If I had to identify which of the seven deadly sins I incline to the most, it would probably be vanity. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not actually vain. I don’t have a fashion blog or a room full of shoes (my husband is the one with the room full of shoes – and now that I just got my hair cut, the longer hair). No, I just like to look nice.
Actually, this goes as far back as my pre-school years, when my mom used to dress me in cute cotton skirts and fun little purses, while my cousins and friends were all wearing high tops and Snoopy shirts. I hated it then, but something must have stuck, because I was also voted Best Dressed in high school (and Most Likely to End Up on the Cover of Rolling Stone – still waiting for that one to happen). I even had a girl from 10th grade who literally kept track of how many days I went without repeating an outfit. I didn’t know she was doing this until she actually told me, and by then it had been like 30 days or so. We lived in a small town, we didn’t have a lot of hobbies.
Anyways. This interest in personal styling didn’t persist throughout my entire life. There was a period of time when my outfits of choice included blue fleece skater pants, hoodies and Skechers (shudder). On days when I didn’t feel like coming to work, I dressed to express my distaste…so the longer I was employed anywhere, the more bad outfits I wore. This went on until the last three years.
A large part of it had to do with turning 26, getting married, and realizing that I am a long one-way road away from high school…and looking like a bum stops being cute when you’re almost 30.
Here’s the scenario: by the time you’re 26 and beyond, you’re probably working. Unless you’re the guy who created Facebook, or you’re Justin Bieber, my guess is that you’re not rolling in dough at this time in your life. And what little dough you get paid every two weeks comes from a job that you probably don’t like, at best. You’re paying off your college/wedding/bought-too-many-shoes debt. To make matters worse, you’re getting close to thirty, and you are neither flirty nor thriving. In light of all these things, it seems trivial to want to put a little time aside for picking out your clothes or putting on make-up.
I don’t know about you, but when I look awful, I tend to feel awful. I feel like if you’re sad or unhappy, that’s even more reason to look your best. Not necessarily because you’re trying to fake it, but because your outsides are just as much a part of you as your insides. They’re intrinsically connected, and to improve one usually helps to improve the other. Of course, if you’re actually a shallow and empty trend-monger, then that’s a whole other topic. But I think that if you love yourself (which you should), and you think you deserve to be loved (which you do), then you should probably be the first in line to honor yourself by putting some effort in what you put on yourself. It doesn’t have to be overly fancy or trendy or expensive. It just has to bring out the best in what you were born with. At least that way, even if your life isn’t exactly where you want it to be, you can feel good about what you’ve got on.