Saturday, July 11, 2020

Dress for the life you want

I recently ran across some photos, and it seems like now is as decent of a time as any to share the story with you. (Plus this may lay some ground work for some other bloggy things.)

I was working at a preschool, which of course provided a general atmosphere of adorable. Cuteness prevailed on most mornings, with outfits lovingly picked out and adorned. Within hours, classroom life often proved too much for crispness or cleanliness. There was one girl who didn't exactly strive for princess perfection, but more just for what appealed to her on any given day. She clearly took very little input when selecting her ensembles and coordinating pieces were not essential. Maybe she would have on a princess costume dress with a random sweater thrown over it, or a taffeta skirt and beloved tshirt with sneakers. What seemed to be most important was how she felt about each article and more so how each item made her feel. 

My cohorts and I got to talking one afternoon about elevating our own dress codes, thinking maybe this little one was on to something. What would it be like to just throw havoc to the wind and dress like nobody was watching? What if we donned items that made us feel special, but didn't sacrifice comfort? The next morning, I put on the dress from my senior ball, accessorized with some plastic necklaces, relics from my daughter's dress up bin, that made me smile. I realized that a nice cotton shirt over the top would make me more comfortable, and would also make the fact that the zipper no longer reached the top far less obvious. I grabbed a couple of other gowns I had bought at an estate sale, and two of my coworkers slid that finery over whatever they initially arrived at school wearing.
Nailed it!

We felt what I like to think of as that special sort of joy that only a spark of silliness can bring. It can't necessarily be explained to anyone who asks, they just have to know. It doesn't concern itself with "why", but rather eggs you on by shouting "WHY NOT?!" It doesn't leave room for doubt or embarrassment because you are the one standing there showing the world that you stand by your decision. It is like a preschooler smiling about candy or at a brand new box of crayons before something equally as fabulous flashes by. Those things still bring me a great deal of happiness, but it fades more quickly now as an adult due to the weight of reality.
Dora the Explorer Fan Club
As if we called each other to coordinate
I wonder what that little girl is like now at age sixteen. I hope she still has the spirit of what I will call a sensible princess...feeling pretty, comfortable and confident in her decisions with a spark of silly and so much joy.