My husband hates the way I dress. What I mean to say is, he likes how I dress after all is said and done. But he hates the process and double-hates the fact that he always feels he needs to change out of his jeans and hooded sweatshirt after I've emerged from our bedroom wearing a pencil skirt and heels to go to dinner at a friend's house. I'm the one at the party who is usually a little more dressed up than everyone else. I consider it blasphemy to wear jeans to a funeral or wake and have owned the same pair of sneakers for seven years -- they're still spotless. My husband jokes and says every day is like prom for me. Maybe. But prom sure beats the grocery store, doesn't it?
I've always loved dressing up. My mom has some wicked tailoring skills and, growing up, one of my fave things to do with her was visit all the little fabric shops in NYC's Garment District. She'd buy me a bit of whatever fabric tickled my fancy -- usually whatever was bright red and soft as butter -- and I'd make a simple scarf out of it at home.
Whether we went to visit family or not, each Sunday I was just a little more dressed up than usual. Same rules applied on the holidays. When I spot my husband trying to choose between jeans and trousers on Christmas Day, I want to scream: But it's Christmas! Denim should be banned on Christmas!
I LOVE vintage 1960s dresses worn with opaque tights and little ballet flats. I live for midi-length '50s-era circle skirts in girly colors like apricot and rose, which I happily pair with a cream cashmere sweater that I've owned since I was 20 and that I treat better than any house plant that's ever crossed my doorway. I've always believed it was important to dress up just a little for work and wouldn't feel comfortable wearing a sweatsuit and sneakers to the office. I need to wear an outfit that makes me sit up just a little taller in my chair -- that shows others I feel they were worth the effort I made that morning.
That, and I don't own a sweatsuit. Oh, and the only sweatshirt I keep in my dresser is one from college that I bought for sentimental reasons. I wear leggings to work out and at bedtime. Otherwise, if it isn't an article of clothing that is highly impractical, I'm probably not interested in it.
My poor husband. I know. But the way I see it, so many aspects of real life are less than thrilling, especially when you have kids who require a routine. You feel at times like your days repeat themselves. Keeping your wardrobe interesting adds a little spark. Wearing heels when I could wear sneakers makes the day feel a bit more special.
Life is short. Wear the dalmatian-print shift dress.
Do you love dressing up or is your style more laid-back?
Image via Sherry's Rose Cottage/Flickr