Have you ever thought that your wardrobe choices could affect your home? Here’s how to make your clothing choices help your homemaking!
I used to think clothing choices had everything to do with a personal sense of style. If you wanted to wear something, you should wear it. Right?
But the more I talked with people and watched what other people wore, the more I realized that clothing choices meant so much more than expressing your style.
- Clothing affects your attitude and moods.
- Clothing shapes the way other people think of you.
- Clothing actually can make your day better – or worse.
That’s a whole lot of weight on something as trivial as clothing. But it’s true. Here’s why:
Clothing affects your attitude and moods.
You know how you are what you eat? You are what you wear, too. Do you ever have pajama days when you want to stay home and stay in your jammies all day? Have you noticed what gets accomplished on those pajama days?
A whole bunch of relaxing. And you might need that relaxing downtime, so pajama days can be a good thing.
But on other days, if you know you’ll be busy or you know you need to get things done, think about what you’ll actually wear to accomplish your plans.
Now think of special occasions when you’ve put a lot of effort into dressing up – and everyone around you has, too. Don’t you just feel different? And act different?
If you find yourself only wearing casual, comfy clothing like tees, yoga pants and sweatshirts, you’ll naturally feel casual and comfy. But you’ll also feel unmotivated to do much more than stay comfortable.
If your wardrobe includes more structured clothing to choose from, though, you’ll actually notice how your day will be filled with more structure and purpose.
As Elsie Callender writes in her post, Recovering the Lost Art of Dressing Up,
“It’s a bit of a chicken-or-the egg scenario, I suppose. Does dressing up make you confident and capable, or do you dress up because you’re already confident and capable? I think it works both ways, and that’s good news for those of us who want a practical way to improve our daily lives.”
Aside from the actual comfort level of your clothing, the color of what you wear affects your attitude and moods, too. It’s why black is so appropriate when you’re mourning – and brighter colors can reflect a happier mood.
Just for fun, take a minute to look at your clothing – or think about your clothing:
- What style of clothes do you gravitate toward?
- Are you a little too casual to accomplish much of anything?
- What different kinds of clothing do you need to add to your wardrobe to help your attitude and motivation each day?
- What colors help you become a better person – and what colors just bring you down?
Clothing shapes the way other people think of you.
If you happen to think that your clothing only affects you, then you’re mistaken. Think, for a moment, about meeting someone for the first time. It’s hard to look past what the people are wearing.
It may not be right to make any judgments based on what you see, but the truth is you do notice what other people wear.
And people will form a preconceived idea about you just because of your clothing.
As Elisabeth Elliot asks in her book, Discipline,
“Is it not an indication of my regard for another person’s worth when I am willing to ‘dress up’ – for a job interview, for example; for a special guest I am entertaining; for a social event to which I feel honored to have been invited? … It may be scorned as a form of pride (‘who are you trying to impress?’), but it may be genuine humility of the same sort that would prompt one to polish the silver, get out the beautiful tablecloth, and have candlelight and flowers for someone greatly loved.”
Since people do notice what you wear (and since it’s impossible to get to know everyone to confirm or change their ideas) your clothing will end up shaping the way people think of you.
It won’t hurt to show respect to them – and some respect for yourself – by considering what you wear and dressing appropriately.
Clothing can make your day better – or worse.
Think about how you feel when you’re wearing something that isn’t comfortable – or that makes you feel out of place from everyone else around you. Doesn’t it ruin some part of your day?
Similarly, when you think you look good, you naturally feel good. And when you feel good, you start to notice the good things around you – and you start to feel like you can make not-so-great things better.
Just like clothing can change your attitude, other people’s perceptions of you, and your day, your clothing choices also can help you with your homemaking. Sound impossible? Or improbable?
How to Make Your Clothing Choices Help Your Homemaking
We’ve already covered how clothing can change your attitude and shape the tone of your day. Similarly, your clothing choices help you be more productive around your home.
As one example of the way clothing can change your productivity, Flylady always recommends her followers get dressed to their shoes. She know that when you wear your shoes in your home, you’ll naturally feel more motivated to accomplish tasks. You’ll naturally become more productive – all because of your shoes.
Similar to Flylady’s tip of dressing to your shoes, I’ve found that when I take a little bit of time to think about what I want to wear to get work done in a day,you know you need to get things done.
Case in point: When I know I’ll be home all day and choose yoga pants and a baggy T-shirt, I end up procrastinating most of the day. But when I put on a pair of jeans or skirt, a top I love, a necklace and earrings, I actually move around my home quicker and accomplish more of my to-do list.
I don’t intend on doing more on the days I feel like I’m fully dressed – but I do end up doing more.
The other great thing about wearing actual, thought-out, accessorized outfits is that when I have to run spur-of-the-moment errands or if someone stops by my house, I don’t have to feel completely embarrassed that I look like a slob.
When I get dressed – not in anything fancy, but a nice, coordinated outfit – I look presentable enough that I know I can face anything in my day. And I end up facing more (in a good way!) because I feel motivated to keep busy.
You may decide you want to trade in comfy, frumpy clothes for something a little more fashionable – but you might be concerned about the extra expense or simply don’t know how to get started. Here’s what I’ve done with my own wardrobe.
Easier – and better – shopping
Growing up, I wore a lot of hand-me-downs. A LOT. And while I always loved getting a new batch of hand-me-downs for new-to-me clothes, I was always dressing in someone else’s style, and usually the style was a little outdated. (Not that I’m complaining. I was grateful for a bigger wardrobe.)
Once I began buying clothes for myself, I fell into the trap of only buying what was on clearance racks – which happened to be the leftovers of what everyone else didn’t want. Because of a limited budget, though, I bought whatever was cheapest and looked OK.
Finally, after watching enough episodes of TLC’s What Not to Wear, I realized that certain cuts of clothing look flattering on my body – and others don’t. (Also, buying clothes that fit properly and aren’t too big or small is an important tip.)
Similarly, certain colors are best for my own coloring and personality – and others aren’t.
By keeping these rules of thumb in mind, I’m able to wisely shop clearance racks now:
1. Look for clothing you know will flatter your body – everything from the neckline to sleeve length and length of skirts or pants.
2. Shop for a few signature colors that complement your skin tone. As I shop for these signature colors, I can mix and match a lot of my clothing and jewelry because I know they all complement each other.
3. Always try clothing on first, because you never know if something will look fantastic – or frightening.
4. Don’t forget jewelry. Shop clearance racks for great jewelry deals. The statement jewelry you’ll find will be a super affordable way to accessorize your outfits!
Making your money stretch
As a budget-conscious shopper, I’m always on the lookout for great brands at amazing prices.
Here’s an important lesson I’ve learned: Nice-looking clothing isn’t any more expensive than sloppy clothing.
You would think that sweatpants and T-shirts would be the cheaper option. (They certainly look that way, right?) But there are so many fantastic ways to find really nice, fashionable clothing for a fraction of regular price. Here are some of my 5 best budget-friendly tips:
1. Shop off-season clothing racks.
You might have to search for styles that are flattering – and that you like. But you’ll be surprised at some of the deals you can find! Check department stores for these deals and enjoy the treasure hunt!
One of my absolute favorite stores to shop for clothing at is Kohl’s, because they give amazing discounts, their clearance racks are always filled with clothing options, I can earn Kohl’s Cash for even more money off my purchases, and I get rewards coupons when I do shop there. It’s hard to not buy a couple new outfits every year when it seems like they’re practically giving their clothing away.
2. Don’t be afraid of thrift stores.
For years I stayed away from Goodwill – much to my own misfortune.
Shopping at thrift stores takes more time because you have to look out for missing buttons, stuck zippers, or stains, but it’s well worth it because of the low prices and quality of clothing.
(Hint: When you shop at thrift stores in upscale neighborhoods, you’ll find amazing clothing! You can find other thrift shopping tricks here.)
3. If you don’t have time or patience to scour thrift store racks, online secondhand stores like ThredUP are a fantastic resource.
I love the quality of clothing I’ve bought from ThredUP … and I love how easy it is to search for clothing in my size, preferred style, color, and brand. (Unsure about finding clothing online that fits you best? Here’s how you can find your true fit.)
4. Find a way to trade your clothing.
One local consignment store gives me a 50 percent store credit for my clothing that sells – by selling my clothing there, I’m able to update my wardrobe with like-new clothing for free. I absolutely love this way of affordably updating my wardrobe.
If you don’t have a consignment store you love (yet!) but you do have a friend who’s a similar size as you and you like each other’s styles, do a clothing trade! Not only is it fun to get together with your friends, but it’s also a good way to switch clothes you’d like to get rid of.
When you don’t know what to wear
If you still feel uncertain about picking styles out, you might appreciate capsule wardrobes – creating outfits that look great together simply by mixing and matching a few core pieces.
While you can look for capsule wardrobes on Pinterest, there also are options like Get Your Pretty On’s suggested capsule wardrobes. (The Closet Staples Casual Capsule Wardrobe Builder will help even women with the most casual wardrobes look put together. And the SAHM Casual Basics Wardrobe Builder offers super simple but attractive options.)
As you put some effort into the way you look, not only will you affect your attitude, shape the way people think of you, and make your day better, but you’ll also have a way to be more motivated and productive in your home and life.
How have you noticed that your clothing choices can help you in life … and around your home?
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