dressed to impress.


It was a beautiful day. The leaves had turned brown and crisp and lay scattered around the campus as if they were rose pedals leading a path to something special. I don't walk in a straight line, because I can't resist the urge to step on every single one that comes near my feet. That *crunch* just makes me feel good. Being so preoccupied in my stomping game on my way home from class, I almost don't feel my cell phone buzzing. Of course I look to see who is calling before I answer.

My hearts pauses, and I stop dead in my tracks. It is him.

I answer it as casually as I can, "Hello." (Okay, doing good so far.) I continue walking.

"Hey, what are you doing RIGHT now?"

I am instantly worried. It is a long story as to why I wasn't looking that put together on our first date and we had only been on two. Which means he would have only seen me at my best on one date if he is wanting to hang out, right now.

My hair is in a messy bun (emphasis on the messy), no make up (which means I look dead - blonde eyelashes people) I look down, sweatpants, a sweatshirt and Uggs. Lovely. I look like crap and more importantly I FEEL like crap. Not how you want to have a spontaneous date with a boy you are interested in impressing.

"Um, I am just getting out of class."

"Great. Are you done for the day?"

YES! I think to myself. Do I tell him that though? I so badly want to hang out with him, but I look like I rolled out of bed.... wait, I DID just roll out of bed.

I stop arguing with my inner self and say "Sure!" I am not about to let my lack of self care stop me from hanging out with this guy again. I want to see him too much.

"Okay, awesome. Want to meet me at the Burger place right by President's circle?"

I just happen to be standing on a pile of crunched up broken leaves at President's circle right at that moment. Too perfect?

"Yeah, in fact I am there right now."

"Kay, see you soon!"

Along with the excitement comes a sharp feeling of anxiety as I scourge though my purse for anything... a lip gloss, a comb, anything to help this situation. I make a sad attempt at trying to give my appearance, and attitude a boost.

 ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Now don't worry people. It was a great third date, despite my appearance. Turns out Trevor loves me with or without make up, and in sweat pants as much as he does in a cute outfit planned out with thought.

The real key to this story is HOW I FELT. I am not trying to say that you have to look a certain way to feel beautiful or good, but how we take care of ourselves (inside and out) plays a big role in how we feel about ourselves and in general. 

If I had woken up 15 minutes earlier that day, did my hair, put on an outfit I wouldn't be embarrassed to run into a hot guy I had just started dating, I wouldn't have been nearly as panicky about meeting him for an out of the blue unplanned date. I would have been a lot more comfortable going into it, a lot more confident.

You think I would have learned after that experience, but this is something I still need to work on. I seem to only ever get dressed up for "something" and not just for me. In high school I used to have fun getting dressed every morning and going to school. I did it for me. Then when I went to college where I didn't know anyone, and my schedule got crazy, I just slipped into the comfortable routine of sweat pants and Uggs. I would only get excited and dressed up for the weekend or a date. While there is a time and place to just be casual and comfortable, I have noticed this trend has gone on for too long.

If you ran into me on a week day, lets say at the grocery store, the chances are you would spot me NOT in my favorite outfit, my hair a day or two dirty, and my face with little to no make up on. You see, I work full time, and before that I was in school full time and working part-time... which means, I value my sleep &my time. So instead of waking up that extra 15 minutes to make sure I look my best for the day... I just dig myself deeper into my sheets and close my eyes. It has me asking myself, don't I value my appearance, and how I feel too?

I find myself rationalizing this behavior, and I think to myself "Well I am just going to go to the gym after work, so whats the point?" Well the point is Alycia, you can't not, not get ready for the day every day because you are going to work out after! - Yes, I talk to myself. Kind of like this entire blog post.

When I meet up with friends, or go out somewhere, that is when I tend to get dressed up and put some effort into my look. Or when I was doing the 30 for 30 challenge, which I couldn't even stick to past day 18! Problem is, I really do feel like how you present yourself in result determines how you feel that day... and to be honest, I am tired of feeling "thrown together at the last minute." If I can't get a hold of this now, it will only get worse when I have kids, which means even LESS sleep! HA!

I want to make a change. I want to get dressed and ready for my day with a purpose. I want to look and feel my best every day, not just when I am meeting up with a friend, or going somewhere. I want to do it for me.

But how to get started with that? I am sure it will be a process... I mean I am going on twenty three years here of just rolling out of bed and starting my day. Ask anyone who went to college with me... I think I wore a sweatshirt, sweat pants and uggs pretty much every day... and a messy bun (&not the cute top knot kind all you lovely bloggers have).

I might just have to get myself out of bed and plan out what I am going to wear... something foreign called effort?  I also want to post one to two fashion posts a week as a way to try and keep the goal going... I found that the 30 for 30 did help me get more creative with my closet and got me a little more dressed up then I normally would on a day to day basis. And having to document it also made me more accountable to it. I want to be accountable to my goals, and blogging about it is one way to help with that.

Lets be honest here, we are real women, with real lives... that are BUSY, and sometimes getting totally put together for our day isn't a priority, or it takes too  much time. But I have found that we make time for what is important to us... and I am tired of being that frumpy girl in an office at the age of twenty three... so I making a change. Does anyone else ever feel like this? Please share your thoughts.

Never again do I want such an exciting moment, like Trevor calling me for a spontaneous date in our early courtship, to be tainted by my feelings of anxiety of not taking some effort into how I feel and look. As women, we deserve to take some time out for ourselves.
 
I truly believe that how we present ourselves can strongly impact how we feel. In an attempt to not let the daily stresses of life keep me in sweat pants and ugly moods, I am documenting what I have been wearing to make sure I am starting each day with a purpose. I feel my best when I have taken some time out for me, to take care of myself... because your never truly dressed without a smile.

51 comments

  1. I am the same way! If I don't have anyone to impress, it's sweats all the way. My boyfriend is always complaining about how I'm in pajamas when we're just chilling at home.

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  2. such a sweet story :) ha my fiance met me when i always swore sweatpants as well in college...but i always had a smile on xo

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  3. I do the same thing! If I don't have anywhere to go, I have no problem staying in my flannel pants all day. And even if we do go somewhere, I usually just throw on jeans and a T. I'm trying to do better about dressing a little nicer, but like you, I value my sleep just WAY too much to want to get up and put any effort into it. Maybe you can be my inspiration!?! :)

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  4. I love this.. You are adorable! I NEVER get dressed unless I have somewhere to go.. My poor husband.. Oh well!! :)

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  5. Such a great post! I love the photo!

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  6. Thankfully "comfy clothes" (AKA pajamas) are my hubby's favorite way to hang out around the house. So I don't have to feel guilty about my PJs and messy hair. :) If I did, we'd be in BIG trouble! haha!

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  7. i SO agree with you about how what we wear impacts how we feel. my friends make fun of me, since i can never sweats on a day when i have a test-i just can't feel prepared! but it's SO true! it feels so much better when your dressed well (or at least, wearing jeans!) and i definitely see how it affects our attitude :)

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  8. great post! I'm definitely having to work on this as I stay at home with our baby girl 2 days a week. On the days I actually get up and get dressed I feel so much more productive than on the days when I just lay around and don't shower until mid-afternoon!

    I think I'll be trying to turn over a new leaf and dress a little nicer even if it is just for me & Elyse!

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  9. I totally feel the same way. I have to dress nicely for work, but I have a uniform and then pull my hair back in a tight bun. Then on weekend I rarely get dressed out of my sweats. Sometimes I wonder why I even buy normal clothes! This post totally hits home. I need to do it for me. To make myself feel good. And to be quite honest, I feel like I get more done when I am ready. Anyway thanks for the post, totally loved it!

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  10. Just another reason you and Trevor are perfect for each other... you don't care about being comfy in front of each other :) (Of course there was no way to know that the man prefers to holey shirts after just 2 dates, ha!)
    You're right though... I do feel SO much better about life when I get ready for the day. Those first 2 weeks after just moving when I had nothing to do and nowhere to go I was feeling so down. But I definitely felt better after showering and getting cute... even if Eric only got to see it for 30 minutes before we got ready for bed.

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  11. I totally agree with you on the how you dress and look impacts how you feel inside! I have the hardest time leaving the house without a little makeup or wearing sweats...I always try to dress up a little bit before I walk out the door.

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  12. Such a precious story!! And yes girl, you are NOT alone. I feel the same way. Throw on the first thing I find in my closet and very little make-up. Like you, the sleep is just more important. But those rare days, when I have a new outfit in mind and take those few extra minutes, I really do feel so much better. Easy vs Better?? It's a tough call ha!

    Must get better at this...

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  13. Oh gosh. I have made many dash trips to Target or wherever to buy a whole new outfit or something just to make myself feel more presentable. It's horrible! I hate just not being to let go and accept. Sigh.

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  14. Oh you are not alone my friend...as the comments above emphasize...I am exactly the same way! :)

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  15. Such a great intention to have! I also fall into the "comfy trap" -- yoga pants and a tee whenever I can. I'm trying these days to at least step things up in one area. Maybe lipstick, maybe fun and pretty shoes, maybe a little extra mascara. Whatever it is, that one thing doesn't take too long but carries me to the next level.

    LOVE your blog! :)

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  16. I'm reading this in my gym clothes :/

    haha!! But seriously, such great thoughts. I remember getting DRESSED for high school every day...and also remember getting that special phone call from my guy.

    I am in love with your outfit. That yellow skirt!!!!!!!!! Where is it from?

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  17. I am absolutely the same way. I used to get dressed nicely every day for work and I felt great. Once I started staying home with the baby I was wearing sweats every day and it really affected my mood. Now on days that I plan to just stay home all day I at least still put on jeans and a little makeup. It makes me feel a lot better.

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  18. Ok, so I pretty much just neglected my child (who I think ate a clothing tag...) and read your entire blog. I kind of feel like you are my new best friend. Which, I know, is both creepy and flattering. It's why they call it stalking.

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  19. This post is talking to me! I wear scrubs to work which are not flattering so eventually I stopped putting on all my makeup and not really doing my hair. This habit rolled into my weekends and I was tired of looking plain and blah everyday. I started getting ready like I used to and feel so much better when I go out!

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  20. I totally know what you mean. I could put more effort into my appearance! I've gone to work one too many times with wet hair lately...

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  21. I'm right there with you. Some days I really just want to rock sweats from sun up to sun down.

    $100 Nordstrom give away over at www.dressedupdarling.com

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  22. that is so sweet! i think you know if you are truly comfortable with someone if you can be makeup less and comfortable. you guys are just uber darling!

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  23. We just talked about this at Creative Estates this weekend.... this is such good truth! Love it, girl!

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  24. I think you're being too hard on yourself. Outward appearance REALLY doesn't matter. :) You are beautiful and Trevor is right...with our without makeup, in an outfit you put thought into or in your sweats and Uggs.

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  25. SO happy you came by my blog! now i can follow yours. it's amazing!
    xx jes

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  26. I couldn't agree more. Throughout college I was so bad about either dressing in sweats for class or in sequins for a party. And once my husband and I graduated, I thought it'd get all better...but I "work" (i.e. try to make it as a writer) from home, so I STILL don't have to get dressed if I don't want to. But it's true, taking time to make yourself look prepared makes you feel so much better (and it makes me more productive).
    I was so bad about it, I started a 30 days, no outfit repeats challenge (except I cheat on the weekends, when the husband is home and we do lazy things). I would highly recommend it! It makes me excited to get ready for the weekdays! :)

    P.S. Thanks for dropping by and joining my blog! I thought I was already a member of yours but apparently blogger fooled me...SO, I'm belatedly joining the party NOW!

    Andrea

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  27. I COMPLETELY agree! Sadly, I have to wear scrubs where I work; however, I have been getting up early every day to work out. Yes, it's tiring, but I feel so much better afterwards and surprisingly not tired during the day! I also get up early on days when I don't exercise to relax (aka blog and go on pinterest lol) and calm my mind before going to work. Having a better attitude on how my day is going to go makes me feel SO much better at work, especially on stressful days. I definitely would like to start wearing cuter clothes on the weekends, too. All I have are comfort clothes :)

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  28. OK, how is it that I never came across your blog until today??? Lucky that you found me first :)

    I know exactly what you mean! It is so easy to make excuses why we don't feet we have to get dresses, etc. I think this relates to my eating choices because I should care how I look and feel. I love getting dresses up but sometimes I know that I would feel better if I felt I ate better. But I am too busy making excuses. This post pushes me to work harder. Thank you!

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  29. I feel that way every single day. My little man just started sleeping through the night, but up until then things were bad. I was getting maybe 3 hour stretches of sleep at night and I finally just said ENOUGH! If I did one thing right all day it was to make my eyes look right. I have bags and circles, but if I can make my eye makeup pretty (meaning lots of black mascara - ditto to the blonde lashes) it helped. My hair may end up in a pony, but my eyes look great - most of the time. Also, coffee, lots of coffee.

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  30. I feel you girl! I went through the same cycle. It's so important to love how you feel and to take care of yourself!

    aleshadian.blogspot.com

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  31. I actually agree with this. Wholeheartedly. it doesn't mean you have to wear loads of makeup, but just put on a pair of jeans, brush your hair and look presentable ya know?
    On a completely unrelated note, I am stoked to meet your brother ;) i'll try to look presentable when I do. hehe

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  32. I love this post!! This is so how I got in college, and now that I wear scrubs to work I have kind of continued on with that habit. It's so much nicer to get more sleep than drag myself out of bed and do my hair when I'm just wearing scrubs anyway. I need to start caring about my appearance for me again! During the week, not just the weekend. I want in on this! :)

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  33. Its always the days you dont get ready that you run into someone!! hate that!!

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  34. just found your blog and I'm in love! y'all are too darn cute! you are a fantastic writer, can't wait to visit around your blog some more :)

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  35. Blonde eyelashes are a killer I tell ya!!

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  36. i totally understand what you mean about getting dressed everyday. i'm currently 36 weeks pregnant and will be a stay at home momma to our little noah but i've already started staying at home due to a move we made to be closer to my husbands job. everyday is pajama day for me unless i plan on going out of the house. before i quit working i was an assistant manager at a clothing store so it's super foreign to me not be "dressed up" and cute everyday. i'm just hoping i can get out of my pajama day rut after baby boy arrives.

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  37. i am so glad i'm not the only one! it started for me when i was going to school full time, working 50-60 hours per week, and trying to plan my wedding. i would think the same thing, "oh i'm just going to the gym after work..no need to get ready." the cycle has continued for two years.

    one thing i have noticed is that when i DO get up early, i never, ever regret it, even if i am a little more tired throughout the day. but when i don't get up, i regret it every single time.
    so thanks for writing this post. i needed it. i'm going to do my darndest to break this cycle!

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  38. I'm the same way, I spend my days in sweats and a tank, messy hair and glasses. And for work I wear red and khakis always. I do always wear contacts for that though and occasionally mascara.

    When I had a contract position for a couple months, I would grab an outfit the night before.I would do this during commercials during a show of that night. This was really helpful and I didn't lose any precious sleep!

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  39. I think you always look great, but i do hear ya! I'm a yoga teacher so when i'm working i'm mostly wearing variations on spandex suits, and comfy as it is, i try really hard to make sure i always have a "normal" outfit in my bag so i'm only wearing my yoga clothes to teach or practice. Living in Sydney has helped with this as people here dress up, for no reason at all, and so i feel strange wandering around in workout clothes all day. Looking forward to your outfit posts!

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  40. how did i get SO lucky to stumble upon your blog? i love it and really relate to what you're saying- i'm getting my masters and we're trying to work through school, as well. EW. (and... yay? we'll be happy someday....?) hah

    you're too cute.

    xo-
    lissa
    http://lookingglassblog.blogspot.com

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  41. i have to tell myself to stop wearing the same clothes over and over and over again (hoping i don't run into the same people!) cuz yeah... ruts are real.

    and i'm pretty sure you were in the name tag line behind me at the blogger soel meet up and i'm just now putting a blog to the face. what up!

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  42. You can do it! I remember hearing a conference talk (I swear I was like 18, 19 maybe?) where the lady talked about how important taking time for ourselves is. Hers was focussed on her after birth period and how her mother pushed her to go shower and get 'ready' for the day instead of sitting around in her sweats with no makeup on, but I believe it carries true no matter what walk of life you're in. We all need a few minutes for just us, to make us feel great.

    xoxo

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  43. You can do it!
    I remember hearing a conference talk back in the day - I was 18? maybe 19? - and the lady was talking about the importance of taking time for ourselves. Her story was all about her after birth period and how her mother had to encourage her to take a few minutes to shower and get 'ready' for the day, but I believe it holds true no matter what walk of life you're in. We all need a minute or two to just take care of us, and put our feet and heads on the right path.

    xoxo

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  44. This is SO timely. I read this right after I committed to a no sweats policy after I read the post about it over at the Vanilla Tulip. I think the Lord is setting me up because it really does go so much deeper than just looking cute. It's stewarding what He's given me and putting value on myself for both me AND my husband. I'm realizing it's saying to him, I still care about your catching your eye.

    SO good.

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  45. This just made my day! Totally joining you on this one!

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  46. I just saw a pinterest picture that said, "Dress as if you're going to run away with the Doctor." Or something like that. :)
    I thought of that while I was reading this. I agree with you 100%, the way you dress/look impacts your attitude so much.

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  47. How lovely. I would have died, even though i am in sweats 80% of my life.
    Keep smiling. I would love for you to guest post! Your so much fun.

    Victoria

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