Does anyone else have the Grocery Store Dilemma? Here’s how it plays out for me:
I might need to go to the store but I’m in bumming-around-the-house clothes. I have one hour—no more!—between morning naptime and the attack of the kids’ lunch-time grumpies. I hate wasting time getting changed because, heck, it’s just the grocery store. So, I might go to the store in sweat pants and a dirty, stretched-out polo and tennis shoes. But sure enough: I run into 10 different people I know, probably including my former boss, my husband’s boss, my pastor, and four or five single friends who are dressed in heels, picking up some Vitamin Water on their lunch break.
Even if I am spared this humiliation and don’t see anyone I know, sometimes I see myself in the security camera monitor and cringe. And it’s not just vanity. When I go out in those sloppy clothes, I don’t look like me. I look like someone less than the person I really am.
And sadly, as the years go by and the weight creeps up and the wrinkles set in, the stakes get so much higher. I’m less likely to pull off the scruffy-but-still-somewhat-cute look à la Hillary Duff:
It’s more likely that I’ll look something like this:
In the alternative, I might try to make myself decent and open my closet, only to find the following:
- 5 pairs of jeans that used to fit,
- dry-clean only dress pants,
- off-season cropped white capris,
- three blouses that only work with my one black cami (currently in the hamper),
- some itchy sweaters, and
- a college sweatshirt.
- Oh, and a silk tank top with sequins.
That’s the dilemma I met almost every day after becoming a stay-at-home mom. I had closets and bins full of clothes but few that fit and even fewer that looked good. I had nothing that I could wear comfortably around the house with the kids and look presentable in when going out.
Then I saw this little video from Crystal at Money Saving Mom:
It really rocked my world. Crystal is the first to insist that she’s “no fashionista.” Certainly, her style is not cutting-edge, and it’s not the same as mine (to the extent I have one). But this showed me it’s possible to be comfortable yet look pretty, put-together . . . presentable. . . every day.
A little later I came across Rachel Meeks and her blog, Small Notebook, where she has an awesome series about simplifying one’s wardrobe and about her own “comfortably dressy” attire.
Oh man, where do I sign?
I want that.
Ever since then I’ve been on a mission to build a wardrobe full of outfits that are comfortable, flattering, and suitable to my current state in life. A Mom Uniform, if you will. It’s been fun. It’s been a learning process, for sure. I have a long way still to go. I hope you enjoy reading as I blog about it!