It is a well known fact that you will be judged within the first three seconds of meeting someone. Clothing, posture, grooming, mannerisms…all will make an impact before you even get the chance to say “hello”.
Being a bit of a chatterbox (and a fast talker), I always hoped my “hello” reached others about 1.3 seconds prior to any visual impact and judgements. I like to think that I have been successful in my attempts. But I need to face the reality that I am getting older and my vocal agility is slowing down — not to mention the fact that I am always distracted by my 2 year old twin boys!
So what is a weary mother of toddlers to do but to fall back on the old standard of looking presentable. At all times. Just in case.
Presentable. This word is so subjective. For example, it has become the norm in society to look ‘presentable’ while wearing fuzzy blue slippers, haggard pajama bottoms, and a grubby sweatshirt. I will admit that while this ensemble would be quite comfortable, I just don’t think it would give an accurate impression of my persona.
If I want to accurately portray who I am to others, then I must begin by asking myself the question: “Who am I?”
A wife, a mother of rambunctious toddlers, a physician… these answers are easy enough. But I also enjoy classical music, fine dining, nature, laughter, reading, antiques, traveling… and so many other things. If I could tell others about myself, what would I want them to know? Could I say it in three seconds? Would it involve fuzzy blue slippers?
Taking a good look at myself in the mirror, I realized that the person I saw staring back at me was a complete stranger. Instead of seeing the confident, elegant, silly, attractive, and intelligent woman that I know I am, I saw a frumpy, ill-kempt woman with a smear of grape jelly on her left sleeve and who was in serious need of a haircut. And that was only after the first second.
When did a woman who was once considered “fashionable” by all of her friends/relatives change into this unrecognizable, dowdy creature? Did it happen overnight or did it evolve over the past 2 years? I understand that the catalyst was a serious life-style change — but I was amazed to see I had succumbed this far.
I will admit that chasing kids around in stiletto-heeled shoes and a pencil skirt is not only impracticable, but downright dangerous. But who says that motherhood must be unglamorous? Why must one equate “comfort” with sweatpants, easy-to-care-for synthetic separates, and “sensible” shoes? Why must we all don generic clothing that stifles any sense of personality and creativity? Why had I spent so much money on “bargains” that made me look (and feel) so bad?
If I could create a perfect wardrobe, it would have to have the following conditions:
- easy to care for
- natural fibers
- elegant, simple lines
- well constructed
- flattering to my body shape
- colors that I like
- made in the USA
(Shamefully, the majority of the clothing in my closet did not meet this criteria.)
Armed with this list, I began to scour the internet. I knew that what I was looking for existed — it had to! (I could not be the only confident, elegant, silly, attractive, and intelligent woman in the world.) And, after months of searching, I finally found what I had been looking for:
Elegant. Fun. Beautiful. Who could ask for more?