ache I’ve nothing to wear. I’m working on it though…

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    • iwillbloom says:

      It’s a *great* word, isn’t it?! I’m definitely consciously trying to not do the ‘save it for best’ thing…..every day *should* be ‘best’….!

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  4. Barbara says:

    Love your post, Helen! So true in so many ways – yet, being retired, I tend to dress more for comfort than for how I “feel”! Like today, it is after 9 am (I have been up for an hour doing my morning devotions; now checking e-mail, etc. before heading to the kitchen: to start the laundry and to eat breakfast); and I am “half way” dressed, if you call it “dressed”!! I have on my night shirt – very comfy and “cool”, but the temp is cool too!!; and a pair of jeans – mainly because I needed to wash the comfy pj bottoms I was wearing!

    Oh, well! I do get semi-dressed up for church – and next Sunday being Easter, have decided to wear my pretty black and white dress I bought for my granddaughter’s 16th b’day party – it was a black and white party; she was the only one wearing a “color” since she was the “special guest”!!! So, even though Easter should be more colorful, I am not going out to buy a new dress right now – can’t afford to anyway; but what does it matter?! I will feel great in my black and white!!

    BUT…I can just picture you in a beautiful dress – and a pair of heels (maybe even those gold wedgies! – all decked out for church or lunch with friends or just a shopping trip to town!! Rock on, my friend! Rock on!!

    Thanks for sharing!

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    • iwillbloom says:

      Oh, Barbara…..LOL about having taken your PJ bottoms off to wash them! What a wonderful idea for a party (your granddaughter the only one wearing colour!) How special! I’ll think of you wearing your black and white dress on Easter Sunday – how lovely!!

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  5. Sian says:

    Working from home means I hardly ever have the chance to dress the way I’d like to. I miss going into work all dressed up. I feel like I have lost out on years of beautiful outfits. I remember reading somewhere that Nigella Lawson combatted that feeling by making sure her underwear coordinated, even if she was writing in sweatpants!

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    • iwillbloom says:

      Hah! Typical Nigella! [Oh, if only I *had* coordinating underwear that I *could* wear!]….your lament about losing years of beautiful outfits made me somehow think of the Advanced Style blog – older ladies absolutely making the most of enjoying dressing up, every day, however they want….there’s hope for us all who feel we’ve lost years of dressing up opportunities!

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  6. carissajade says:

    This was a good reminder for me today. I often don’t get dressed for work, because I work on the radio and who cares what you look like? But I always feel so much better, and DO so much better when I feel good about the way I look. I need to remember this every day. I don’t have to get dressed for other people, I need to look good to feel good.

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  7. You “sashayed” through this post beautifully Helen! Lol!!

    I’ve been behind on catching up with my friends so I’ve been actually reading your previous posts and catching up too. Congrats on your 200th post – that’s awesome!!

    I’m totally guilty of the lazy dressing, but I think especially as Mom’s – it’s just too easy to put ourselves last. I think it often comes almost from not being lazy…but being caregivers of so many others. I do know I sure feel better when I do make the efforts on myself, though. I totally agree with you there.

    When I was working as a professional social worker I actually loved the process of needing to make effort on my appearance in the AM’s and having all of those professional clothes. I sort of miss that – but I don’t mind being in the in-between now. I do make a pretty decent effort most of the time, as I agree about wanting to send the right messages to my kiddos. Plus, it just does make me feel better about myself. So even if I often wear jeans now – I wear them with a pretty top, scarf, lovely earrings. It is all about the accessories you know DAHLING. Lol

    By the way – LOVE the photos you put along with the post. Perfect!! 😉
    xoxo

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  8. Oh my goodness I loved this! I’m on spring break this week from work so I’m doing laundry. I’m thinking, wow I have so many clothes! And yet I’m always in my leggings and gym shorts. lol. It’s true…I feel better running errands if I wear something fun. I’m always trying to save “my nice shirt”, “my nice candle”, “my nice lotion” for some futuristic glam glam day. Haha! I could totally wear fun and fabulous clothes today! Plus, some day, when I have children I want to model positive self-care too like you are saying. Also really liked your pictures. They added to the glitz 🙂

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    • iwillbloom says:

      Hia Heather…I’m wearing fun and fabulous clothes today and I feel *great*!!!!!!!! [I love the vintage piccies, too: think I might end up using this style a lot more!]….

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  9. Rachel G says:

    This is basically my exact clothing philosophy. We always worry to much about ‘wearing out’ or ‘ruining’ our best and awesome clothes–but I’ve decided that if clothing is ruined in the course of doing what it was made to do, that’s an honorable death. Plus–we CAN buy more if we seriously wear out ALL of our best clothes. I just saw a picture of my sister sitting on the floor, putting a friends’ table from IKEA together, while she was wearing a gorgeous red sheath dress with a sequined neckline. Now, I know she was dressed up because she went straight from church to helping our friend move into her new home, but the picture of her in that pretty dress, working hard, made me smile. We can wear cool clothes and work hard, too!

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    • iwillbloom says:

      Hia Rachel…indeed…we can buy more of what we like…and how are we going to know exactly what we like if we don’t use what we have?! (LOL about your ‘honourable death’ comment!)…Loved the image of your sister…beautiful, just beautiful!

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  10. Carrie Ann says:

    I just love that pic of Katherine Hepburn…always classy!! We should all just start our day with a pose like that. Loved this post too, and yes we should be wearing clothes that make us feel “all kinds of fabulous.” But I know myself, I would rather get things off my to do list then to take time for myself to do my hair, or iron something nice. I guess June Clever from Leave it to Beaver had the right idea…being a housewife and always dressing up, pearls and all. I have a baseball cap I put on when I have to run out to the store, and some really comfy sweat pants too, my daughter and I call them our “comfy pants” LOL. But you are right, I know those days that I do get myself together, I do feel much better…but it’s so easy to forget. 😦 It is time to feel all kinds of fabulous, and sashay all the livelong day!! (I like that word too). 🙂

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  11. Liz says:

    So, this post comes at perfect timing. I was JUST thinking about this. I am packing things up, for our move, and I just kept thinking…why do you buy these clothes, if you are not going to wear them? If you aren’t going to put in more of an effort than you do most days? THANK YOU for this…such a great boost, just when I needed it! xx ❤

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