It took me way too long, but I finally embraced my perfectly quirky/pretty, wear a leotard for yoga style. We all want to look and feel our best, whatever that is. And when we find what makes each one of us feel most comfortable, it’s more likely to happen, with less pushing and pulling and sucking in of stomachs and discomfort and spackle…
I have this dress. Actually, I have three of them, exactly the same, different colors. I wear it to the beach with sandals, to work with a cardigan and to a fancy dinner with jewelry and heels. This dress makes me feel fantastic. I knew it as soon as I first tried it on. It made me feel comfortable in my skin and pretty too.
I have another dress. Just one. Everyone thinks it’s a great dress, but I never wear it. It makes me feel terrible. It’s actually more expensive than my favorites, but it just doesn’t make me feel comfortable. I have to wear very specific underthings with it and I spend the day sucking in my stomach and hoping my shoes match. I never have a good day when I wear this dress, so I rarely wear it.
And here’s how I’ve grown over the years. For so long, I imagined I had to look a certain way. I wasn’t sure what that way was, but I was sure it wasn’t what I looked like. I’d seek out the ‘right’ things to wear for whatever occasion then spend my time trying to fit into them. And in my mind that meant that at the office I couldn’t be comfortable. And that at yoga I couldn’t look ‘put together’. All of this resulted in me not really feeling like me at any given moment. I was pulling at my waistbands, sucking in my stomach, generally being uncomfortable which equals uncomfortable to be around, and definitely not present.
A funny thing happened when I committed to just being me. I felt a lot better. And, weirdly, people seemed to think I looked better. When I first wore that favorite dress (or three) to work, I was a little nervous. I thought perhaps it wasn’t “officey” enough. I wore it with stilt-like heels and a gigantic necklace and it went over HUGE. All the girls wanted it. A few years later it’s still a staple in my work wardrobe and I’m not nervous about it at all. In fact, yesterday I wore it with very cute silver birkenstocks, because I can’t bear the heels anymore, a huge necklace, and a dashing scarf. And guess what? All the girls still wanted it and complimented my look.
Now, I’m not saying that’s the point: to look great and get compliments. Hey, that sounds a little less than yogic, vain even. I’m just admitting that we all want to look and feel our best, whatever that is. And when we find what makes each one of us feel most comfortable, it’s more likely to happen, with less pushing and pulling and sucking in of stomachs and discomfort and spackle. People who are truly comfortable in their own skin and simply comfortable with themselves are attractive. Not in a plastic magazine kind of way, but in a way that makes you want to talk to them.
I have to say I still work at it. There are plenty of times I’m not perfectly comfortable with me and I have to breathe through it and figure out why and change it, but at least now I know myself a little better. I have tactics for figuring it out. And when I see the perfect dress, I always buy three.