Choosing to Wear that Kinda Weird Shirt

Posted by on Feb 11, 2013


In general, I don’t care much for fashion trends – although I really should admit that I’ve never been much good at it all when I’ve tried. Can you blame me though? The industry is so indecisive! Flip through the archives of any clothing magazine or blog and you find so many mixed messages:

2010: Flared jeans are so unattractive and don’t suit anyone.
2011: Flared jeans are the epitome of fashion and look great on everyone.
2012: Death to flared jeans. Skinny jeans for the win.
2013: Let’s all wear tights and pretend that they’re pants.

Usually, I buy what I like and I stay away from anything new until its been around for at least five years (and likely no longer in style).

However, a year or so ago, I packed up my maternity clothes and realized just how old and dingy my regular clothes were. Most of my jeans had holes. My shoes didn’t fit right anymore. And I felt frumpy. So I decided to put more effort into my wardrobe.

I didn’t go on a crazy shopping spree, but I really thought about my clothes and purchased a few things that I liked a lot. I bought a couple pairs of boots. I traded in my baggy jeans for ones that were more fitted. I bought a lot of lovely nursing shirts – as “product research” for my store, of course. And I read some good fashion blogs too. I learned about the “mom uniform” from The Happiest Mom and worked on a few outfits that had interchangeable pieces and made me feel polished.

Overall I was satisfied with my wardrobe, yet there were a couple days when I stared in my closet and grumbled that I had “nothing to wear”. You know – those mornings where you rip every single shirt you own off the hanger and fling it to the floor in frustration, insisting that nothing looks right?

On one such morning, I was angrily tearing through my clothes, annoyed because they were all too old or too small or just too unflattering.

And then I felt ashamed.

Because I have more than enough clothes. And refusing to wear a shirt because I don’t like the neckline/details/length makes me feel like a bit of a spoiled brat. Because while I think it’s completely fine to want to dress better and wear flattering clothes, I have to start from a place of gratitude for what I’ve already been given. That required an attitude adjustment.

So that morning, I did this little experiment – I looked at the clothes scattered across my floor and I intentionally picked a weird shirt that I rarely wear and don’t really love and I wore it for the day. The world didn’t end. No one pointed and laughed at me, and I didn’t feel as uncomfortable as I expected I would. In fact, every time I caught a glimpse of it in the mirror, the weird shirt made me feel grateful for everything that I’ve been blessed with.

Since then, I’ve done this experiment again. Instead of staying up to do a load of laundry so I’d have my favorite outfits to wear in the morning, I’ve consciously chosen to wear something that I like a bit less. And each time, the choice has made me more aware throughout the day of the gifts I’ve been given.

Who would have thought that wearing something that doesn’t look quite right would make me feel happier…


  1. You are inspiring me to find something kinda weird to wear tomorrow. I have so many of those pieces in my closet — great nudge toward gratitude!

    But: Is that the kinda weird shirt in your photo? Because that looks super cute.

    • LOL, I couldn’t manage to get a picture that really highlighted the awkward ruffle and belly-clinginess – which might just mean that it’s all in my head after all! :)

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