Who Do You Dress For?

When I was a kid my dear Mother used to dress my sister and I up in matching outfits. Sigh.  This, I have now come to understand, is a bit of a right of passage. Most Mama’s in the Suburbs are guilty of this “dressing sin”.  I didn’t do the matching outfits, but I did do matching colour schemes.  Sorry babies!  I wish I had the picture of the day my Mom completely crossed the matchy line.  My sis and I grew a spine refused to go along with her matching ways, so what did Mama do?  She dressed me up in an outfit that matched the neighbour boy.  Red plaid rompers.  Seriously?

Through the years I learned to dress to fit in.  There were jelly shoes and leg warmers, acid wash jeans and neon T-shirts, parachute pants and Olivia Newton head bands.  The 80’s were not pretty.

Sometime in my late teens? I realized the ridiculously skinny body with teeny boobs and a padded bra I was dragging around, it had some power!  Power over boys. I started dressing for them.  Shorter shorts, bigger hair, and tighter T-shirts.  Sorry Mom.

A Career brought “work” clothes.  Sensible, but not too stylish.  Had to fit in.  Again. 

Later Motherhood brought the clothes of survival.  Yoga pants, a pony tail, and pretty much any shirt that didn’t have spit up on it became acceptable clothes for trips to the store or the park.

Somewhere in my early 30’s I got a little lost.  Worried far too much about what other women thought of me and what I was wearing.  I wasn’t dressing for my kids, my work, my Hubby..I was hoping “the girls” liked my clothes.  Sad but true. 

Now I am entering my 40’s, oh okay,  I turned 40 in May.  My girls are 9 and 12 and spit up is not really an issue any more, so I do strive to dress beyond the yoga pants.  I gave up that career to stay home with those kids.  Career clothes, they all went to Good Will. I landed the boy of my dreams 15 years ago, and although I want him to think my outfits make me look like all that and a bag of chips, I’m also smart enough to know at this point in my marriage, “the sex card” is far more powerful in marriage then the “new outfit card”. 

Perhaps an epiphany?  Is it possible after 4 decades of dressing for everyone else I FINALLY get to dress for me??

Who wants to go shopping?!


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  1. That definitely sounds familiar. I dress for me now too.

  2. smiles. have fun with that…and the hubby knows you are shopping right? this one sounds like it could get expensive…smiles.

  3. Great post; very true.
    I dress for me….I wish I could wear some of my ‘smaller’ clothes again though!

  4. I think I’ve always dressed for me, but lately I’ve been trying some new looks. I got into a very “J. Crew” preppy look and now I’m going for more of a fashionista style 🙂 It’s getting there, but I’m still tweaking my “ME” look!

  5. oh yes!
    me LOVES to shop!!

  6. Sorry, I’m single again, and guess who I dress for? Ain’t my mama.

  7. I spend WAY too much money on clothes. Since I don’t have kids, I guess I can. I counted how many dresses I own, and I have 46!!! Who does that?!?!

  8. I’m finding the same thing! At first I dressed for my husband, then my job. But when I had to quit that (no way was I doing midnight reporting on the cop beat) now I’m dressing for me. I still throw a lot of sexy outfits in there…Variety is the spice of life! 😉

    So when are we going shopping?

  9. You’re so on the mark here. I pretty much dress for myself, but every once in a while, I’ll find myself thinking about what the women I will see that day/night will think of it. Old habits!

  10. I’m still inthe yoga pants and spit up shirt stage. Thankfully my husband still finds me attractive, either that or he is just being very nice 🙂

  11. I LOVE the 80s clothes!!!!

  12. I dress for comfort. Always. I’m miserable if I’m not comfortable!

  13. Hmmm good post, food for thought. On balance I dress for my husband. Now, if only he’d notice lol

  14. A little bit of husby, a little bit of me and a little bit of the girls. I do love putting an outfit together, especially when it works.

  15. Your post is so bang-on in terms of the progression of who to dress for… at least in my case. I think I finally started to ‘dress for myself’ when I finally weaned my youngest (last year… which, incidentally, was when I turned 40!).

  16. I think that’s the natural cycle of most woman. Sadly no matter who I was dressing for I was always trying to find what I thought was appropriate from my body type.Only just down did I realize I had it all wrong. Now that I buy what I like , not what I think makes me look the least fat I’m noticing I look and feel better then ever.

  17. Good that you’re finally just dressing for YOU! I love to shop, any excuse to get me in the stores… and now, I’m freaking out because I feel like I have NOTHING TO WEAR to BlogHer, OMG! And no time to shop, not really! See you SOON!

  18. My mommy used to dress me up matching too! When I was about 8 years old I finally got up the nerve to tell her I wanted to dress myself. It was a big day for me. I had no idea what I was doing until I turned about 19.

  19. wow. this is a great post!
    i am still in my comfy yoga pants and ‘nice’ old navy tshirt phase..and my kids are 6 and 10..crap i really gotta start looking nicer!! i totally feel dumpy.

  20. That was fun. I am sure I have done the same things over the years. Now I like to look nice and be very comfortable in my clothes.
    My mother did dress us the same or one was in pink, the other in blue.

  21. I love, love, love this post. The sex card totally cracked me up, as did the 80’s reference. Eesh! I would love to go shopping with you. After seeing the shoes you bought in Paris, I know I’d have lots to learn! 🙂

  22. I still dress for men, and for comfort…one day a pretty dress, the next day a ponytail and yoga pants. Yeah, I’m confused too.

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