This just in: BIG Memorial Day deals at Amazon! Some of the items listed below could be great graduation gifts!
HUGE deals on Gap Apparel at Amazon…up to 68% off! Click here, and click on “deals”!
Rent the Runway New and Pre-Loved Apparel on Amazon! If you’re not familiar with Rent the Runway, it’s an online business that offers apparel for rent. Right now, they are selling off some of their apparel on Amazon! Get it here! There are lots of great deal, including this gorgeous Victoria Victoria Beckham dress for less than $100!!
Amazon Basics. Lots of deals on Amazon Basics Home products. It’s a good place to stock up on stuff for dorm rooms! I see deals on shelving, hangers, bedding, towels, organizers, chargers, garbage cans, sheets, tensions rods, pillows, and lots more stuff you can use in the dorm! Check it out here.
Segway Electric Scooters. I see some that are up to 48% off! Some college students use electric scooters to move around big campuses! If your student needs/wants one, this is a good time to get a deal on Amazon! Purchase here! The one pictured below is regularly about $400, but you can get it now for $275! Click here to see this one.
Mr Coffee Iced and Hot Coffee Maker. Priced at just $45, this is a deal. If your kid spends a lot on iced coffees at Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts, this could save you some big bucks. Click here.
Aqualeisure Pool Products. It’s their summer kickoff sale, so you can get up to 47% off and inflatable recliner and more! Click here.
Those are some of the deals offered by Amazon for Memorial Day weekend. I will post more tomorrow!
I love summer, and I love summer dresses. Going out to lunch? Wear a cute, comfortable dress. Going to visit friends? Wear a cute, comfortable dress. It’s hot here in the south, and anything that helps me stay cool is a great thing for me. I wear a lot of dresses during summer…short dresses, long dresses…I love them all. If you like to feel more free during the hot months, check out these summer dresses in lots of different styles:
Amazon Essentials Short-Sleeve Swing Dress. You can’t get a more basic summer dress than this one. It’s cute, comfortable, and you can dress it up or dress it down. Add a cute denim jacket for a casual look, or add a colorful scarf to dress it up. Priced under $25, you might want it in several colors! Purchase it here.
The Drop Dakota Belted Mini Dress. I love this dress (below). It comes in several different colors, lots of sizes, and the price is right at about $50. Purchase it here.
More from The Drop. In fact, The Drop has lots of dresses I love for summer…with great prices! Some examples are below. To see their offerings click here.
Rails Tara Dress. Rails makes some great lightweight, cute dresses for summer, like this Tara Dress (below). Priced at $198, it’s a little more expensive, but it’s cute and perfect for high temperatures. Purchase here.
French Connection Long Tiered Dress. (See below) This one is colorful and lightweight, but has long sleeves, making it perfect for restaurants, theaters, and other places that can be a little cool when you walk indoors. Priced under $100. Purchase it here.
English Factory Mixed Media Dress. (See below) This one is a personal favorite, because it’s comfortable, but has texture and sleeves that camouflage my upper arms. Priced at just $60, you should get one in every color! It’s offered in seven colors! Purchase here.
Lilly Pulitzer Hollie Tunic Dress. (See below) Lilly Pulitzer knows color, and this tunic dress is great for girls’ lunches, but it can even work in casual office settings. I love that it’s a shorter dress but has 3/4 sleeves. This one is priced a little higher at $178. Purchase it here. And to see other great Lilly Pulitzer summer dresses, click here.
BB Dakota Wild Spirit Dress. Need something a little dressier but still comfy? Priced at under $55, this one is perfect for a summer dinner out or at a summer cocktail party. Made of 100% cotton, it’s breathable. Purchase here.
Trina Turk A-Line Cotton Dress. I love this dress in both colors. It’s a little pricey, but I think this is one I will wear all the time. The bright colors make me happy! Sure, it’s $278, and that’s a lot, but when I think in terms of “price per wear,” knowing I will have this dress for years to come, it doesn’t bother me as much. Purchase here. Or to see more cute Trina Turk styles, click here.
Those are some of my favorite summer dresses, and if you’re wondering what kinds of shoes to wear with summer dresses, I love Sorel sport sandals. See them here. Scroll down the page. They’re comfortable and cute, with rubber soles that offer stability when walking outdoors.
I was never a faithful fan of What Not to Wear when it was on. In fact, I likely only saw two or three episodes, but I learned something. I didn’t learn a lot, but I learned that defining your waist and a v-neck can make you look slimmer, but it’s not always easy to do. Lots of clothes are big and bulky, so any time I find a cute peplum-style top with a defined waist, I buy it…in every color! If you’d like to try the “defined waist,” here are some peplum tops I have found on Amazon that I love:
Peplum Tie-Front Top by Grace Karin. Y’all, I love this one so much that I purchased it in every color. It’s true. The bell sleeves conceal my upper arms, and the tie-front defines the waistline, while the peplum just skims the hips. Love it! And it’s only $29.99. Click here to purchase.
Buttondown Drawstring Peplum Blouse. This one is offered in multiple colors. It’s a buttondown/drawstring style that accentuates the waist while hanging loosely otherwise. I love the yellow, and it’s under $23. Click here.
Floral Wrap Style Blouse. I’m not normally a floral girl. When I was younger, I felt like they made me look like a little girl. I’m not young anymore, so I like florals better. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t have a closet full of them, but I like these blouses, and at $33.99, they’re priced right. I like them paired with white jeans or crisp denim, but they can be dressed up for dinners out. Click here.
Deep V Peplum Blouse. Yes, it’s a deep V, but it’s flattering. I love this one in green, but there are lots of colors offered. The sheer fabric is forgiving, and the wide sleeves camouflage upper arms. At $18.99, I couldn’t afford to pass it up! Click here to purchase.
These are just a few peplum-style tops I highly recommend for anyone who wants a little waist definition without having to go with skin tight tops. These styles encourage more movement with less tugging. In addition to these, Amazon offers lots more peplum-style tops. Check out more by clicking here.
I don’t know about every other person in the world, but I have different “types” of clothes. I have “real” clothes for daytime…the ones I wear to meetings or lunches with friends. I have “real” clothes for evening…the ones I wear to dinner or parties. And I have my “comfy” clothes…the ones that are just comfortable and work well for vacation too. Here are some comfy things I have found recently for summer. If you see me running errands, cheering on a baseball team, on a tour, or if you drop in at my house, this is what I will likely be wearing.
Loose Cropped Pants. Love these linen pants for casual summer days. Easy to wear with the tshirts below. Priced under $20, they’re inexpensive and good-looking. Click here.
Loose-Fit V-Neck T-shirt. I have this one in several colors. It’s loose, but not too loose. I like that it just skims my body instead of clinging to it. Looks great with the pants above or with the skorts below. And the v-neck is flattering. Priced under $25. Click here.
Comfy Colorful Shirt. I love colorful shirts that can be casual or dressy, and I have found one I love on Amazon. It could even work when I go to lunch with friends on a hot summer day. Or I could lounge around home in it too. It’s $46…great price. Click here.
Loungewear. The set pictured below is about $25, and it’s super comfortable and good-looking. My daughter has it in one color, and I have it in another. Click here for that set. For other loungewear, click here.
Half Sleeve Loose Fit T-shirt. Again, it’s loose fit but not too loose…skims the body, and the half sleeves provide coverage for upper arms. And looks great with the pants above or skorts below. Click here.
Columbia Summerdry Skort. Columbia makes quality outdoor wear, and I love this skort in all colors. Click here.
Avalanche Ripstop Cargo Skort. Another cute skort option. I like the slight a-line shape of this one. Click here.
Baleaf Skort. A little stretch makes this one extra comfortable. Click here.
Comfy Colorful Dress. I love a colorful, lightweight summer dress, and I found one on Amazon I love. It comes in multiple colors. Dress it up or down. You’ll want to wear it every day. Priced at about $50, I want one in every color. Click here.
Sorel Women’s Slingback Heel Sandal. I have always been a fan of sporty sandals, but I hate flat ones. These give me a little lift in the heel and look cute too. Offered in four colors, they’re priced at just under $200, so they’re not inexpensive, but they are great quality. Click here. Other Sorel sandals, click here.
Saucony Cohesion 13 Running Shoes. I love these shoes. They come in several colors. Sure, Saucony has made more generations of these since the 13th, but I love this one, so I will be buying them as long as I can. Priced at under $50, tjhey are great running/walking shoes. Keep in mind, they might seem a little stiff at first, but they break in fast. Saucony makes great shoes. Click here. Other Saucony options, click here.
Turkish Towels. OK, so they’re not clothes, but Turkish Towels are great to have around during summer…to take to outdoor concerts or for beach or pool time. They’re lightweight and do the job without absorbing water or extra sand, and the ones I like are priced right at Amazon. They’re even light enough to use as a wrap, if you need one on a chilly night. If you haven’t tried them, it’s high time you did. Priced at about $17, they are a bargain. Click here.
Summer’s almost here! Let’s get ready! Happy Shopping!
As we approach high school graduation, seniors are making final college decisions. Our daughter graduated last year, and at her high school, they have “College T-shirt Day” every year. It’s a day all the seniors wear shirts showing which college or university they will be attending in the fall. They take a big group picture, and it’s fun to see where everyone will be going. If students didn’t get t-shirts when they visited their future colleges, they need to get them now.
Even if their schools don’t have T-shirt Day, it’s a good idea for them to get some gear for school spirit. It’s also fun for the rest of the family to get in on the school spirit. I have friends who are all in on the school spirit for their kids’ colleges. My own daughter goes to my alma mater, so I already had some fan gear, but I have to admit that I likely accumulated more after she decided to go there. I also have to admit we probably went a little overboard getting gear for her before she left.
There are lots of places to stock up on fan gear, including the university or college bookstores and souvenir shops when you visit. However, if you’d like to shop from home, Amazon has its very own “Fan Shop” where you can purchase all types of gear for lots of colleges and universities that have sports teams. Last year, I encouraged my daughter’s friends and their parents to check it out, so now I’m telling everyone else. You can shop the Amazon Fan Shop here. When you get to the Amazon Fan Shop page, you simply choose your team (or school) by clicking on “choose your team,” then clicking on NCAA, and then clicking on the college or university of your choice.
Last year, our daughter had to have a t-shirt that clearly showed her college choice for T-shirt Day, so we started with that. She also wanted a hoodie or two and a couple of crewneck sweatshirts. Oh, and don’t forget the sticker for the back window of her car. That was important too. In addition to the student’s fan gear, lots of dads like to get collared shirts and t-shirts with school emblems on them, and you can find lots of those at the Amazon Fan Shop too. Also, keep in mind that, if you plan to attend any sporting events in a stadium or arena, many require that any handbags are clear. You can find clear handbag options for moms and daughters with school logos at the Amazon Fan Shop as well.
This is an exciting time for families and their soon-to-be college students! Start accumulating gear now, before your student has T-Shirt Day at school and before they go to summer orientation, if their college does that. No matter what, it’s fun to have some school fan gear to wear during the summer too. Amazon is a one-stop shop for fan gear, and if you have an Amazon Prime account, shipping is often free.
Weekly link recap, ending 4/8/23. Click on the item name to go straight to the corresponding site page of items I posted this week. To read the piece about the items, click on the TITLE of the piece. Thank you!
*Each week, I will post a recap of any links I have shared in any posts during the week prior. Happy Shopping!*
I have always loved travel. I love hopping on a plane with my husband, my family, or with friends and heading off to somewhere fun. But first I have to get there. Right out of college, I was a flight attendant for a hot minute. When you work for an airline and travel on an employee pass, there is a dress code. Traveling on an employee pass, I was required to dress professionally, and that set a tone for me. Therefore, I like travel clothes that look good but give me some comfort. You won’t see me on an airplane in athletic shorts…or shorts of any kind. You might see me in joggers, because they’re comfortable, and I can dress them up. As summer gets closer, more people travel, so I have some recommendations. Here are some travel outfits I love:
Wide Leg Jumpsuit. As I scrolled through Instagram a few weeks ago, I came across a wide-leg, short-sleeve jumpsuit perfect for travel. It has a v-neck, and it also has some spandex, meaning stretch, so it’s more comfortable on long flights. It comes in a variety of colors, but I prefer the darker colors. I have ordered this in several colors, but the black is my fave. It’s great, because the v-neck is flattering, and the wide legs make it easy-fitting. At just $35.99 (yes, you read that right), it’s a great buy. Pair it with a cute jacket for some dimension. I love to add a scarf for a pop of color; it can also act as a lightweight blanket on a chilly flight. To purchase this fabulous piece (picture below) from Amazon, click here.
Amazon Essentials Joggers. Somehow, I got lucky and stumbled upon the inexpensive Amazon Essentials Joggers a year or two ago, and since then, I have accumulated a collection. While they offer a variety of colors, my entire collection consists of black joggers. They’re lightweight. They’re cute. They’re flattering, and most importantly, they are wash-and-wear…so easy! I know what you’re thinking: sweatpants. Sure, joggers can be considered sweatpants, but these can be dressed up, without a doubt. In winter, I wear them with cute ankle boots and sweaters, while in warmer months, I wear them with wedges. Priced under $20, these joggers are so inexpensive, you have to get them. Purchase here.
V-neck tshirt. I am pretty particular about my “t-shirt” type shirts. I like long sleeves, but they also offer this shirt in short sleeve version. I like a flattering v-neck. And I like for it to fit my arms but not hug my body tightly. I found one on Amazon that has worked for me time and time again. It works great with the joggers above or with the Miramar joggers below. Purchase it here
Large scarf. I love a colorful scarf for “dressing up” an outfit. Years ago, I learned the “third piece,” whether it is a jacket or scarf, completes an ensemble…making the wearer appear more “put together.” It’s something I believe in, for sure. So when I’m wearing an all-black outfit, as a jumpsuit or joggers and shirt, I like to add a colorful scarf to break up the black a little and make me look complete. A large scarf can also help ensure I stay warm on a chilly flight. I found a couple of faves on Amazon that are pretty darn inexpensive. The first is a silk scarf that’s priced at under $20, and it measures 70″ x 35″…making it a good size. It comes in lots of colors and patterns, and you can purchase it here. For one that has a “cashmere feel,” and measures 78″ x 27″, click here.
Rag and Bone Miramar joggers. OK, y’all, I’m giving away a big secret here. No joke, I have only shared this info with my closest friends, but here it is: I wear sweatpant jeans. Yep. Rag and Bone makes Miramar joggers that are printed to look like cute jeans, but they are really French terry sweatpants, and they look great! I’m not going to lie…at $225, they are pricey, but I love them. In fact, I love them so much that, over time, I have purchased two pairs in each color. They are 100% cotton, so you need to remember not to put them in the dryer when you wash them, but other than that, they are pretty easy. As joggers, they have elastic around the ankles, so they are great for lots of heights. I’m only 5’2″, and I love these, because I wear them pushed all the way down to the ankle, or I can wear the elastic underneath a little higher on my leg to make them look more cropped. These are truly some of my favorite travel pants. I can pair them with a cute top or blouse and jacket, and I look finished. No one knows they are sweats, unless they are familiar with the brand. To see the Miramar joggers on Amazon, click here. Another company, BLANKNYC offers something similar at a much lower price. I haven’t tried them (yet), but if you’d like something similar without the sticker shock, try them. The BLANKNYC version is priced under $52 in the lighter color (click here) or the darker color ($81) here.
Utility Shirt Jacket. I love a good utility shirt jacket, because it can add to so many different outfits. For travel, I have a few I use, but a favorite is definitely a Lucky Brand version. It’s olive green, so basically a neutral. I will wear it with all of the items above, and it’s offered in more than one color. It’s lightweight and well-made, and because it’s a neutral, it can be used in various ways with different styles of outfits, even dresses. Get yours here.
Blazer. If you prefer a more tailored look, a blazer might be the way to go. I have a few of these lightweight blazers from Amazon. Priced under $50, they won’t break the bank, and they’re comfortable and travel well. Offered in 15 colors, they make a great addition to any travel wardrobe. Get a few colors, and switch things up! Purchase here.
And this is when I tell you that, in order to keep these pieces from looking too casual, I never wear sneakers on planes. Personally, I prefer comfortable wedge sandals in spring and summer and comfortable boots or loafers in fall and winter. It’s just my way of dressing it all up and pulling it together. But by all means, you do you. And always remember that, if you are checking luggage on commercial airlines, you need to pack at least one change of clothes in your carry-on bag. I always pack a swimsuit in my carry-on too, if I’m going to a warm location.
A distant cousin posted a meme on Facebook today that said, “Every marriage has one person who throws things out, and a garbage-loving, chaos goblin who says, ‘But I was saving that!'” I replied, “Me…I’m the goblin.”
A few times a year, though, I get the urge to get rid of the chaos, and today was one of those days. I made the decision this morning to tackle my closet again when I realized I needed a place to hide some Christmas gifts. I have a pretty nice-sized closet. It’s not particularly large, but it’s not small by most people’s standards, either. Could I host a party in there? No. Do I have it decorated to the nines with a chandelier and the prettiest wallpaper I could find? No, but my closet, as it is, should be sufficient for the stuff I have, especially since I converted all my hangers to velvet flocked hangers earlier this year. (If you haven’t done that yourself, you will likely find you have more closet space if you do. I purchase mine from Amazon here. The ones in my feature photo are black, but I prefer the ivory ones.) And there should be plenty of space to hide gifts…now that I cleaned it out.
When I first moved into this house 22 years ago, I would swap out my wardrobe seasonally…taking the spring/summer clothing up to our climate-controlled attic space in fall, and swapping it with the fall/winter clothing in spring. I feel pretty sure I did that for several years…until I found better things to do with my time and stopped that insanity. Now, all my clothes and shoes are in the closet year-round, and I’m the first to admit I have a lot of clothes and a lot of shoes. They are color-coded and separated by season (go ahead…gasp! I know you’re surprised!), but they are all in there. So every now and then, especially after I have purchased new things, I realize I need to get rid of some things. Today was one of those days.
Today, I started by going through the dresses then moved on to the jackets, tops, pants, shoes, and finally…the miscellaneous items that get stashed in there when I’m in a hurry…like packets of seeds for my garden…not sure why or how those ended up in there.
Lots of people use the “if I haven’t worn it in a year, I’m not going to wear it” method of cleaning their closet, but not me. In fact, for one of my daughter’s graduation events last May, I wore a lovely pair of designer shoes I purchased in Palm Beach 21 years ago. I had not worn them in 18 or 19 years, but every time I cleaned my closet over those 18 or 19 years, I resisted the urge to toss them out, donate them, or sell them, because like the meme my cousin posted, “I was saving that!” Seriously, I knew I would have another opportunity to wear them. Plus, they are lovely, classic shoes that I purchased on sale for 90% off! How often does a deal like that come around?!?! I can’t get rid of those! I’m too proud of the purchase! I also recently wore a dress I hadn’t worn in 2 1/2 years! It’s a quality dress I purchased in LA three years ago. I had worn it just once before, but I was so glad I had it when I needed it!
It’s rare that I get rid of a quality purchase. I’m smart enough to know that any good shoes or handbags I purchased over the years are likely to be called “vintage” one day. I hang on to those. But the impulse purchases I make in a Zara or H&M store? (Don’t go all crazy on me. I love Zara and H&M.) Or the “filler” clothes I purchase on a whim? By “filler,” I mean they are just clothes I’m likely to wear to events that aren’t fancy, but they’re also not super-casual. I wear good clothes to parties, lunch or dinner with friends, or events. I wear super-casual (we’re talking t-shirts, hoodies, sweatpants, etc) to run errands. But those filler clothes? They are perfect for air travel, school sporting events, and stuff like that. Those “filler” clothes are the ones that are likely to go into the “toss” pile if I haven’t worn them in a year. And that’s exactly what happened today.
I normally don’t throw out handbags. I have tons of “vintage” handbags, even though, as I have gotten older, they have gotten very little use. At 55, I mostly carry a small, black, Tumi Ruma crossbody. (You can purchase one like it from Tumi here. It would make a great Christmas gift for anyone on your list who travels, because it’s small but large enough for important documents, cash, lipsticks, mints, and credit cards.) In fact, I don’t know that I have carried any of my other handbags in a year or two…except for the clear handbags I’m required to carry to college and professional sporting events. And shoes…mostly the ones I toss are well-worn flip flops and sneakers. Today, in fact, I’m wearing some sparkly, purple Uggs I’ve had for at least 10 years. I’m not wearing them to make a fashion statement. I’m wearing them simply for comfort, because they are, indeed, comfortable. These Uggs will never be thrown out. But those cheap flip flops I purchased last summer when I was on vacation and realized I forgot to take flip flops? They were the first things to go today.
So my closet cleaning method, while different than most, works for me. And maybe it will work for you? My method? Toss the cheap stuff, but keep the good stuff and the frequently-worn stuff. I have sweatpants and jeans in my closet that I have had in the regular wardrobe rotation for years!
And now I have a clean closet with plenty of room for stashing Christmas gifts until I can get them wrapped and under the tree (when I get that up!).
Mine is not. I know this, because she has worked out an arrangement with a friend who does her laundry. “You scratch my back; I’ll scratch yours.”
Before you get all judgy and start lecturing me on how my daughter should be spending her spare time in a laundry facility, waiting for her clothes to wash and dry, let me remind you that I could have paid a laundry service to do her laundry. Instead, another student is benefitting from the fact that my daughter doesn’t have a personal washer and dryer. And the friend? Well, as part of the bargain, my daughter takes her friend to run errands weekly, since the friend doesn’t have a car. It all works out, and they are both happy.
Remember when we were in college? Lots of us did jobs for extra cash. I typed papers for friends. I had a word processor, and they knew I could type a paper in no time, thanks to my high school typing teacher, Mrs. Ruby Lewis. She taught me well, and I put that skill to work in college. I didn’t get paid in cash, though. I got paid in food, beer, Icees…whatever I needed or wanted at the time. So my friend, Angela, might have brought a paper to me and said, “I need this 10-page paper by tomorrow morning at 8:00. Can you make that happen?” We would discuss the terms, and I would start typing. Angela would likely run to the Corner Store (it was actually called that) and buy me an Icee for me to drink while I worked…plus any snacks or school supplies I requested. When we went out later, she probably bought my dinner and drinks for the night. No cash exchanged hands. She scratched my back, and I scratched hers.
I wish I could have found someone who was willing to do my laundry back then. But I didn’t do my own laundry in college either. I took it to the local Fluff and Fold, which was actually a laundry facility where I paid a nice lady to wash/dry/fold my clothes for me. They charged by the pound, and I didn’t mind paying whatever I had to pay. I needed clean clothes. It worked out nicely for the Fluff and Fold, and it worked out nicely for me.
Recently, on a college parents page, a mom posted, “Can someone recommend a cleaning lady or service to clean my son’s dorm room and bathroom?” You would have thought she was trying to hire a hitman! The judgy moms came out of the woodwork and totally attacked her. I didn’t. I get it. I have even told my daughter it’s fine to pay someone to clean her bathroom if someone needs some extra spending money. I pay someone to clean my house! What’s the difference?!? Isn’t life about finding ways to make things happen? In fact, to the mom on the parents’ page, I said just that. “I think it is absolutely fine to pay someone to clean your college student’s room. I pay someone to clean my house, so why would I hesitate to encourage my daughter to do the same?!?” It’s helping the economy and helping someone else, right? What’s the difference in paying someone to clean your room or type your paper? No one ever had issues with paying someone to type a paper for them! No one has issues with paying someone to walk their dog! No one has issues with paying someone wash a car!
So, lucky me. I know my daughter is wearing clean clothes. She isn’t having to turn her clothes inside out to keep wearing them for multiple days. She isn’t having to search through the dirty clothes in her laundry bag to decide what’s the least dirty so she can wear it to class. She definitely has clean clothes. Don’t get me wrong. She might opt to wear the same sweatshirt two or three days in a row, but that’s a choice, because I know she always has something clean she can wear.
And you know what else? She even has clean sheets! Can you say the same about your college student? If you’re not sure about that, it might be a good idea for your college student to find a friend who can do a bartering system to get his/her laundry done. Or maybe it’s your child who needs to be driven around to do errands? If so, maybe he/she offers to do someone’s laundry in exchange for a drive to do weekly errands…or a ride to the airport…or whatever.
I know my daughter has taken several friends to the airport an hour away. That’s a good opportunity for her to work out a deal! Maybe she needs someone to bake some cookies for her to take to an event? Or maybe she needs a dress hemmed? “I’ll take you to the airport if you will hem my dress for me next week.”
And despite what the judgy moms of the world think, being able to strike a deal that benefits both people is what makes the world go around! I love when I hear college students are getting creative to get things done! I take no issue with the person who wants to pay someone to clean a dorm room. My own parents thought it was hilarious that I typed papers in exchange for Icees, food, and beer back in the 1980s! I was quite the enterprising young college girl!
Let me know if you need me to type anything for you…especially if you are a good cook. Will type for food.
Recently, one of my favorite psychologists, Lisa Damour, the author of Untangled (see the book on Amazon here), posted something on Facebook about how to address your preteen/teen daughter’s wardrobe choices. And wow! It stirred up some controversy on her Facebook page! I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, because everything seems to stir up controversy these days. Below is what she posted. And you can listen to the relevant podcast here.
If you have ever read anything I have written, you know I am the mother of a teenage daughter. She’s 18 now…almost 19…and a month into her freshman year of college. She has always been a “real” teenager. She likes to have fun. She likes to spend time with friends. She likes to laugh. She likes to go to parties. Somehow, between all the fun, she manages to do the things she is supposed to do too. Thank the Lord.
She’s the perfect daughter for me, but does that mean she’s perfect? No. I’m not the perfect mother or a perfect person, either. But somehow, we survived the middle and high school years. Does that mean we never disagree? Nope. We disagree. When she was younger, we even disagreed occasionally about wardrobe choices. And just like Lisa Damour, I tried to find a way to say things nicely. Was I always successful? No. Sometimes, I probably said things like, “You look like a hoochie mama.” I know. Not kind words, but they got the point across, and chances are, they probably started a “discussion.”
Even when she was four years old, she had a mind of her own. This is not a story of which I am proud, but it happened. One Sunday morning, as we were getting ready to go to church, I said to our daughter, “Pick out which dress you want to wear.” She argued, “I don’t want to wear a dress. Everyone else doesn’t wear dresses to church.” You know what I said next. “Well, I’m not everyone else’s mother, and we wear dresses to church. Now, go into your closet and pick which one you want to wear.” Her dresses were beautifully organized (back then) and hanging in an orderly fashion in her closet. I followed her into the closet, where she promptly and defiantly touched each dress with the tips of her fingers, while saying some things I won’t repeat. ***Here is where I need to tell you my husband had a brain tumor at the time and because of it, lacked judgment on when and where to say things. He had no filter.*** I’m not kidding. I was horrified (I knew where she had heard it), but I also found myself about to laugh. I made a quick decision to ignore the obvious ploy for attention. I turned my back for a moment before turning around and asking her, “Did you pick a dress?” She did, and I never mentioned the offensive language to her, because I didn’t want it to get any attention. I did, however, tell her preschool teacher (at our church!) the next morning when I dropped her off…gave her a heads up that my daughter, my sweet little 4-yr-old daughter, might teach her classmates some new words. Lord, help us.
We didn’t have much wardrobe controversy for several years after that. I had given up on ruffles and bows long before…when she, at 1 1/2 or 2, declared they were “for babies.” I did manage to get her to wear a hair bow for picture day in Transitional Kindergarten, but only because I told her she could take it out immediately after pictures, which she did. In third grade, on picture day, she didn’t want to look prissy. That was a bit of a battle. We finally agreed, much to my dismay, on a blue t-shirt with a sequined pocket. Sadly, it’s the picture that appeared in the school lunchroom on her checkout page every single day when she made a purchase…all the way through senior year…that damned blue shirt with the sequined pocket.
When she got to middle school, I’m sure I had to veto some ensembles, but not likely because they were skimpy…just not appropriate for the occasion, whatever it might have been.
Then along came high school. She got taller, and the clothes got smaller.
The shorts got shorter and tighter. The shirts got tighter and shorter. The heels got higher. It happens. Frankly, I probably would have been more worried about her if it hadn’t happened. And yes, there were times I had to stop her at the door and say, “You’re not wearing that.”
Some people think we shouldn’t expect our girls to be responsible for what other people think of how they dress. I get it, but I’m not one of those people. I think there is a time and place for everything.
When our daughter was in high school, if she wanted to wear short shorts and a crop top or tube top, that was fine…as long as she is just hanging out with her friends. She didn’t need to walk into better retail establishments dressed like that. She didn’t need to go out to dinner dressed like that. She didn’t need to meet parents of dates dressed like that. It’s simply not appropriate, and I don’t think it gives off the impression she wants to give in those situations.
She’s in college now, so I only get pictures after the fact. I have no say-so. I have no opportunity to nix an outfit choice, but so far, I’ve been pleased with the photos she has sent me. Generally speaking, she knows what is appropriate and what is not.
Come on. Let’s face it. What we wear does say something about us. Every time I get dressed to go somewhere, I am very aware of what I look like. Sometimes, I am dressed like a casual mom, and I know it. Sounds silly, but jeans and a gingham shirt are not going to a fine dining establishment. A comfy, cotton dress? That’s not going either. Sneakers? Nope. I can wear all of those to the grocery store, a sporting event, or for running erands, but if I’m going to a fine dining establishment, I want to dress like I know what I’m doing.
Even when I go to the doctor, I tend to try to dress up a little. It’s about respect, right? I don’t have to be a beauty queen, but don’t we all know people get treated with a little more respect when we look like we have made some effort to look our best? I can’t speak for everyone, but if I look good, I feel good. It’s just the way I roll. If I’m dressed sloppily, I tend to feel sloppy.
So yes, I have been known to stop my daughter from walking out the door dressed in certain ways…when she was younger. Don’t get me wrong…I’m pretty easy going. But if her date’s parents are coming over or picking her up for dinner, she needs to look like she wants their respect. I think this is what school dress codes are all about…teaching kids how to dress appropriately, but most schools don’t seem to care anymore. Later, when our daughter goes for a job interview, she needs to look like she has some self respect.
If you don’t respect yourself, how do you expect others to respect you?!?
If you don’t respect yourself, how do you expect others to respect you? That’s my message to her. Fortunately, this is not a conversation we have had much in the past couple of years…mostly when she was a young teen.
So yes, I agreed with Lisa Damour’s post. Not everyone did, and that’s OK. We all have our own opinions, and that’s what makes the world go ’round.