Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Photo - Heart Connection ~ March

The thing I love best about the Photo - Heart Connection process is that you really have no idea what is doing to be "the" photo until you get to the end of the month and reflect back. I thought for sure mine this month would be from our cruise, one of the beautiful photos I shot inside one of the churches on Jamaica. Instead it is this photo, that created an epiphany moment and a story.


Ugly Clothes

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.



27 comments:

  1. Fantastic epiphany moment! I wish someone had a taken a photo of you too, though your words have created such a beautiful picture you don't really need it. I know what you mean about comfy clothes. I have an ongoing dialogue with myself about making the effort vs wearing-jeans-because-I'll-probably-want-to lie-on-the-ground-and-photograph-something-anyway. I am getting a bit better but still lots of room for improvement! Thank you for sharing your photo-heart connection, I loved it. :)

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  2. A wonderful piece Sarah, I know what you mean about ugly clothes, I have some wonderful linen pants and tops and they just hang there looking me !!!

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  3. Very nice, from start to finish...

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  4. First off....I love that photo. A lot. Train AND graffiti-score!! I would have loved a capture with the contrast of you dressed for Sunday against that scrungy scene. I also like that classic Sarah foot shot with the drape of your colorful dress. As for your epiphany, my mother would love you. She judges everyone by the way they dress-despite being a librarian and knowing the rule about books and their covers. I bet in your new duds you'd be selected right off the shelf-and have a reserve line too. I've heard a lot of people say they feel better dressed up in nice clothes.
    And then there's me. I HATE wearing fancy clothes and never wear a dress. When I have to go to an event that requires me to look "nice" I have a melt down and lots of frustration and anger beforehand. I was made to wear a dress to school everyday until I was 13 and from then on was never allowed jeans except as play clothes.
    So...when you see me in the grocery in my comfy jeans know that I actually feel really good in them-just like you feel in that fancy dress. I legit want to wear T-shirts and jeans every day.
    What a great post for you, and for me to ponder.

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  5. What a great post, and I absolutely love your Photo-Heart Connection image.
    Just gorgeous.
    Have a wonderful day!

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  6. I loved reading about your epiphany moment . . . I wish I had been behind you, watching you taking this picture, "spiffed" in a colorful coat, new dress and black boots . . . I would have snapped a few pics of you . . . and we both would have been unaware that this was a Marchtime Epiphany moment . . .

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  7. I insist on comfortable clothes, though not "comfy" ones in the sense you describe. These days I live in jeans and t-shirts and sweaters - but they fit well and look nice. I also comb my hair and put on a bit of lipstick even when I have no intention of going out. I do it for myself, because if I don't, it brings me down every time I catch a glimpse of myself in a mirror. When I look better I feel better, as simple as that.
    I love that photo of your bare feet with pretty, polished toenails peeking out from under that gorgeous dress. It looks like a dress to dance in, and I hope you did! And you painted such a vivid picture of yourself taking that boxcar photo that I can see you standing there in your red and black plaid coat and beautiful black boots.
    I think this might be my favorite piece of all your writing that I've read so far. It's a wonderful Photo-Heart Connection.

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  9. good morning Sarah ... good for you! I so know what you mean about the ugly clothes ... i am sooo guilty!! I just bought a bag full of new fun outfits from one of my fav stores ... and would you believe they are still in the bag ... i have not even hung them up, much less put them on!!!! you have inspired me today ... thank you!

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  10. I loved this heartfelt, descriptive post and I can really relate. I mostly wear half-decent clothes but lack in the makeup department - I should work on that... great images of the boxcar and the clothes.

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  11. I think so many of us can relate to the whole ugly/comfy clothes situation. I justify it by saying that being an artist and painting I don't want to ruin my good clothes. Thanks for reminding me that I need to make more of an effort and in doing so will feel better about myself.

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  12. As I sit here having changed from my professional clothes into my PJ's on, my favourite jumper full of holes and slippers, I can fully relate to your post! Sometimes I go out very quickly without a care in some comfy clothes and then catch sight of myself in a shop window or a mirror. Who the heck is that? I ask for a quick second and then scurry away praying that no one has seen me! I can't wait to get out and buy some new spring floral clothes!! xx

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  13. I know what you mean by ugly/comfy clothes! I adore comfy clothes... why be uncomfortable for the sake of fashion?! I do love the bright floral colours of your pretty skirt! I say wear what you feel good in! I think that we all have our comfortable clothes - not necessarily ugly if we choose the right colours that we feel good in!

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  14. what a beautiful, beautiful story, sarah!

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  15. Your post made me smile, as just yesterday I ran out to the grocery store in my ugly but warm sweats and broke my rule about wearing them only in the house. Of course, I bumped into a neighbor! You are so right about feeling pretty in those cute dresses and skirls. I have a closet full of dresses I never wear anymore.....around here people very rarely dress up for anything. I agree with Leon about finding casual clothes that fit and flatter. Thanks for sharing your story!

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  16. A brilliant photo and I can imagine you taking it dressed in your lovely clothes. I think as we get older it's easy to slip into the comfy/ugly mode - it makes me feel lazy though and I do make an effort - it makes me feel more confident when I'm out. In the winter I'm often out with my camera, wellingtons and cute skirt!

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  17. Your image of the boxcar is wonderful by itself, but I would have loved to have seen you in it. Thank you for sharing your story. I am a pack the good clothes, wear the ugly clothes at home kind of girl too. I am in my ugly clothes right now, really old used-to--be-black yoga pants and flannel shirt. I am comfortable, but I wouldn't even go out for milk in these. I think I need to go change...

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  18. Oh, this is such a wonderful story! The photo is such a wonderful representation of the transformation. Sometimes we have to show on the outside what we are on the inside. Comfort zones are great, but it's not until you go outside them that you discover your confidence and style. In fashion, photography and life in general. Thanks for sharing this in the Photo-Heart Connection!

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  19. I love knowing the story behind this shot! We all have those comfy clothes and so far, mine are confined to the house! I do love the feeling of being dressed up on Sunday, but that's the only time I like dressing up. I'm with Susan, dressing up makes me panic!

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  20. What a wonderful piece of heartfelt writing - so very poignant and true. Loved reading it, Thanks:)

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  21. I dress up if I feel like it, not if I don't I dress to please myself rather than others most of the time

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  22. I wish someone could have taken the picture too. My oldest daughters love clothes and it really matters to them what they wear, not in a self focused selfish way but in the way that you describe. It helps bring out whats inside sometimes.

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  23. I read this on my phone and almost forgot to come back to comment. I loved this so much, and I'm so guilty of the ugly clothes thing, party because since menopause I've gained so much weight, and partly because I just don't have extra money to buy anything new. And I justify the ugliness because I'm home all day, although when I go to bible study I do leave the ugly in the closet ;) I never used to be this way, a bad habit one gets into I guess....food for thought here! xo

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  24. Wonderful photographs, and what a lovely moment! Perfect Photo-Heart Connection.

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  25. Wonderful story and so true for so many. We need to feel beautiful and take the time to wear what lifts our spirits. I wish I could say I do this, but the old comfy close are usually what I put on and I've been noticing that lately. I need to take more time and embrace myself. The images are all beautiful and texture work is just stunning. I can imagine you standing there in your plaid coat...perfection!

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  26. A fabulous PHC, and a very beautiful picture of toes painted under that beautiful skirt.

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  27. Oh... what a beautiful pos and photost! I also wear those ugly/comfy clothes too, but only when I am at home, when I go outside I don´t wear them, I usually wear always a very formal clothes that is beautiful, but not very practical, thus move between two extremes.

    However, along the last year (in particular, since I started with my photos) I have started to buy more casual clothes but not the kind that don´t make me feel stylish... so to speak and I mix them with the more formal one and I am developing a style of my own, so my personal image is changing in a good way, I think.

    To finish this transformation, I´ve been thinking of using only nice/comfy clothes when I am alone at home, because even when it´s true that nobody could see me (except my family), I can see myself, and it´s important to me to feel good, so I´ve been removing the ugliest tshirts and pants from my closet and I am planning to rearrange my wardrobe along Easter.

    Fantastic photo-heart connection

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Thank you so much for visiting today and taking the time to read my thoughts on life. :)