(As seen published in River Valley Woman)

Midriff tops are back in fashion, WHAT NEXT! I don’t think I will be rushing to show off my midsection anytime soon. It takes enough daring to wear my two-piece swimsuit to the beach these days, especially given my daughter’s infatuation with my post-childbirth belly button. “Is it an inny, or is it an outie?” she will ask her friends as they sit and gawk at my belly, pondering the conundrum together.

Thank goodness for this fashion issue, otherwise I would be completely in the dark. I thought these new Aztec pants I’m seeing my babysitter wear were nothing more than the return of Zubaz. I still have a pair of Zubaz, incidentally; I proudly wear them for pajamas.

Fashion is the epitome of “history repeats itself.” There’s no avoiding it, really. I mean, there are only so many ways to sew a garment. Pattern, material, and fit can only vary to some degree before we end up with shoulder-pads again. Accessories help mix it up a little, but let’s face it: inevitably, hammer-pants return.

I’m not much of a fashionista, but I know what I like and what I look good in. Feeling good about how you look is why fashion is important. It’s not about being relevant or trendy, it’s about being YOU! Having a “style” that conveys your personality is infinitely rewarding.

Personally, I love dressing to my mood. It’s remarkable to notice the affect that my clothes have on my attitude for the day. Like most moms, I definitely have my sweat pants days, but I love throwing on a blazer or a skirt on days when I’m not working and am just running errands or taking the kids to the park. Predictably, if I dress like what I’m doing is important, I treat it like it is important. I’m more present to the moment, I’m more patient, I treat whatever the task at hand is as if it’s the most important board meeting I will have all year. And if my favorite blazer is covered in snot and has sand in the pockets at the end of the day, then it must have been a good day’s work!

Reminiscing with pictures of my high school style is mortifying, but wildly entertaining. Laughter is good for the soul after all. I think it helps me to not take myself so seriously. Recently I came across my epic senior picture. I remember at the time I put a ton of vision and planning into it. My mother despised it and refused to pay for it, so I had to work extra hours dishwashing at my part-time job to pay for it, but dang it, it was SO cool! Imagine my dismay when all of my friends and family asked for every one of my senior pictures except this one! I was mystified. I mean, clearly I look like a rock star.

My friends and family laugh today when we pull out this picture and remember what a punk kid I was. And as embarrassing as it can be to look back in time at ourselves in old bridesmaid dresses or bell bottom pants, I think it helps us keep things in perspective. Sometimes it’s OK to be the punk kid who thinks they look super cool no matter what everyone around them is saying. Because it helps you become the person you are going to be.

And the person you are still becoming.

Fashion matters because YOU matter. Today, take the time and put in the effort to feel good about the way you look!

And here’s to embarrassing senior photos! May fashion reign!