“I don’t understand how a woman can leave the house without fixing herself up a little – if only out of politeness. And then, you never know, maybe that’s the day she has a date with destiny. And it’s best to be as pretty as possible for destiny.” – Coco Chanel
A few Tuesdays ago, I spent a cozy morning hanging out at home with the kids, baking and wrapping gifts and generally making a mess. And then, suddenly, it was time for me to go to work.
I’d hastily pulled on a white tee and jeans that morning (a great foundation for many outfits) and for some reason I can’t fathom I didn’t put on my regular light makeup that morning. (I always wear makeup.) I grabbed a cardigan, changed my shoes, and headed out the door: no makeup, no jewelry.
My workplace is not a high-style place, and I looked fine for work. Except that I’d completely forgotten about a meeting I had that afternoon, with stylish professionals who had actually dressed for the day.
I didn’t have any cause for concern or embarrassment. But I did feel like I had missed the opportunity to wear something fun, something that made me happy–if only for an ordinary Tuesday. And that would have been true regardless of whether I’d spent all day at the office or home with my kids. I wasn’t dressed like I was ready to take on the world; I was dressed to get by. I want to do better than just get by.
It was such a little thing–my outfit, my meeting–but I resolved sitting there at the conference table to not let these everyday opportunities go to waste. Every day, I will do the things that tell my body I’m bringing my A-game: I’ll dab on some lipgloss and choose a pretty necklace. Even if I’m going nowhere.
(True story: when I came downstairs a few days later wearing an old tee and a tiny gold necklace, my son asked, “Where are you going, Mom?” I was going nowhere, but took that as a sure sign I’d been slumming it at home. Not any more.)
I know getting dressed in the morning–really getting dressed–inspires me to take on the day with a smile, so I’m just going to do it. Every day. I don’t need a reason or an excuse to look nice.
That picture at the top? That’s me on an ordinary Monday, dressed to hang out with the kids and go Targeting. It’s casual, but I tried: I took 2 minutes to do my makeup, I chose a new cheerful sweater, and I put on a necklace–and, for good measure, my grandma’s charm bracelet.
Because I’ve realized how much better I feel when I try.
How do you dress for the ordinary days? I’m dying to hear your thoughts. (Also I’d like to say that plenty of women don’t wear makeup on purpose and that’s great! Please know this is about personal routines and preferences, not a mandate.)