My llittle Anni loves clothes. She came out practically twirling in Fuscia tutu and matching lipgloss. Which has been a source of merriment for her more inherently casual parents. Now don’t get me wrong. We both own some phenomenal clothes. For Special Occassions or Trips to the City. Dean’s bespoke tuxedo by Valentino and tailored Zegna from Milan. My cocktail sheaths and Dolce evening wear. Glittering Louboutoin heels and matching clutch. But these clothes are hardly practical, not even appropriate, for everyday life on a Winery. Where farming and kids, dishes and sheep, cooking and crafts-time dominates our day. Or my day, rather. Ask anyone and my wardrobe has historically been:
- Blue Jeans (7)
- Theory shirts (long sleeves or short depending on weather)
- signature Louis Vuitton bag (I am a hopeless convert)
- Signature earrings from Penny Preville
- Boots (the Jane Harness Boots by Frye for town (the best boots EVER) and Justins for the farm)
Letting my signature pieces (earrings, bag, and lipstick) make my “look” while saving “pretty clothes” for Special Occassions. Tucked away on quilted hangers waiting patiently for another day of something special.
Sometime last summer, a series of simple events shifted my wardrobe. And how I thought about day-to-day appearance. First, I bought a few French cotton dresses (from Louie et Lucie) from Bella Vita Boutique in Sonoma. I love(d) them but still saved for coming to town. One day, I was taking my dress off and placing it back in my closet. Pulling on my trusty black leggings when sparkle-clad Anni sighed (she actually SIGHED) “back to normal Mama.”
Back to normal Mama.
This may not seem like some monumental sentence. But her little sigh was an arrow to my adult ears. For natural fashionistas like my daughter, this is already an obvious truth: dressing up is important. But for this “denim & diamonds” girl, dressing up is left for Date Nights or Parties. Here my little 4 years old thought my yoga pants were… Dull. So I put that cute, colorful dress back on. And added pearls. Because she loves when I wear my big white pearls. “You look like Julia, Mama!” Then we shared a lipstick. Anni smiled, “You look so pretty, Mama!” Even though there’s no mirror in my Dressing Room, she was right. I FELT PRETTY. And just like that, my “special clothes” emerged from my closet as “every day” clothes.
And that’s just it. You know how you feel when you dress up? A new dress or heading out to a garden party? You’ve shaved your legs, spritzed a bit of perfume and applied a pretty lipgloss. You feel special. And PRETTY. I’m not sure why it took me to 36 and mother to a twirling toddler to realize, “I can choose to feel this way EVERY day.” That clothes are fun. And more than that, they matter. Every day, feeling nice about yourself matters. Whatever your weight, your “To Do List” today, looking fine matters. And if that doesn’t convince you? The smiles and better cuts of beef or freebie of Duck Fat from the Butcher’s will convince you.
Feeling Pretty is a celebration of myself today. I’m done waiting to break out cute clothes “in 5 lbs from now.” Dressing up in daily-cute-clothes that fit me and my food-loving curves has been a revelation. Arrogant or throw-back this may sound but I’m finding that wearing Pearls while cooking? It matters. That Lipstick matters. Bright, joyful patterns in wash-and-hang fabrics? They add happy value to my day. Letting me revel in vibrant Color as a busy Mom. Running the same errands week after week but feeling fabulous. The Market. Post Office. Dry Cleaners. And the preschool run. I’m just doing it in a cute dress and flats or boots that are every bit as comfortable as flip flops and as easy to put on as yoga pants.
It’s not like I break the bank in couture but pairing an inexpensive dress from Modcloth with a high-end purse and shoes? No one is the wiser my colorful dress cost $45.
Now, to be fair, we’ve weathered some comments. Last week, two guys in the juice aisle at Oliver’s Market smirked at Anni and I intentionally matching in pink and rudely said…to my little girl mind you… “Wow, aaallll dressed up for the market?!” And laughed AT us. Laughed AT our dresses and pearls that I let Anni pick out for us an hour before. Little Anni crumpled. And for a second, I wavered between calling out “F*ck you” to those bozos. But looking down at my little girl now looking down at her own self? I wanted to safeguard her sparkly truth. To save what she’s taught me. That dressing UP is important. That there is real Value in beauty…even if beauty to Anni right now is 2 tutus, butterfly wings, and three necklaces. Reapplying my lipstick, I said “oh they don’t know anything. Don’t you still feel pretty?” Anni looked up and nodded. “See? That’s what matters. That WE Feel Pretty.”
Besides, who wouldn’t want to feel like this everyday? I know I do.
Happy Dressing! & Eating!