As a new mom, I spent most of my first year in (maternity) jeans and comfy oversized shirts. Thankfully, my work is ridiculously casual, so I’m pretty sure exactly nobody noticed. I think this is in part because they’re a bunch of scientists, but it’s also probably because we’re literally a five minute walk away from the beach.
Regardless, as I emerged from the other end of the year, my jeans were getting increasingly faded and my shirts worn. I obviously needed to do something, but I was entirely too lazy to go out shopping. Because of my height, larger stomach, and thinner hips, it takes trying on 20 pairs of jeans to find one that works. However, it was starting to take a toll on my self-esteem, and I was starting to feel incredibly uncomfortable in my own skin.
Combine this with an ever increasingly mountain of dirty laundry, and this is when I started to get compliments. I know, it doesn’t make sense. In fact, for a solid few weeks I didn’t quite realize that I had stumbled on a loophole. But when I did, glorious day!
It all started after a weekend of running around and not having time to conquer the laundry building up in our garage. Instead, I threw on a dress I’ve had for years and ran out the door.
Everyone has a style that really suits their bodies. Mine is the sheath dress. I can’t tell you a time that I’ve put on this style and it looked bad. It’s damn near magic, especially to someone where so few articles of clothing are actually flattering on them.
Over the years, I came across a brand that is on the cheaper end and is insanely comfortable. I own three of them. It looks structured and businesslike, but is actually cotton and feels very similar to yoga pants.
I go to the playground in this dress, you guys.
It doesn’t wrinkle if you forget to take it out of the dryer, it maintains its structure with little no extra care, and it looks legit.
Add a thick belt and a necklace or dollar store scarf (no joke) and you’re set.
Simple, quick. No need to rummage through your clean (or dirty, I’m not judging) laundry pile for a top and bottom that look good together. Plus, you’re washing one item instead of two. Double lazy points!
Then all you have to worry about are your shoes. I’ve found that people tend to view wedges as actual heels, which is extra lucky for me since they feel almost exactly like flats. Again, no issues at the playground, I can probably run in these if I really had to (though this is more due to me not running rather than the footwear).
Of course, wearing dresses does require shaving your legs (or not). But so far I feel the benefits of my effort in this one area far outweigh the efforts in what I used to have to do to get dressed. And I feel sexier, so win-win.
In part, this success comes from having a “uniform.” This topic has become very popular over the past couple of years, and for good reason. You find something that flatters you, you buy several of them, and you wear the same thing over and over. No need to think outside the norm for accessories or a bra that will work with that specific shirt, you’ve already got it down.
I’ve been wearing a decent amount of makeup for years. It’s mostly nude or similar colors, but I’ve got the basics down (powder, eyeshadow, mascara). Just enough to brighten up my face but not too much that I feel like I’m in one of those child beauty pageants.
But man, I put eyeliner on one day and BAM. Apparently that’s all I needed to go from looking like I did nothing to looking like I was done up. I’m not even joking- at least a dozen people complimented me in a few weeks’ time.
Easy enough- it took a few days practice but now I can put eyeliner on in a minute flat. I added that to my 5 minutes of doing makeup in the parking garage (I’m not willing to wake up earlier to miss traffic, so I finish getting ready after I’m past that), and I look like I actually put more than just minimal effort into getting ready.
Of course, everyone is different. And I’d say I envy the women who are willing to put more (or less) time in, but really- I’m doing what I’m doing because it’s what I’m most comfortable with. As should everyone else. But if you find yourself where I was, feeling blah but also unwilling to put in too much effort, try it out. You may be surprised by how easy it can be.