When I started my career way back in the late 90s, I had a well meaning boss tell me I needed to dress for the job I wanted. My 22 year old self thought he was living in the stone age. I realized just a few years later what sage advice that was. I learned how wearing a beautiful outfit that fits well and compliments your style, body type, and the occasion makes all the difference in your self-confidence. It feels good to look good.
10 15 years or so, and I work from home. My boss and co-workers don’t care if I wear pants, much less clothing that fits and makes me feel good. I have three children who I adore (one of which who could spit up on me at any moment). I could easily stay in my pajamas all day and call it good (and sometimes frankly, I do).
I have also lost a child, and am healing from a host of body image issues that were there before, and came after.
So what does it all mean and why in the world is she bringing this up? I’m SO glad you asked!
I spend a lot of time each day trying to figure out how to grow Madison’s Closet. I think about how we can reach more women and help them look and feel as strong and beautiful on the outside as they are on the inside.
I do a lot of that not living that message myself.
If you think I have got this whole thing figured out, I want to tell you I absolutely don’t. I come to you most days in some version of “loungewear” with my hair piled up on top of my head. It is likely I have on no makeup, and it’s even more likely I need a shower.
So why don’t I make more of an effort? It could be because I have a husband, an 11 week old, a 4 1/2 year old, 3 dogs, and a job or two, and I just don’t want to spend the time. It could be because I am unhappy with my body and I don’t feel she deserves the extra effort. It may be that if I wear frumpy clothes I think no one will notice the extra weight I am carrying around.
What I do know for sure, is that I feel better about everything when I take the time to wash my face and put on moisturizer, or a little makeup. When I have clothing that fits and flatters my body, I am more effective and have more confidence. I am motivated to move more and eat better because I feel better. Believe it or not, I think it makes me kinder and more patient because I am not so filled with the anxiety that comes from feeling like a hot mess.
Maybe that old boss of mine had it right after all. Even if the job I want now is to be a mother and perinatal loss advocate, I should dress and care for myself in a way that allows me the best chance to accomplish that.
If you or someone you know who has suffered a perinatal loss would benefit from receiving clothing from Madison’s Closet, please share this post with them or have them reach out to me personally at firstname.lastname@example.org.