Dressing Up

Last month, my friend Mary Ann and I were discussing how people dress to go to the stores (namely Walmart) or other public places. Many seem like they never bothered to get out of their pajamas or combed their hair. As we talked, I looked down at my yoga pants, tee shirt with a picture on it, and big sweater. Oops! We could have been talking about me. I don’t sleep in those things, but only I knew for sure. I felt embarrassed.

Hubby and I went to see our son for a few days before Christmas. He greeted us with nice slacks on, a nice pullover, dress shirt, and tie. “Where are you going?” we asked him. He said he’d noticed how teachers, sales clerks, and other people treated those who were dressed up versus those who wore cargo pants and tee shirts like he did. Those who dressed better were given much more respect than those who didn’t. So he expanded his wardrobe and started dressing more like an executive. In response, he’s received more respect and better service than he did when he dressed more casually. On top of that, he feels better about himself and is being a good role model for his sons.

As if that weren’t enough, I binge watched a bunch of old Perry Mason shows from the late 1950s and early 1960s on new year’s day. I occasionally watch the Donna Reed Show from the same time period. Back then, everyone dressed up to go anywhere outside their houses. They look so nice, and I love the look.

Since I’ve retired, I’ve adopted a very casual lifestyle. I got rid of a lot of my work clothes and replaced them with jeans and tee shirts and yoga pants and leggings. Forget putting on makeup everyday and taking it off at night, it’s too much effort. Comfort-and-laziness is the name of my style. I’ve reached a point where I don’t really care what I look like as long as I’m comfortable. Maybe that’s not good.

After our discussions and my son’s observations, I realize I may have carried my casual attitude too far. It’s fine to stay home in my leggings, tunics, and no makeup, but when I leave the house, I really should do more to look nicer. It doesn’t take that long to put on a little makeup and I must admit I look better with it on. Dressing in “office casual” clothes makes me feel a little better about myself and makes me stand a little taller since I don’t have anything to hide (namely my unmade-up face, my tee shirt with the evil stepmother from Cinderella on it). Nicer clothes make me feel more confident.

As this year’s resolution, I’ve decided to try to dress up more when I go out to run errands. I’ll attempt to look like I belong outside my house, although I doubt I reach the standards of the 1950s. I can be a good example to others while making myself feel more confident. Then as soon as I get back home, I can switch back to my comfy clothes and lazy lifestyle. This resolution means I’ll have to go shopping. Just a few things to round out the wardrobe. I’ll think of it as an incentive to do better in 2020.

3 Comments
  1. I hear you, girlfriend! I often wear the same shirt for 4 days in a row (hey! I see different people so no one notices!) This year one of my mantras is “make the most of what you have.” Since I’m left-brained, that meant I made a list of things I commit to doing each week (and a separate daily list) such as teeth whitening, mani and pedi (at home), etc. Maybe no one else will notice or care, but I will feel better about myself. When I feel better about myself, I become more open, cheerful, gracious, and kind to others. It’s a win!

  2. It is true. My boys have had some styles that some people aren’t crazy about but they always try to dress nice. One of my sons went through a stage of wanting longer hair. One Sunday, he wore a three piece suit. Somebody razzed him about his hair. One woman said, “You’re so worried about his hair that you didnt even notice what he is wearing.” He totally outdressed the person dogging his hair. Another one of my sons has his ears pierced, but he has a new haircut and dresses nice for church. I can tell he feels good about himself when he dresses up. I know I feel better too when I wear something nice and take a little time on myself. This was a good reminder. Thank you!

  3. This is a great resolution! It’s easy to slide into too casual when you work from home. Thanks for the reminder to “up my game.”

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