Have you ever had your husband or children ask, “Where are you going?” just because you put on “real” pants or managed to apply lipstick in the middle of the day? Well, take heart, you are not alone. I’ve been there, but realize that I have no excuse for that anymore, nor do I need to walk around all day, everyday looking frumpy.
For some crazy reason, women tend to put fashion in a box that says, “Only look presentable if you’re leaving the house.”
After my last few, crazy weeks, my calendar has been open this week. So much so, that I have barely left the house, except for a few errands. (Sigh, I love my home.)
So let’s look at some ideas for what I wear day to day. Now, trust me, this is not a fashion lesson in any way, shape or form. But hopefully, it will encourage you to throw away those big oversize t-shirts and maternity pants that you’ve worn since your last baby was born (five years ago, ah, speaking from experience) and realize it doesn’t take much thought or effort to take the frump-o-meter up just a notch. 🙂 Again, this post is not meant to impress you with my “looking like a million bucks” as you walk around your house, because that’s not the case in any of these pictures. Yet, as a “full time family manager,” it’s very easy to let ourselves go and sometimes our mindset follows. Taking a few extra minutes for ourself, makes a huge difference.
Now, I am a low maintenance kind of girl, but one of my beauty secrets has always been, “Do not leave the house without earrings, lipstick and mascara.” You see, that tip has nothing to do with the clothes you wear, but for me, the polished look that earrings and lipstick bring makes a big difference in ones overall appearance. (Now, the mascara? That is only because I am a blond and have blond eyelashes…you may be just fine without mascara. 😉
The outfit above is an Anne Taylor $1 blue yard sale Tshirt with some pizazz. The middle stitching takes it from frump to fabulous (thank you, Anne.) I dressed the shirt up with the new glassware jewelry that is so popular this year (bracelet and necklace) and yard sale earrings. You can find these necklaces being sold all over for a few dollars. I wore the shirt with khakis for a casual, yet comfy, every day look.
When I don’t plan on leaving the house, these next two outfits are completely typical of what I wear around the house. Nothing fancy, but I wouldn’t classify it anywhere near frumpy either. I layered a yellow, soft Gap t-shirt over a simple green tank (making sure that the layers showed.) Both shirts I purchased with a few others in multiple colors for $0.50 each. I love when I find simple, yet classy T-shirts for nothing.
This jean skort is something I have had for years. It looks like a skirt from the front, but it’s really just a comfy pair of shorts. That is probably the best few dollars I have ever spent on clothes. The cost per wear on those are about a penny.
How does this avoid the frumpy look and yet still be a great day to day t-shirt outfit? By layering the shirts, adding in a chunky bracelet alongside a cute green necklace and earrings, and again, you’ve gone from frump to nearly fabulous. 🙂 (Well, fabulous for around the house and run to the grocery store look.)
My sis- in-love did NOT want to pose for this picture, but I assured her it was going to exhibit how our day to day, beat around the house look can still be fun.
Knowing your colors is a really important step to avoid the frumps. Ironically, we did NOT plan this (and that’s what caused me to take the picture.) We both know the colors that look good on us and turquoise is our color.
This is the very type of shirt in which I work around the house. Why? Because it cost me only $1 and because this is how I always dress. And yes, with the necklace and big earrings on both of us, it takes the frump-o-meter up again. 🙂 Do you see a theme?
Yet, look at the difference between hers and mine. I just had basic cotton, around the house shorts. Since she paired her t-shirt with long jean shorts and adorable jean sandals (shorts from consignment store, shoes from a yard sale), hers could easily be a great outfit for a day out on the town. My outfit with jewelry was $5, hers $10.
Below is an outfit similar to the theme above, but I layered not only the shirts, but the bracelets as well. Multiple chunky bracelets are very popular right now.
This white shirt is literally a Hanes, sleeveless T-shirt that I wear to clean the house, but if I put a $1 yard sale cotton cardigan with it, it looks dressy (even though I know it’s not).
What makes me looked dressed up in the picture below?
It’s a $1 yard sale shirt, so what pulled it out of the frump category?
(Yes, for once, my hair is down and actually fixed – that definitely helps. .)
But what is it? You know the answer.
I added some flair. Again, it’s all about the jewelry. Just a few years ago, I never wore big earrings. They weren’t me, but I guess they are now because I love them. They are a statement piece by themselves and all just for $0.50 from a yard sale (or were they a $1?? I would hate to exaggerate…lol.)
So my dear friends, let’s get out of the mentality that fashion is only for when we leave the house.
Our family are the most important people in our lives, so I am convicted that they shouldn’t have to ask, “Where are you going?” when I get dressed. 🙂
Posted at: Rhoda’s
Thanks for the encouragement to step it up a bit!
Cute outfits! Jewelry does make a big difference. I think the most important person we should put it on for is ourselves. It makes me feel happy to have it on, especially when I’m wearing a special piece. I also like making things, so that makes me happy in two ways. When I look in the mirror and like the way my outfit/makeup/jewelry look, I am a little bit happier and therefore a little more fun for my family to be around 🙂
I always love your Fashion posts… I love your outfits today. I also feel like we should look better than a baggie t-shirt and awful shorts. Many years ago I had a friend who had a khaki skort like your denim one and a navy blue polo shirt that she wore with “good” shoes every day!! She always had this on !! I discovered it was her “uniform” and she saved her clothing $$ for things she wore to bigger events. She always looked polished and ready to go in her “uniform” – and with four small children, that was important. Now I see her around town with much more expensive clothing, but I always remember how neat she looked when she wore her two favorite pieces. Sometimes less is more! I guess what I am saying is that you don’t have to invest in hundreds of pieces (even at yard sale prices) to have a look all your own. But you definitely need to care enough about yourself to always look your best. Our children need to be proud of their mommies!
@Patti, You are so right. I completely believe that having a few solid core wardrobe pieces is the key to any great wardrobe. Your friend is a perfect example of that. Love the story about her “uniform.”
Love, love your outfits! You look great!
No matter what I’m doing or where I’m going I like to, at least, wear mascara and lip gloss. I run every day and so I sweat every day. Mascara and lip gloss help me “polish” up a bit w/o sweating off the full makeup that I wear to church, special events or date night.
Your last picture looks fabulous!
Very good information! Your outfits are adorable and look “put together” really well. I love jewelry so it’s easy for me to wear it all the time. 🙂 I’m retired so I don’t have small children to care for plus a jillion other to-do’s that younger women have but for me, it makes ME feel better to be dressed and have make-up on, regardless of the amount of make-up. I feel better about myself and can leave in a moment’s notice without worrying. Something that I’ve always done for ME is to wear perfume each day! It may not be for everyone but it makes me feel “dressed” and special. I cannot tell you the compliments I receive ~ “you smell so good” – “you smell so clean”, etc. I don’t ever wear a heavy, sweet fragrance but something light and with a definite clean scent. In the winter, I do wear a tiny bit heavier fragrance but very carefully.
Thanks for sharing! Have a beautiful weekend ~
Since I ruin a lot of clothes with spills and tears, I have several really-grubby ‘uniforms’ — bleach-stained shirts, cotton shorts. They’re great for gardening, laundry, cleaning, and helping DH build a fence.
Often, though, I shower mid-day and put on casual clothes — thrifted denim skirt and pullover, for example.
Today, though, I changed back to the grubbiest of grubbies after my errands — had to deal with some weeds and then unload my thrifted ELLIPTICAL MACHINE!
@Jora, oh, please don’t remind me. I need to be joining you on that elliptical and if I don’t get going, I am going to be very sorry. 🙂 Yea for the fun find.
I completely agree with your “earrings and mascara” rule, though I tend to skip the lipstick. I have a go-to pair of silver hoops my mother gave me, and just putting them on can make even sweatpants look a little better. I rarely leave the house without them. And I’m a blonde too, so I understand your mascara statement. I even put it on to go to the gym!
I had to laugh because my kiddos…esp my boys always ask “Where are you going?” when they see me dressed up a bit nicer. I do know for sure that it makes me feel alot better to be pulled together even if I am mostly going to be around the house. Thanks for the reminder and encouragement!
Thanks Jen, this was great! Another thing I like to do sometimes is to dress up a bit more than usual, hair styled, jewelry and makeup …on a day when I know we aren’t going out. Then when my hubby asks where I’m going I say “No where…I did it just for you”. It always makes him smile. 🙂 I think it’s important for our family to know that they are special to us. If we only look extra nice for other people it can make them feel like they are less important to us than others.
Also, I just want to say… you are really beautiful!
I get the same comment whenever I put a skirt or dress on, and you know what, I do feel dressed up when I put them on. Thanks for the reminder about the makeup and the earrings. I’ve been in a funk recently, and even though I take the time to put earrings on, I don’t always put on eyeliner and lipstick.
I love the big hoops myself, and I’ve noticed that they’re pretty popular this year. I’m actually on the hunt for a bigger pair since I’ve decided the bigger the better, at least for me. 🙂
Love the advice. I must get out and find some yard sale/thrift store jewelry.
I have been so bad about frumpiness lately that my boys ask where we’re going if I simply take a shower early in the day!
This is such an important reminder, Jen!
You know, I have been making a real effort just to WEAR MY CLOTHES. I know that sounds crazy! I have found so many beautiful things while thrift shopping in the past couple of years, yet I still have a tendency to “save” these nice (but really inexpensive) things for “best.” It makes no sense, so every morning lately, I have been trying to put on at least one pretty item–a blouse instead of a t-shirt, say, or a skirt instead of shorts.
I also love your idea of wearing more dramatic jewelry and scarves for everyday. Our loved ones deserve to see us looking our best!
Thanks, Jen for the encouragement to pay a little bit more attention to this. I live in Israel, where most things are poor quality AND more expensive (bad combo), plus no second-hand shops. SO…I wear my ratty, worn-out stuff around home (FRUMP). I polished my toenails which makes me feel good, and today, I wore earrings although I’m staying home. In other words, you made an impact. And I will try to do more with the clothes I have. Thank you!
I love it when you do your Fashion Friday. This post is actually something I’ve been thinking about lately. Unfortunately, I’ve gained weight and don’t have money to buy more clothes (even garage sale or thrift store). I’ve tried to at least look nice when hubby comes home from work, but I need to be more consistent earlier in the day. Once school starts and I’m back to work in the mornings, I’ll have no excuse.
Also, I have had alopecia totalis, but PTL my hair is coming back. I can almost go without my wig. I don’t wear the wig at home, which contributes to my frumpiness. But it’s time to get my hair styled and colored, as soon as I have a little money. Then I’m getting my ears re-pierced, too.
You are definitely an inspiration!!
You are just too cute!!!! I love big earrings now too!
I love, love, love your Frugal Fashionista posts. It is so true — we can still be comfortable, running around moms and still be fashionable. I wish I lived closer and could go shopping with you for these great bargains. I love shopping, fashion and saving money — great combination!!
Loved that picture of you and your sis!
Great post, Jen! We know how much good stuff is out there for just a few dollars. I’m guilty of wearing workout clothes around the house, but I love your ideas. 🙂
Love the outfits! I tend to feel out of place wearing jewelery around the house and I think it’s mostly because it seems like it gets in the way. Bending over constantly while cleaning where a necklace would whack me in the face or get stuck in the laundry I’m pulling from the dryer, put me off from wearing too much while just around the house. And that white t-shirt? I’d be lying if I said I weren’t afraid of ruining it while cooking, lol. I totally get what you’re saying, though, about how you don’t have to be completely frumpy and obviously your choices of clothing are still going to vary depending on what you’re going to be doing that day anyway. Maybe I should dig out some of my big earrings again…
SO true, and just to clarify…that last picture with the long dangling earrings. I would not wear those around the house to just do the laundry…lol. And the Gap yellow shirt…yep, already has some spaghetti sauce on it, but that’s the great thing about it being from a yard sale. I was sad for a few seconds and then thought…this is real life. 🙂
Yeah, it’s so much easier to say “eh, oh well, that’s life” to clothes that you only paid 50 cents or a dollar for to begin with, hehe.
Love your photos! You do find the cutest stuff 🙂
I was wondering how you know which earrings and necklace to put together if they didn’t come together. I have cute earrings and cute necklaces, but can’t seem to figure out how to put them together! So I usually do a plain necklace with cute earrings or plain silver earrings with a fun necklace. Any tips? 🙂
I’m at home with my three kids (5, 3, 1) most days, but I really believe in what you are saying that wearing “real” clothing instead of baggy t-shirts and sweatpants makes a difference in my attitude and motivation.
I was first made aware of this in college when a friend (a guy, no less) said he could tell my mood just by what I chose to wear! So, now, I dress how I want to feel and act. It really works!