I am going to say something controversial here. Feel free to stop reading if you are having a bad day or happen to think wearing sweats to a 5 star restaurant is perfectly acceptable behavior.
I went out with a few friends last night. We went to a reasonably nice restaurant. I wore a nice skirt and sweater combo with hose and boots. My overcoat and scarf complimented the ensemble. I had done my hair and make up. I dress this way when I go out. When H and I go out I dress nice.
Now I do this for several reasons. First of all, when I was working for Firm X - I wore a suit or very nice dress 5 days a week. There was no casual Friday in my office and the dress code was dark and conservative. I liked this - I felt professional, polished and put together.
When I go to church I dress nicely. (Sadly I do not go that often.) I was taught you look your best as a sign of respect. Certainly self respect, but also for respect of the church, God and so forth.
Seldom do I go anywhere in work out attire other than the gym. That is the location were work out attire is acceptable. It is not acceptable - in my opinion - for shopping and so forth. Sometimes I will wear my Yoga clothes home and make a stop on my way home at the grocery - but normally I do not. I change in the locker room and wear a nice outfit.
I tend to look nice when the kids and I are out and about, to play dates, to the park, ect.
I think it is about looking your best and feeling your best. It is about being clean and neat and appropriate. I would never wear an evening gown to the park - but nor would I wear my grungy sweats and mismatched t-shirt which I tend to wear around the house or to clean the bathroom.
I was appalled last night to see people in faded dirty jeans and football sweatshirts at this nice restaurant. What has happened that as a society we have become this casual. At McDonalds that outfit is fine at a three-star restaurant? Um, no thank you!
I also think that it is important that I look my best when H and I go out. I may very well be the married mother of 2 - who is busy and leads a fairly hectic life - but at the end of the day I am also the woman who H loves and desires to spend time with. When we were dating I dressed to impress - why should I not do so now? Should I not respect myself and him enough to look my best.
I had a hugely busy day yesterday, running errands and taking the kids swimming and them coming home and bathing them both and showering myself and pulling together the skirt outfit for the dinner. I guess I could have worn my jeans and sweater - which smelled of chlorine - but why?
Taking care of myself is valuable - let me repeat. Taking care of myself is valuable - it is about pausing and making sure that I am healthy - mentally and physically. It is about loving the skin you are in.
Rachel Ray in this months magazine says, "People are most interested in you when you show an interest in you." Damn straight. People gravitate to those who have it together. I try not to be vain and I do not think we all need to be running around in Prada - please the skirt I had on last night was from Target and was so on clearance to boot - but my point is - even in jeans you can put you best foot forward. Heck I love jeans - but there are jeans ok for a night out and jeans ok to mow the grass in. (Clue: they are not the same pair of jeans!)
In my humble opinion it takes just as long to pull on sweats and a t-shirt as it does to put on a cute dress or a pulled together jeans outfit - that says casual chic! A skirt - is a snap!
I say hold your head high and value yourself - take a notice of yourself and others will too! Looking your best is linked to feeling your best and valuing yourself and respecting those around you.
Just my two cents...