Love Thy Shoes – Love Thyself

I really liked this blog post from Live Strong and Sore because great minds think alike! Stephanie’s rationale – about how a taking a little care in our appearance can communicate volumes about how we’re feeling on the inside – is the same one that lead me to name this blog “The Clothes Make The Girl” (even though we know that underneath those clothes, CrossFit and dino-chow really make the girl).

That’s also the philosophy that attracted me to this Coco Chanel quote (plus, any sentence that incorporates the word ‘destiny’ in a meaningful way rules:

“I don’t understand how a woman can leave the house without fixing herself up a little – if only out of politeness. And then, you never know, maybe that’s the day she has a date with destiny. And it’s best to be as pretty as possible for destiny.” 

Fashion-as-expression-of-self-esteem also makes me inclined to wear matching black underthings, to adore the tattoos on my feet, and to ensure my toenails are painted, even though most of the time no one else sees any of that stuff.

This might seem superficial, but as Stephanie points out, for many of us, it can be the outward communication of how we’re feeling about ourselves:

Sometimes… I will randomly notice other women that look to be close to may age… In some cases, it looks like they have given up any sense of self. They don’t put themselves together, take a few minutes each day to tidy themselves up. I am not talking about full on glamour… Just a few things that say to anyone around you – I do give a damn about me. (Read the whole post here.)

What do you think, smarty-pants readers: Does your appearance tell the world how you’re feeling about yourself? Is this a “girl” thing – or do you boys have it, too? Is it an only-some-girls thing? And does the right shoe, dress, jeans, or spangly doodad make you feel more like you?

(For the record, my personal boosters, in no particular order: stompy black boots, black fringe or ruffles on an LBD, a leopard print scarf, a wide black leather cuff bracelet, red patent leather pumps, and a perfectly-broken in black leather jacket.)

(You can’t see my feet in this photo, but if you bet your life savings that I was wearing stompy black boots, you’d win! Note also the leather cuff… and if it wasn’t hot as blazes in this state, I would have been wearing a leather jacket, too.)

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  • Danni says:

    Although I completely don't fit this stereotype in any way, I tend to rock the "yummy mummy chic" (i.e. yoga pants and (cute) hoodies) as a compromise between wanting to always be comfortable and not wanting to be a complete slob (only sorta slob). I feel pretty good on the inside though — I'm just not one to get dolled up very often. I have tons of cute shoes and clothes but rarely wear them – I hoard them — great makeup too. I buy it and don't wear it. Coco Chanel would be appalled.

  • Lydia says:

    "Does your appearance tell the world how you're feeling about yourself?"

    Oh HELL yes. My office has a very lax dress code, but I still wear moderately professional clothes to work every day. My co-workers know to leave me alone when I show up in jeans. I've given up wearing heels at the office since I walk to work now (I refuse to carry a second pair of shoes up the hill every day), but at least my sensible shoes are marginally fashionable (Dansko Marcelles in the summer and Double-H Jump Boots in the winter–even with skirts).

    I love everything she says in that green box. Yes, yes, and yes.

    BTW, I adore the tattoos on your feet, too. They're glorious.

  • Melissa 'Melicious' Joulwan says:

    Danni –> Number one, Rollergirls get a free pass to wear whatever the hell they want… and it sounds like you've done a great job of finding a way to be comfortable without being sloppy.

    Lydia –> Wasn't that green box message great?! I love the idea of your "jeans warning system." For me, it's eye makeup. If I'm not wearing black eyeliner and mascara, my co-workers know to steer clear.

  • Steph H says:

    Mel – thanks for the shout out! And to clarify you are not that much older than I. I will be the big 40 next year! We both just take care of ourselves!!


  • Raven says:

    Ha ha oh dear. My normal dress seems to be track pants or jeans, a hideous wollen jersey, a puffy vest and a knitted hat with ear flaps, no makeup and no time spent on the hair. Mind you it is the middle of winter and my horse does NOT care what I look like. Neither does my computer where I spend the rest of my time studying from home. That being said, I do wear nice clothes to work (2 days a week) and when I go out I do like to dress up but my boy friend despairs over my horse clothes as I have been known to go to the supermarket in them!

  • Melissa 'Melicious' Joulwan says:

    Raven, I just went to the grocery store to buy hair dye with uncombed hair, my glasses, a faded and oversized Social Distortion t-shirt, and sparkly VANS… I was definitely *that girl* who didn't pretty up before the store… but it was 6:00 a.m. so everyone else looked like that, too.

    Sounds like you have a great balance between practicality and glam — plus I LOVE hats with ear flaps!