Ugly clothes. We all have ugly clothes, only we call them comfy clothes. You know what they are, the baggy sweatpants and the two sizes too large, concert t-shirt in death pallor gray from 1995, the saggy butt jeans that you reserve for that one week a month, but are soon wearing every week of the month, because they are so comfortable. We wear these ugly clothes at home because nobody is going to see us and we want to be comfortable while cleaning the house or doing laundry. But somewhere along the way the line gets crossed. You need to run to the grocery store quick a minute for eggs for the chocolate chip cookie batter that you have already started. You are in your comfy clothes but you figure "I'll be quick, no one will see me" and nobody that you know does, this time. You make it back home unscathed, it wasn't so bad. The next thing you know you are getting all your groceries in your comfy clothes and the downward spiral begins.
I have a question for you though. If you were to stand in front of a three way mirror in the dressing room of your favorite clothing store in your comfy clothes how would you feel? My guess is that you wouldn't feel very pretty, or happy, or creative. What are those ugly/comfy clothes doing for you then?
These are the hard questions I started asking myself. This has been a month long light bulb moment starting with some dress shopping at our local Anthropologie store and calumniating with the train car photo above.
I stood in front of the 3-way mirror in the dressing room of the Anthropologie store in a teal floral, endlessly flattering, perfectly lady like, always ready for a party, dress. I felt beautiful. I twirled and paraded back and forth in front of that mirror like I had never worn a pretty party dress before. Maybe I hadn't, at least not one that made me feel like this.
My husband and I were getting ready to leave for a week long cruise and I really wanted a new dress to wear for one of the formal nights on the ship. I had found the one. As luck would have it, I found another as well, one that also made me feel pretty, and happened to be in the clearance room, that helped to justify the first one. Isn't it funny how we always have to justify everything to ourselves.
I had found a couple of cute skirts the weekend before for some of the other nights. As I started to pack I was excited to be wearing these new things. I put a lot of thought into my wardrobe for the trip. There were no ugly/comfy clothes in the suitcase.
The trip was great, each day going to my suitcase or the closet to decide what adorable ensemble I was going to wear.
Then we came home, all the cute clothes went in the laundry and out came the ugly clothes again. As that first week home went on I began to have a yearning for those cute new clothes. I liked how I felt in them, I liked how I looked in them. I didn't like how I felt in the ugly clothes.
Sunday morning, getting ready for church, I took the time to put on a cute outfit. Purple sweater dress, black leggings and tall black boots. Final touch, my long red and black plaid dress coat, very cute with the boots.
Driving to church by myself, my husband had to be there early for praise band practice, I saw this boxcar and knew I had to stop and use my iPhone to get a photo of it. I could picture the finished result in my head.
Standing in a muddy field in my red and black plaid coat and my long black boots was when the epiphany happened. I felt like a photographer, I felt creative, I didn't care that people were looking at me as they drove by on their way to church. I felt pretty. I wish somebody could have taken a photograph of me in that moment to document the transformation.