Friday, May 22, 2009

One Audacious Opinion on "Dress"-ing Up

I've been thinking about this once again (she said, as she sits writing in her t-shirt and jeans), and pondering about how much better I feel about myself when I "dress up." When I say "dress up," I'm not talking about Sunday-ready, night-on-the-town "dressed up", but rather how different I feel about myself and my family when I try to look nice at home.

Even though I'm dressed down today, I usually prefer skirts to pants. I mean, let's face it, those of us with extra padding 'round the rear look better when we have a skirt draping over our backsides rather than stuffing ourselves into pants. And since I live in a place that can get quite hot, skirts or dresses help in the air-conditioning department, too. One other benefit I've noticed is that I behave differently when I wear a skirt and a nice blouse. Frankly, I feel more like a mother, wife, and woman.

Now, I recognize that many-- if not most-- women prefer a snug pair of jeans to a skirt or dress, but consider for one moment the women of ages past. What do you think about the dressed-up women in the old paintings and photos you see? Do you ever wonder if the behavior of women in today's modern world would change if women dressed up and covered up?

For a few years, as a teen and then after our wedding, my husband participated in a medieval re-creation society. And something he said about his experiences there has stuck with me over the years. He told me about how most of the women that participated in the society were pretty overweight, but that he hadn't noticed that fact until he attended some events where the female participants did not dress in the usual medieval garb, but wore pants instead. In fact, he was shocked at how differently the women acted, and how differently the men treated them. In other words, chivalry happened more readily and easily when women dressed more femininely.

In recent years, I've also come upon the thought from various sources that skirts or dresses actually help women look more modest. Where do men look when a woman saunters around in tight pants? Why have women in the Western world-- for nearly a millenia!-- worn skirts or dresses? Modesty. Femininity. Not to mention that we women often feel more lovely when we dress the part of a "lady." I know I feel more attractive and beautiful when I'm dressed like a girl! What little girl hasn't dreamt of that elegant white dress in her hoped-for future? Why do formal dances still happen, and why do MOST of the girls that attend them come in princess-like ballgowns? Because we're FEMALE, that's why! :-D

I know I have made some audacious statements here, and am likely to continue to do so in the future, but consider for ONE MOMENT how the world could change if we just "dressed-up" a little bit more? I'd like to challenge my readers to examine your closets, and consider throwing out some grubbies and/or yoga pants, and then adding a skirt or two to your wardrobe. I really don't think you'll regret it.

Excuse me while I change out of my work clothes, and make myself look more like a lady for my hubby tonight! ;-)


  1. Thank you! I've been thinking of this lately.
    Off to ponder...

  2. While I agree with you we don't "dress" up around here for safety reasons. It's too dangerous being around tractors and other farm equipment with loose skirts and dresses! However, when I am home I like to wear nice aprons over our "work-a-day" clothes, brush out my hair, and add some make-up. This helps me feel feminine.

  3. This is a subject I have been pondering for some time...about a year. I had a run of about 3 months where I wore skirts/jumpers everyday. It was amazing and fun to see how family and strangers treated me differently...for the better.

  4. Good point, Cocoa! Wearing what is appropriate is the thing-- whatever truly fits the occasion.

    What a great experiment, Julie! And it's funny, Jeannetta, how threads of thought seem to travel from person to person.

    Thanks for your great comments, ladies. :-)

  5. I still wish I could wear beautiful, floaty saris and silken veils for the ultimate in alluring feminine modesty.

    Since marrying a man--arguably one of the best ways to observe the opposite species--I am have been very surprised by how much men love seeing women....covered up.

    It's a whole new kind of attractive, and I think engages different male muscles than the ones normally engaged by The World.

    People still think I'm crazy about the saris/veils though. :P :D

  6. Wonderful thoughts there, Sachiko! I totally get the saris and veils thing! ;-)

  7. Thanks for sharing this. I entirely agree with you.And I know the boldness it requires to put it out there. I posted a similar post and then deleted it. That was a no,no.LOL Thanks again.

  8. I saw myself on the camera on our computer this morning by accident. I was like, holy cow! Who is that tired-looking old hag? Oh my gosh; it's me! Yuck! Do I realy look like that to other people? I sure hope not! Needless to say, it's been on my mind all day. I curled my hair and put on my best make-up job for Church. Not one comment out of the hubby, but I felt sooo much better about myself. I think I need to start taking care of myself, too, and not just the kiddos. I always try to make them look cute, then think I'm doing good if I myself take a shower! I'm glad I read your post today; I think it will help me keep my motivation to pretty-up a little! BTW, I love your new profile picture. I love you!

  9. Thanks for this, Mama Rachel! :)

    I've recently gone from only wearing skirts when I absolutely have to - i.e. Church, dances, professional events, etc. - to wearing them every day, all day. At first it was difficult, and my friends thought I was kind of strange to do so, but now I get nothing but respect, I feel very comfortable, and people treat me like a young woman, not a teenager.

    You can read more about my decision to dress more feminine {here and here}

    I'm following you now! :)

    Merry Christmas!

    Felicity, at {Simple Elegance}

  10. Exactly what has been going on with me too, I have expanded and floated between sizes between babies and needed to move up a clothes size. I discovered the joy of long skirts! I have recently had such fun buying some from local charity shops (i think you call them thrift stores)no one else seems to buy them and I now have an oranised and easily adjustable wardrobe.
    Sonya Gloucestershire, England

  11. Lovely comments, ladies! Thanks for sharing your own experiences. :)

  12. I love this idea-Like minded women should make wearing dresses a habit, at least most of the time. My husband always notices when I wear a pretty dress. I sew, so I think I will whip up some sturdy jumpers and casual dresses to wear on most days.


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