Near the end of last month, a heart mom friend of mine mentioned a little thing she was participating in called "the October Dress Project." The long and short of it is that you wear the same dress every single day for a month. WHY? I mean, really, WHY? (I know that's what you're thinking.) To steal from my friend's blogpost about it (the entire post can be found here), ODP is "a brilliant idea, created by two friends when one of their grandmas commented that women only needed one dress to wear an entire week, and one for Sundays. They decided to wear one dress the entire month of October. Yes, you read that right. The same dress everyday for 31 days. Why? The basis is simple- anti-consumerism, pro-simplicity, anti-conformity, pro-imagination. But you can transform the ODP to mean whatever you want it to!"
So I decided to take the challenge. For me, it was about everything Natasha mentioned, but honestly, even more, it was about taking time for my appearance (which, oddly enough is the opposite reason my friend did it!). I'm a mostly stay-at-home mom of young kiddos. Most days, I'm in a tee shirt and jeans, with my hair in a wet bun on my head. I usually have some make-up on, but, unless I have a special event, it's rare that I take the time to make sure I look nice. Accessories? What are those? And what do you mean a Juicy Sweatsuit isn't appropriate apparel for, well, everything (because, really, you know as well as I do that IT SO IS). I continually live in fear that I'm going to be ambushed by Stacy London and Clinton Kelly (I'm actually serious about this - a year or so ago, when one of Dusk's aunts surprised the girl cousins with a secret trip, I honestly was afraid it might actually a plan for What Not to Wear to ambush me!)...
But I digress. I wanted to take the challenge, to help me learn to refocus on myself a bit, to think critically about my appearance and set a better role model for my daughter. I'm not talking being super materialistic and focused on myself (I assure you, that is NOT the example I want to set for my daughter); I'm just talking about taking a few extra minutes to make sure I look presentable. I'm talking about letting her know that just because a woman works in the home doesn't mean she becomes less of a woman, that her appearance doesn't matter anymore. I want my daughter to know that moms are still women, too. Moms first, yes, always my highest calling and privilege is to be a mom. But I'm still a woman and I don't want to lose that in being home all the time.
So that's why I am doing it. I didn't want to post on the blog because I figured that, well, I'd probably give up a few days in (anyone remember Project 52?). But, here I am, 18 days in and still hanging in there. Here are my pics so far...
Day 1: the dress.
Day 2: dressing it up with pearls I haven't worn in years and a cute jacket (loved this one).
Day 3: Trying a top under and a scarf belt over (not a fan).
Day 4: Added a cute short jacket I don't wear anymore and some beautiful beads I had totally forgotten about.
Day 5 (day): Threw a shirt over it with matching bracelet for a playdate at the park.
Day 5 (night): Some much needed vavavoom for Date Night with the hubby. :-)
Day 6: Added a rose belt over and a black bandeau under with pink pearl bracelet (15+ years old - and hadn't been worn in almost that long).
Day 7: Getting a bit cooler, so added leggings and a tank under - and my trusty jean jacket over.
Day 8: An ill fated attempt to re-popularize the pashmina (seriously, does anyone even remember these things?).
Day 9: Added boots and a long sweater to make it more seasonal (loved this look).
Day 10: My breakthrough moment, when I realized I could tie the dress in a knot and wear it as a shirt instead! My wardrobe totally opened up on this day! (Added a hat, trusty jeans and a braid to handle the rainy day.)
Day 11: Threw a long sleeve shirt and beads over - and stood in front of the space shuttle as it parked a mile away from my home! (HOW COOL, right??? <-- the space shuttle, not the outfit)
Day 12: My "day off" to enjoy the AHA Heart Walk and a Cal Poly football game.
Day 13: My FAVORITE look so far!
Day 14: Simple beads, jean jacket and flip-flops to meet with a favorite fellow heart mama.
Day 15: Can we all agree that I just can't pull off any fashion trend that starts with the term "Bohemian"?!?
Day 16: I'd like to think I redeemed the Bohemian look with this outfit.
Day 17: HOT HOT HOT (not the outfit - the weather!) - had to dress down to compensate.
Day 18: Yellow cami under + dress tied as a shirt + awesome belt compliments of my mom + favorite jeans + hat and braid = perfect outfit to accompany a certain cute little girl on her kindergarten field trip to the Pumpkin patch!
So, that's where I'm at. I have 12 more days to go and, while I'm kinda scraping the bottom of my creativity barrel, I think I can do this! I'm excited to see what else I can come up with - and, honestly, feel completely liberated now when it comes to my wardrobe. For the past 18 days, I've taken the time to plan my outfits out and make sure I look nice. I've sparked some serious creativity with my wardrobe. And I've gotten more compliments than I have in awhile, to be honest. It's been a great way to kickstart myself to looking just a little nicer. Sometimes, mama's just gotta take some time for mama. :-)