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What are you wearing?

If you’re like me and you check the computer first thing in the morning, while you’re sipping your coffee (or hot chocolate in my case), I’ll give you a pass if you’re still in your pjs. But if you’ve been up for a while, and you look frumpy, this week is for you!

Maybe you’re a stay at home mom and you figure, why bother looking good? No one will see me except the kids. Or maybe you work outside the home, but the mornings are so harried that trying to look put together isn’t high on your list.

Look, no one has to live up to society’s standard of beauty. No one needs to be a size 4. But what I’m talking about has nothing to do with your figure and everything to do with the amount of effort we decide to put into our appearance.

Why should it matter? Because deciding to look put together is also saying, “I take myself seriously. I respect myself.”

Fight the Frump! A blog series

And it’s saying one other thing, too. On yesterday’s post, Carrie left this comment:

One time my hubby came home from work and I was still in my pjs. He asked if I or the kids were sick, and when I said no he asked why I wasn’t dressed. I said I wasn’t going anywhere, so why shower and get dressed? He looked at me sadly and said,”am I not worth looking nice?”. From then on I have always tried to look good for my sweetie, even if I’m not going anywhere.

It’s showing your husband respect when you look put together! Why do we try to look our best for strangers, rather than the man who is supposed to enjoy looking at us?

I think a lot of it is based in our own personal shame. When we worked through the 29 Days to Great Sex challenge last year, the one challenge that people  had the hardest time with was the day I asked women to name five things they liked about their bodies. So people gave up in frustration. So when I rewrote the challenge as 31 Days to Great Sex, I also asked husbands to help their wives with this. All too many of us truly hate our bodies.

And so we hide them in oversized clothes, or ugly clothes, or all black and neutral clothes. You want to forget about your body. You want to ignore it. That’s hardly the recipe for a good sex life or a good marriage! Yours is the only body your husband is allowed to look at. If you’re confident and have fun with your body, so will he.

And God meant for you to enjoy your body. Do you really want to settle for less than God wants for you?

This week, ladies, we’re going to fight back! We’re going to fight the frump, and the attitudes that make us dress frumpy in the first place.

But before I tell you how, let’s go over some of our reasons for looking frumpy. Usually they go something like this:

No one’s going to see me but the kids anyway. And someone’s probably going to spit up on me! Sure I have to go to the grocery store, but so what? And I just want to be comfortable. I have nothing that fits. I don’t have any money for new clothes.

Stop making excuses! Here’s the truth. When we choose (and it is a choice) to look frumpy, it’s usually because we’re thinking one of these things:

  • I don’t have time to look put together. I’m running ragged all day!
  • I’m scared to go shopping because I don’t want to confront what my body actually looks like.
  • I don’t want to spend money on me.
  • I just don’t know how to dress my body type.

So let’s deal with these one one by one.

1. I don’t have time to fight the frump

To fight this one, let me show you something.

Here’s me frumpy:

Fight the Frump!

Time to get dressed:
45 seconds

Here’s me not frumpy:

Fight the Frump!

Time to get dressed/do hair/do makeup:

Stopwatch45 seconds get dressed, 3 minutes 53 seconds for everything.

That’s it. Sure, it takes four minutes instead of one minute, but come on! Exclude the makeup and the hair, and it takes no more time to dress in clothes that flatter than clothes that make you feel frumpy. And hair and makeup honestly don’t need to take long (more on that on Thursday).

2. I’m embarrassed about my body

Ladies, society wants us to feel ugly. If we feel ugly, we’ll be dissatisfied. We’ll need to fill that void with something. So we’ll buy more food to kill the pain, or we’ll buy vacations, or more weight loss programs, or more magazines to motivate us. If we all felt great in our bodies, if we all owned just a few outfits that made us feel fabulous, why on earth would we need to keep spending money?

Society has a vested interest in you feeling ugly.

Do you want to give our culture that kind of power?

You were bought at a price. God thinks of you as His beautiful bride. God looks at your inner beauty. Who cares what size you are?

 3. I don’t want to spend money on me

I understand about the money issue. You want to spend the money on your family! But do you think it helps your children or your husband to feel as if their mom takes no pride in herself? And I have a friend who is struggling on very little money. She has three kids and she pays for them to have new clothes every year. They always look great.

But she does, too. She’s a very attractive woman, though she’s hardly a size 6! But she knows how to flatter her body. She owns a grand total of 3 pairs of pants (she only has one pair of dress pants). All of her clothes fit in a really small closet. All of her kids have more clothes than she does. But she still looks good, because the clothes she does have fit her and flatter her, and she just pulls on a belt and some jewelry and some nice makeup and she looks all set to go.

I am not saying that you need a closetful of clothes–not at all. I believe that most of us would do far better having five outfits that make us feel amazing than 25 that we bought off of the clearance rack that make us feel lousy. And it is better to spend $35 on two tops that will last and look great than buy 10 $6 tops from a bargain outlet that won’t withstand more than one season of washing in the washing machine.

Sometimes just buying value is so important.

4. I don’t know how to look good. I don’t think it’s possible with my body type.

Most of you reading this managed to give birth. You taught those kids how to use the potty. You fed them and kept them alive when they couldn’t even sit up. You learned everything there was to know about babies.

And you’re telling me that you can’t take 5 minutes and really analyze what body shape you are and what types of clothes flatter that body shape? I know it can take longer than 5 minutes to find a pair of pants that fit, but that’s no reason to give up! When you find some that do fit, you’ve crossed a milestone, and you’ll feel so much more confident about it. So what if it takes trying on 20? It’s not an indictment about your size; it’s just that we’re all made a little differently, that’s all.

And shopping is easier than ever before! I shop for my clothes online now. Online retailers have such elaborate measurements written on their website that all you need is a measuring tape and you’ll know exactly what size to order. And if it doesn’t look good you can often mail it right back–for free! So you don’t even have to drag little ones to the mall. This can be a lot less intimidating than trying on dresses and pants there.

No matter your body type, every woman can look beautiful, and every woman can look put together. Every woman can take pride in herself. When you do this, your marriage improves overnight, because you become more confident in your body, and that reaps huge dividends.

So will you join me and fight the frump with me?

Here’s what’s coming this week:

Tuesday: An analysis of the 6 body types and what looks good on each one
Wednesday: How to find a bra that fits (and makes you feel fabulous)
Thursday: Accessorize! How to put those finishing touches on.
Friday: That Final Put Together Look

Let’s do this, ladies! Let’s fight the frump together!

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