Estimated reading time: 7 minutes
Are you the “fashion” model your children need? Will the way you care for yourself be a positive influence in their lives both now and in the future? Like me, do you need to be more intentional with your outward appearance?
At forty years of age, I’m finally beginning to believe that I can dress confidently and well. Yet most of my life I have been the quintessential wallflower, often feeling unseen and unheard by those beyond close family and friends. Blending in has been easy, but it is no longer adequate. Allow me to explain.
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A Role Model by Default or by Choice
I have four very impressionable children. The mom they’re accustomed to is often tired, scattered, and overwhelmed. She dresses for speed and comfort without frills. She doesn’t frequent hair salons or day spas. She doesn’t wear makeup. When she leaves the house, she tends to feel unfashionable even in her “best” outfits. Her husband affirms her beauty, but she doubts him despite his sincerity.
My only daughter loves to dress up, apply nail polish, and wear lip gloss. She is young enough not to notice my uncertainty when it comes to clothes shopping. She doesn’t know how awkward I feel just trying to piece together a matching outfit. As her role model, I feel utterly lacking in this area.
She is my reason for intentionally and diligently learning to care more for my outward appearance. For now, I am her role model by default. As she matures and her world expands, I want to be her role model by choice. Similarly, I want my sons to choose me as a role model, to learn by my example that a woman can modestly and intentionally accentuate her inner beauty.
Where to Begin?
Although I’m still on the path to wardrobe confidence, I first began this journey by taking an online course called Frumpy to Fabulous. This course helped me understand that I’m not alone. Other women have the same struggles I do. I’m still working my way through applying the suggestions in Frumpy to Fabulous. This is definitely a process more than a quick fix.
One major accomplishment is that I now know my color season. I participated in a virtual color analysis with Corina Holden, the creator of the Frumpy to Fabulous eCourse. According to her analysis, I am a deep autumn. Autumn includes many colors I would never have tried in the past like marigold and mustard. It also includes many “aha” colors, ones I’ve worn in the past without realizing why I liked the way they looked on me (e.g., lime, salmon pink, and various browns).
I chose to purchase a swatch palette from Color Me Beautiful as a shopping aid. Already this small gem has proved worth the expense. It has helped me skip over clothes that won’t flatter me and zero in on others that might.
Intentional Steps toward Clothing Confidence
Knowledge is power, but implementing that knowledge isn’t easy. With limited funds and time, my journey toward dressing confidently is a slow one. Armed with my newfound knowledge from the Frumpy to Fabulous eCourse and the related Year-Round Outfit Guide for Moms, I can be intentional.
However, that intentionality also paralyzes me at times. What if one purchase today prevents me from a better choice down the road? Can I really afford to rework my wardrobe? Am I focusing on myself too much when I have a family to take care of?
These questions bring me back to my purpose of being the role model that my children choose to follow. I need to make the incremental, intentional steps now that will create a lasting foundation. In a roundabout way, my children and my husband benefit when I gain confidence with my clothing.
An Exceptional Experience
To celebrate my 40th birthday, my sisters and mom treated me to a weekend of girl time. I had saved for this weekend all summer so that I could purchase some of the capsule wardrobe pieces recommended in my outfit guide. The day got off to a late start, and by early evening with shops nearing closing time, I was feeling a bit defeated.
As we approached the Kendra Scott jewelry store, my sister mentioned the store’s birthday month special. Since I have very little jewelry and needed a necklace to wear to some upcoming weddings, I stepped inside, feeling ever unsure of my fashion sense.
A friendly young woman began assisting me. I opened up about how I was beginning to rework my wardrobe to be a better fashion role model for my young daughter. I showed her my color swatches from Color Me Beautiful, and she took to this concept right away while saying that she is also an autumn. She borrowed my palette, stepped into a back room, and returned with a few pieces that complemented the autumn colors. We chose a lovely necklace that incorporated many of these colors.
She made me feel seen and heard. She listened to my story and shared her own. She gave me a confidence boost I desperately needed.
An Unexpected Gift
After I chose a necklace to purchase, she showed me a matching bracelet and we talked about earrings. I explained that I seldom wear earrings because one of my ears has a misaligned piercing that makes inserting an earring quite difficult. At that point my sister brought out a set of earrings. They were so pretty that I took a picture while explaining that I might be able to get them at a future date if I had my piercing corrected.
We moved to the checkout counter. As I purchased the necklace, this young woman, who had already treated me so kindly and made me feel so special, handed me my bag and told me that she was gifting the earrings to me. I was stunned. She wanted me to have them for when I have my piercing corrected.
I don’t know if she covered the expense of the earrings personally or if this is something the store does at times. I do know that I will forever cherish her servant’s heart for me that day. Even without the unexpected gift, I would have remembered that she saw me that day. She listened. She helped me feel truly special.
Note: The image at the top of this article shows my profile because I could only wear one earring that day. I plan to make an appointment very soon to correct the piercing and make good on the gift I received.
Remember: The Clothes Don’t Make the Woman
As women, we often long to be seen, heard, and appreciated. We struggle to believe that we already are beautiful – that our beauty doesn’t depend on clothes, jewelry, or makeup. Yet taking the time to understand what flatters us and making intentional wardrobe choices can also greatly boost our confidence.
Our children pick up on this confidence. They notice everything we do. As the main influencers in their lives, let’s become the “fashion” models they want to follow.