Saturday, November 8, 2008

Wardrobe Hierarchy

Obviously the pic to the right is not of me...but it is of one of my most recent purchases -- a green cardigan from NY&Co.

No personal pic today, firstly because DH (aka the photographer) isn't home, and secondly because today I'm just hanging out in sweats -- not exactly a highly photogenic moment, lol.

Which leads me to address the topic of wardrobe choices during down time. Whether you are a SAHM, work from home, or are just hanging out on the weekend after a busy work-week, what you choose to wear still matters, at least IMO. This is not to say I am dressed for public consumption every minute of every day! No, there is a hierarchy of dressing for the ocassion, and hanging out at home is certainly at the bottom in terms of effort (and the top in terms of comfort!) But it's still important to care about your appearance at least to some degree even when no one else is looking. Why? Because YOU are looking, and YOU are just as important as anyone else :)

When I think I look totally shlubby (is that a word and if so how do you spell it?) I feel shlubby...and that colors my world view too. None to minimal make-up is fine, but washing my face, fixing my hair a bit, wearing a bra and clothing I would be willing to be seen in to say, get the mail, is my bare minimum for days I'm here alone with the kids and DH is no where to be seen.

I should probably explain my schedule before I go any further. DH works double shifts 3 days a week, meaning I don't really see him on the days he works since he leaves very early and arrives home after the kids & I are asleep. But on the other 4 days a week he's home morning till nite.

In thinking about this I've realized that at present I have essentially 5 categories of dressing:

1. DH not home, kids & I staying in.

This is the most casual of dressing days. It usually consists of sweats & long sleeved T-shirts in the cold months and shorts or capris & T-shirts in the warm months. Beyond that I fix my hair a little and make sure I'm presentable enough to open the door should a neighbor come by. Unless I'm actually cleaning (a rarity, lol) in which case I wear truly atrocious clothing and would pretend I wasn't home when the doorbell rang!

2. DH home, all of us staying in.

Same deal as above, but I usually put make-up on first thing in the morning and wear my nicest know, the ones that aren't so stretched out it looks like my butt is a deflated balloon, lol.

3. Me going out with the kids alone.

Any time I leave home I try to look put together because it makes me feel good. But when I'm juggling the two kids by my lonesome I also need to be practical -- running around after an active 2yo in any kind of heel is suicidal at best. So some sort of flat is the order of the day, along with clothes I can comfortably bend down and stand up in about 1000 times. Still, I wouldn't be caught dead in any variation of sweats & a Tshirt. That's for working out or hanging out, period. Going out requires real, actual clothing -- at least a decent pair of jeans, a nice shirt and some make-up.

4. Going out as a family.

This means that DH is home, so I can take a bit more time to get ready...not to mention I have a partner to wrangle the kids with. So I get to put a little more effort into my look, and maybe wear a low heel. Let DH chase the kids.

5. Going out alone or with DH.

Here's wear I get to play dress-up! I wear what I want, take my time getting ready, and get to be creative in putting together my look. Still, I live a fairly casual life and rarely go out in the evening, so we are talking day-wear. Maybe when the kids are older and we feel comfortable leaving them with a sitter other than my mom we can go out for a real grown-up evening. But till then I still get to wear my dresses and other nice things, if only in a more "business casual" way.

There could be a 6th category I suppose. Things like holidays, family parties, dining out, etc. But I can dress up any one of a number of more casual day outfits easily by swapping out the accessories, so it really didn't seem to warrant it's own category.

So gosh, there you have it, my life in a nutshell. I urge anyone interested in fine tuning their look and streamlining their closet to spend a little time defining their attire needs because it makes putting together a wardrobe a much more cohesive process. When you know what looks you need or want you can get ready for what ever your day has in store with ease.


Kate (a.k.a. Mrs. Makeover) said...

I love this! It makes total sense to me. As a work-from-home wifey about to become a SAHM, sometimes I wonder if it's worth it to look good.

I have to slap myself and say, "YES! IT IS!" because I see myself, and DH sees me, and why not?

I like to be really casual at home, but I think I need to step it up a notch. I'm so embarrassed anytime a delivery person comes by and I'm still in my PJs. I'm sure they could care less, but it bugs me.

Kayleigh said...

LOL, I soooo know what you mean -- I feel the same way. And you know not for nothing but it took a while to find yoga or sweat pants that were "nice" looking yet still totally lounge worthy. (found some at Target)

Congrats on becomming a SAHM...are you expecting or do you already have kids and are going to take a break from working?

Thanks for coming by again :)

ohthatgirl said...

I'm totally trying to find my SAHS. I'm so used to going somewhere work related that even my inspriration book is full of work related clothes. I currently only have my "work" style and PJ's...I'm now trying to find a comfortable medium.

Kayleigh said...

ohthatgirl, I can imagine it must be hard to make that transition. What worked for me was I made a little rule that if I left the house for any reason I used my better clothes -- that and PJ's were only for sleeping and morning coffee ;)

So if I was to run errands, go shopping, visit a friend -- you name it, any time I wasn't staying home I "dressed up"...casual attire yes, but always real clothing. No sweats, yoga pants, junky jeans or worn T-shirts or sweat shirts. I wear day dresses, nice jeans, blouses, even a structured jacket sometimes.

At first it felt a bit weird, but now it's totally normal to me and I feel GREAT about how I look compared to before.

Thanks for coming by again!

Ally said...

I love that cardigan - I can't tell in the pic, but I think it's the same one I have in cobalt. Does it have three buttons and a little ruching at the sides? If so, it's the best - great fit and super comfortable.

That shade of green is pretty too!