- She buys cheap stuff.
- She buys without a plan or goal in mind.
- She thinks she can only afford ugly stuff.
- She's been overweight for years, and, although she hates to admit it, doesn't really think she deserves nice stuff.
- She's on a budget, so she can't buy all the stuff she really wants.
- She's a stay at home mom, and to her, somehow her daily schedule of laundry, dishes and getting puked on doesn't quite warrant a sexy pair of jeans.
- Here comes the big one: Even if she thought her day DID warrant a sexy pair of jeans, she questions if she could possibly look sexy in them.
- She's lost 37 pounds in the last four months, has another 90 to go until her goal is met, and doesn't feel like buying tons of stuff before then.
Low self-esteem? Check. Low budget? Check. Closet full of clearance rack business attire from my working days and maternity t-shirts from the more recent days? Check. Plus sized jeans that I took in myself because I lost almost 40 pounds and am too cheap to go buy a pair that actually fits? Check. Zero jewelry? Check.
Obviously, I've got a problem. It's a clothes problem. It's a mirror problem. It's an me problem.
But like the majority of problems, thank God, there's a solution. Or, in this case, many small solutions. Really, what better time to start revamping my closet and finding my style than when I'm 1/3 of the way towards my goal weight? Now is the time for change.
Which is why I couldn't have been more thrilled when my good friend Jenna wrote a post TO ME about MY wardrobe and how to revamp it. I mean yes, she posted it on her blog and other people will undoubtedly read it and be changed for life, but let's be honest, it was written to ME. My name is in it and everything.
A few notes about Jenna and I: We met because we both blog about food. She, about Paleo living, and I, about the importance and benefits of cooking for your family at home, formed a coalition of sorts when we blogged together for a time. (and it was a good partnership, wasn't it Jenna?) Also important to note: Jenna and I could not be more different. She is petite, 5' 5'', gorgeous, has a boyfriend, dresses impeccably, and has a little bit of a potty mouth when she gets excited. (It's true.) I am, um, not petite, 5'11'', pretty, have a husband and two kids, I dress like I'm embarrassed of my body, and I use words like "merciful heavens" and "frickin' frackin'" when I get excited. (It's true.) Despite our differences, though, we've got a mutual respect for one another that is priceless, and she knows I'll always be an avid reader of The Paleo Project. It's a great thing we've got going.
Which is why I studied the post she wrote in response to my question: "So, I hate my wardrobe. I don’t have the money to revamp the whole thing at once- what are some good tips to boost my style-points without busting the bank?"
Some people would be totally freaked by this question. Some people would skip over it and pretend they never got the email. Some people would give a half-baked answer like "buy a belt" and call it good. Jenna is not "some people". Nuh uh. Jenna is fearless. Jenna is dedicated. And, you guys, Jenna is brilliant. In a post dedicated to me and my troubles, (I am just so blown away that my name is on her blog!), she spelled out to me exactly what I need to know to slowly transform my closet into something to be proud of.
What I learned from Jenna and discovered in myself along the way:
- I need to stop being so hard on myself. I mean really, I've lost almost 40 pounds. I started running. RUNNING. Yeah, be impressed, because it's impressive. I'm well on my way to looking like how I feel: healthy, vibrant and alive. I'm pretty much awesome.
- Because I'm awesome, I deserve to look awesome.
- I don't have to spend a million dollars on a wardrobe. I do have to shop with a plan in mind, though. No more going to the store and buying whatever fits off the clearance rack. For example, I need a blazer. So, when the money is there, I'm going to go to the mall, and I'm going to buy a frickin' frackin' blazer. I'm not going to buy the first one I find, I'm not going to to buy a t-shirt instead because it's cheap. I'm going to find a blazer that looks good on me, that makes me feel good, that is of quality craftsmanship and construction so it lasts, and that would make Jenna proud. Why? Because I deserve it, that's why. And then? Then I'm going to save up for a pair of jeans. And then a pair of boots. It might take me 5 years, but I'm going to be proud of my wardrobe.
- I can wear jewelry. Now, you guys, this is a scary thing for me. I feel dumb in jewelry. It makes me feel like I've got a sign on me that says, "hey, look at me!" Up until today, the last thing I wanted was for people to look at me. No more of that. Yes, look at me, I'm empowered and beautiful.
- It's not rocket science. It's not difficult to build a wardrobe you like. Have a plan. Know the basics. Be creative. Then wake up in the morning excited to wear your clothes because they're awesome.
Today was the day I realized I'm worth the effort.