23 February 2010

Lacking inspiration

I'm a big advocate of putting on presentable clothes even if I'm going to be working from home or running basic errands. I end up very upset with myself when I don't.

Today... well today was one of those days where I really didn't want to. After nearly a week of inspiring, invigorating springlike temperatures, I woke up today to a persistent snowstorm, achy muscles from a vigorous workout last night, and a general lack of vim and/or vigor.

Great lead-in to my first ever outfit post, isn't it?

Green dolman top, Michael Kors (via Marshalls)
Green shadow-stripe tee, Urban Outfitters
Gap jeans, Housing Works
Frye Harness 12R boots, Century 21
Rough amethyst necklace, Metropolitan Museum Store
Longer amethyst and clear quartz necklace, gift from mum?
Green webbing belt, thrifted
Coffee mugs, Elan Pottery
Photo courtesy of my fabulous husband. Thanks, sweetie!

Forcing myself to get dressed, even just in jeans and a cute, comfy top (and, natch, making coffee) helped my mood immensely. Green and purple are one of my favorite color combinations: I'll explain how I discovered it soon!

I've talked a lot about how what you wear affects others' impression of you. Clothing is costume: we use it to create a persona that we project to the world. That's not news. What I haven't really spoken about is the internalizing of this effect. While it's very possible to feel utterly lousy about yourself while you're nicely dressed, I find it much easier to feel good about myself when I'm wearing something that I think flatters me and feels put together.

I'm not about to turn into a mascara-on-the-treadmill kind of girl, or even a FlyLady fanatic, but I think that wearing what I perceive of as "real" clothes (gym clothes aren't real clothes: nor are pajama pants) makes me feel better and even think better as well as look better. Yes, I find it easier to write when I'm wearing the sort of clothes I'd wear to an office or professional/academic conference than when I'm lounging around the house in sweats. I'm not entirely sure why, but I think the phenomenon deserves further examination and thought. I think it has less to do with the clothes and more to do with our perceptions of them.

Does what you wear affect your perception of yourself? Can an outfit you like make the difference between a grumpy mood and a good one - or being smart and effective or fuzzy-brained? Has putting on a pulled-together outfit, even when you didn't feel like it, ever saved the day for you?


  1. For nearly a year I've spent almost every.single.day. in sweats/yoga pants and a nursing tank or other form of loungewear. I actually dread having to "get dressed" because even wearing jeans puts me out of my elastic-waisted comfort zone. I need an intervention... badly.

  2. "THE WORLD IS NOT YOUR SLUMBER PARTY!" -- a quote from a fashion/cosmetics emssage board, when someone admitted to wearing yoga pants on an airline flight.

    My mood affects my clothes, most days -- there are days where I am happier and even feel prettier in the bummiest of clothes, and there are other days where it's tempting to go food shopping in an evening down and the highest of heels. I'm probably never going to be the girl that looks effortlessly put together on the most casual of days, but I balance that by knowing that I can rock a formal gown like few others. It evens out. I do sometimes wish I was better at the everyday, but then I remember how much I love my ripped jeans and my beaten-up boots, and I stop wishing.

  3. I definitely feel better when I make the effort to dress nicely. I work from home, so I can work in PJs all day if I want to. I started telling myself, "Just put on something that won't be embarrassing when the UPS guy comes." It's done wonders for my mood!


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