Dress the way you want to feel

In her book The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin explores the concept, “Act the way you want to feel.” Most of us realize there is a part of our feelings that we choose. Often we can change the entire day simply by changing our perspective, and choosing to have a good day.

The same goes for how we dress. I’ve already shared with you that one key to getting things done is getting fully dressed in the morning. How we dress has a big part in how we want to feel about the day.

The other day, I got up later than usual so my kids were already rolling for the day. I started working on cleaning, decorating, and who knows what else. They day got completely away from me and I was still in very comfortable (not quite pajamas, but still), house clothes. Yikes! I never stay like that all day.

It was pretty late in the afternoon when Stefan said, “Mommy, why are you still in pajamas?” Instantly, I realized why I had been feeling unproductive and lazy all day. It had nothing to do with what I had actually accomplished (I had done quite a bit), but it had everything to do with how I felt.

If you have every had an interview, you know that many people give the advice of dressing the part. You need to look confident, and it will help you feel confident.

Sometimes, when it is time to go out on a date with my husband, I don’t really feel romantic. Scratch that, I feel more like falling to sleep. I mean, I probably still have banana smashed in my hair, people. It isn’t exactly romantic. And I’m tired. But by the time I’ve cleaned myself up, put on some makeup, and a decent outfit, I start to feel ready for a date.

So what about our days at home. Well, I can’t really get away from kids wiping their hands on me. Apparently, I am the paper towel, napkin, and dish towel all in one. And a few other things, but I’ll spare you the details.

But this is my life. I’m not waiting for this part of life to be done to start acting who I am and how I want to feel. Sure, I’m not going to go dress in heels all day long. But I don’t want to feel like that anyway, so that is a moot point.

Somewhere along the way, we have to quit saying, “when the kids are older,” “when I’m out of this stage,” or whatever else you might dream up to say, and just start dressing [and acting] how we want to feel. And guess what? You’ll start feeling like that.

So get out of the sweat pants. Unless you want to have a comfy, lazy day at home. Get out of the ratty clothes. Unless of course you want to feel that way. And start dressing the part.

I’m a mom. But I want to be a confident, somewhat-put-together-looking mom. So I need to dress how I want to feel. And I usually end up feeling a little more put together. It’s kind of a win, win.

You’re living your life right now. You’re not waiting to live it. So dress the way you want to feel, and chances are it will go a long way to helping you get there!

Have you found that the way you dress changes how you feel?

Photo credit left, right


  1. I totally agree. Whenever I am vegging in my yoga pants, I feel lazy and unproductive. It really helps to put on some jeans, earrings, mascara and lip gloss.

  2. My hubby has even figured this out about me. If he comes home and my hair’s up & I have dangling earrings in, he says “you must have had a productive day!” :) Yup! That’s pretty much how it goes :) Makes all the difference in the world!

  3. I’ve been just starting to realize this over the past few months. Even with the fatigue I fight – what I’m wearing makes a difference. I might not be any less worn out, I may still go crash on the sofa, but it boosts my attitude a little, at the very least.

    • Totally know what you mean. When I’ve had a poor night of sleep (due to kids!) and I am extra tired, sometimes it helps to dress even a little nicer than normal!

  4. Love this!!! I’ve seen a few blog posts on this same topic this fall…but yet here I sit in my pjs at 9:20 still on the couch! Time to get up and get dressed!!!

  5. After reading your post, I wore my stilettos with my jeans and sweater, and it made all the difference! I could hardly walk, and I tripped over the throw rugs in the kitchen and then got the heels sunk three inches into the mud when I went out to be with my husband for a little bit!!! (The stiletto story is a lie, of course. Actually, I wore my clogs.) I do my make-up every day, and that makes all the difference. It would be nice to say I dress elegantly each day and float around the house, but that would be another big story! :)

  6. I’m currently reading THP! Did you like it?

    • Yes, I did! There were parts of it that I was kind of like, “really, you got paid to write about this? It’s kind of common sense.” But, many things have really stuck with me from the book.
      Sometimes it is much later after I have read the book that I realize how much I enjoyed it.
      I also loved how much she thoroughly read and studied the topic of happiness. I really enjoyed her intelligent, thoughtful view of such a simple concept. And, really, kind of cool how much we can do to change our own happiness, ya know?! Let me know what you think once you’ve read it!

  7. YES! I am so with you on this.

    I despise the whole “comfort is king” aspect to dressing, especially for moms. Comfort is overrated. Plus, I’m very wary of being boxed into any kind of stereotype – the spoiled, affluent SAHM who runs around in Lululemon yoga pants or the haggard mom in sweatpants barely holding it together. Neither of these stereotypes is fair, of course, but I won’t feed into it by wearing yoga pants in public.

    Thanks for this! And I love the new look. Its very you. :)

    • Oh you NAILED the extreme yoga pants look! I completely agree. Clearly I’m not in the spoiled, affluent camp, and I refuse to look like a haggard mom, so… no sweatpants or yoga pants at the grocery store for me. 😉

      Thanks! (we need to get together soon!)

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