I was standing in line to pick up my preschoolers when I overheard the conversation. This is not the first time I’ve heard similar comments about an outfit. I’ve made them myself. I bet you have too. And I’m here to say, enough. We all need to stop.
The conversation went something like this:
Mom #1: “I like your outfit! So cute!”
Mom #2: “Oh thanks. I had a dentist appointment so I figured I should make an effort.”
Mom #1: “I’ve been cleaning all morning so I look like a hot mess.”
Both moms made excuses for their outfits.
The first one (whether the reason was legit or not) felt the need to offer up some “reason” for her cute ensemble. Why do we feel as though we can’t wear something cute just because that’s what we wanted to wear? I’m a big believer in dressing how you want to feel. Personally, I feel my best when I’m wearing “real” clothes. But that doesn’t stop me from making the same excuses when someone compliments my outfit.
On the other hand, there are those days when the active wear is my hashtag ootd (outfit of the day). That’s just busy mom life. Why do I feel the need to explain away my lack of a cute outfit? It seems by now we moms all know there are days that “real clothes” just.don’t.happen.
So here’s the deal: the next time your to-do list is full of errands and you just want to wear a rocking outfit… OWN that, mama. Who cares if you don’t have an appointment or a lunch date? If you like it, feel confident in it, and want to wear it… do it and stop making excuses! Accept the compliment with gratitude and get on with your day. And because you are exuding confidence, I’ll bet you can find something to compliment right back!
My mama friend in running shorts, sports bra, old t-shirt, and top knot…
We know not everything in your closet looks like you just came from the gym or scrubbing floors. Sometimes, the cute outfits gotta take a backseat so we can get.stuff.done. There are long days of baby spit up and cranky toddlers when you know you’ll most likely spend a lot of time on the floor or holding little people. Your leggings and comfy tunic top will help you love on those kiddos best on those days. OWN your outfit mama. Don’t apologize for it. You are taking care of business and the quote/unquote “cute clothes” can wait.
Next time you find yourself ready to excuse your outfit away, try saying something else instead.
Here are a few I’ve been trying myself:
- Try to find a connection point when you are complimented: “Thank you! I just love wearing jewel tones. What are your favorite colors/tones to wear?”
- If you are embarrassed by your “busy mom” attire, don’t focus on what you’re wearing or even on clothes at all. Try to look for other topics of conversation: “Did your son/daughter bring show & tell today?” or “Do you have plans to travel during the holidays?” There are so many other things to talk about besides the clothes on our backs.
We wear cute clothes some days. We step out feeling awesome in our coordinated ensemble ready to tackle the world in style.
Some days, we wear what’s going to help us function best and that might not include the words “cute,” “stylish,” or “fashion-forward.”
Whatever your ootd is, and no matter who is standing next to you in pick-up line, don’t feel awkward and don’t make excuses. Own your outfit. And remember that what our moms and teachers told us as kids is absolutely true: it’s what’s on the inside that matters most. A smile, friendly attitude, and kind words are your best accessories, mama. Work.it.