Don’t Do What I Did Today

It’s a leisurely Saturday morning. I am sipping delicious 7-Eleven coffee and reading the NY Times online. My husband says, let’s take a quick look at the Estate Sale up the street. It’s at a charming little cottage that’s on the market for about the same price as ours, so we’ve wanted to see the home, too.

Who’s going to see me? I toss a long gray sweatshirt skirt over my gym shorts. I squish a knit hat over my morning-hair, and throw on an oversize jean jacket. White gym socks and workout sneakers complete the look.

The cottage is charming, well worth viewing. We decide to pop into the Post Office to pick up a package. Not only is the handsome clerk on duty today, but an attractive 40-something woman comes in behind me. She’s wearing a denim skirt and embroidered denim jacket, a couple of colorful necklaces, open sandals, and great red lipstick. I die.

Well, not really die. I start a conversation with her about how terrific she looks, and she says she dresses up every day, “just because”. We chat about what a great idea that is, and she very kindly compliments my hat. I invite her to check out this blog, because she is most definitely a fabulous over-40 woman.

Lesson for me: take an extra five minutes to put on jeans, proper shoes, a splash of lipstick and a jacket from this decade when going about the neighborhood! Do it for the children!

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  1. Very sweet post and so much true. I admit I don't always dress up and I admire women who do.Your post is a good reminder and although is a day off tomorrow in Greece I will dress up.

  2. I don't have an issue with running about in gym clothes.  I frequently stop off to do errands after I've been to the YMCA.  If that's what you're going to do then do it well.  Jeans jackets don't go with knit workout pants/shorts.  You can put on a sweatshirt or appropriately weighted hoodie and hide bad hair with a terrycloth headband.  Maybe lip gloss instead of full-on red lips.

    More than once I've run into friends in gym attire and had them tell me, "oh you're so good you've worked out…" 

    Looking nice isn't about looking all dolled-up all the time, it's about looking smart no matter what you're up to.

  3. Nice story.  I'm a big proponant of what you say.  Dressing up is always worth the effort and affects everything, including how others relate to us.

  4. *laughter* You don't need to be 40-something or above to have it happen to you, Ms. Patti, it could happen to anyone. Well, it has happened to me more than I care to admit! I love to dress up, but yeah, only when I think people will see me. I should do it a more consistent basis, dressing up for special people, or if you're a single like, do it for God and one special person: myself. Haha!

    Come to think of it, my Mom is not the one who loves to dress up, but she never looks frumpy either. Always look presentable, though almost never as fashionable as I'd like her to be. She doesn't have the ups and downs as I do. Well, I guess I can say she's more discipline and consistent.

    Visit me:LeeAnne, Style N Season

  5. You know I tend to notice well-dressed women more when I am dressed down.  Like you, I've been caught out and about in less than spectacular looks.  But, some days I like to be "invisible."

  6. P.S.  The worst time was when I was mistaken for my "older sister" by an acquaintance who didn't recognize me and thought I must be a relative.  

  7. How many times have I "learned" that lesson!!  I always regret it if I don't make the effort to dress "like myself".  You undoubtedly looked better than you realized, but I know that feeling!!!

  8. Patti good for you telling her that you have a fashion blog.  I have been in a similar situation but was afraid to tell about my FASHION blog while wearing bad fashion.  After all, aren't we all models off duty at times?  Dawn Suitcase Vignettes xo

  9. Too true! I try to dress up every day and put a bit of lipstick on too.  However I must confess that in the morning when I drop off the children I'm in my velour sweats.  It's scary, but at least I'm not in my pj's.  Dressing up happens later!

  10. Oh, another comment – I just remembered a wonderful woman I stopped for a street photo and she said told me about a woman she knows who hadn't "dressed" before leaving the house, so when she arrived breathlessly at the BOMB SHELTER (Yugoslavia, bad times) she was scolded by her friends for looking so unkempt!…

  11. LOL–I try to look at least presentable when I go out. now if I'm not going out of the house—-lol there's a reason there are no pix of me.

  12. Hahah, that's a nice story!  I like to get dressed up,' just because' sometimes too, why not, life is too short eh?  xx

  13. VERY funny! I have good intentions about never leaving the house without at least wearing CLOTHES, but I can't count the number of times I've gone to the mailbox in pajama pants and tee, hoping not to run into a neighbor walking by.

  14. This is awesome and I do believe each and every one of us has 'been there and done that"!!!! I did that one time when I ran to the local supermarket and who was there? A girl I went to school with whom I had not seen in 15 plus years…oh good grief! 🙂

    off to hurry and slap some jeans on and a bit of makeup instead of wet shower hair and sweats!!!!

  15. While I appreciate your resolve to take the time to dress up a bit, it remains true that sometimes you just look like you look, and that's appropriate too.  (I also giggled when I considered what my mother would have thought of your decision for "next time" – to put on jeans!  She would never, never, ever have left the house wearing such informal clothing . . . she'd have died first! Other times, other customs!)

  16. That's what all those fabulous ladies on Advanced Style say. But only yesterday I was cursing the warmer weather because I can no longer hide my unwashed hair under a trapper hat! 

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