“Dressing to impress” might be a pretty out-of-date phrase, other than maybe for job interviews or blind dates. But think about the word “impress” – it means to create an impression, yes? And no matter how you decide to present yourself to the world, you are creating an impression. Even if you downplay everything and try to look invisible, that tells the world “I’m trying to look invisible.” You actually are not invisible…unless you are, in which case I hope you’re using that superpower to do something more subversive than shop for groceries.
Lots of people are judging you based on your appearance, and most of them won’t admit it. I’m not only admitting it, I’m here to offer you a handy reference list so you will no longer have to guess! Views expressed here are my own and may not reflect the views of WordPress or society at large, although they probably should.
The bad, the borderline, and the truly unacceptable:
1) Stained, baggy, “comfortable” sweats or jeans: Like it or not, this always says “I don’t care.” And sometimes, it’s okay not to care! You’re sick, your kids are sick, your dog is sick, you’re in the middle of a move or a divorce or a major landscaping project. Shit happens, and you sincerely do not care – the errands aren’t going to run themselves, even in the middle of a crisis or a project. As long as it’s only for emergencies, you get a pass on this one.
2) CHRONIC stained, baggy, “comfortable” sweats or jeans: When this becomes a habit, it makes me sad. It makes you sad too. I know you’re about more than your clothes, but do you really feel excited about life in that ensemble? Confident? Dynamic? Sexy? Cute? If you said “yes,” would you feel the same way if you ran into your high school sweetheart? Your boss? A TV news crew? That smug neighbor who does everything with Martha-Stewart-level perfection?
3) Workout gear: Again, this is based on the situation. If you need to pick up some vitamin water or vegan cupcakes or a case of beer on the way home from spinning class, I understand. You don’t have to go home and change into shopping clothes first. But if you’re purposely gearing up in Lululemon to meet friends for lunch without going anywhere near a yoga studio, I object. Yes, it’s comfortable. No, it’s not fashion.
4) Stretchy leggings & a big shirt: This also makes me sad. It tells me that you think you’re fat and nothing fits you properly, so you might as well be comfortable. I don’t care how big you are, it’s not true. There are clothes out there in all kinds of styles that fit all kinds of sizes. Sassy tights with a stylish tunic and boots, is one thing – stretchy pants with sneakers and a big shirt just says “I give up.” Don’t give up. You’re better than that.
5) Pajamas in public: the only way to excuse this lack of self-respect is if a) you are en route to the emergency room or b) you are under age 4. I know you think you look super cute in your Nick & Nora flannel pants and that you are telling all the other shoppers that you’re just too cool to care about putting clothes on. You don’t, and you’re not. Grow up. Put some clothes on.
6) Too tight, too short, too high: Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for dressing sexy when the situation calls for it. Date night, looking-for-a-date night, Girls Night Out, Lunch with Ryan Gosling, whenever you need to look hot. It’s the “too” part that equals trouble: if you’re tugging at your hemline, adjusting your bra strap, and limping in your 6” stilettos, that is Not Hot. It doesn’t fit and you don’t feel good. Size up in the dress and inch down in the shoe; I promise you’ll still be sexy. MORE sexy, in fact, because you’ll be dazzling the room with your confident smile instead of worrying about whether your Tuesday panties are showing on a Friday night.
I know what you’re thinking: I’m a very judgmental person and I hate every outfit I’ve ever seen. You’re only half right – I’ve seen LOTS of outfits that I don’t hate, in fact many of them positively tickle me silly! But I’m out of time and space for today, so you’ll just have to wait for my next post. I promise not to make you wait too long, and I promise you have probably already made my “Fashion Do’s” list. Here’s a hint: Yoda was wrong, there IS a try…
And as always, bonus points for accessorizing ANY ensemble with Planet Pinup hair accessories 😉
Stay pretty, my friends.