What Does My Style Say About Me via In the Powder Room

What Does My Style Say About Me?

Image © istockphoto.com/newvillage


Ok, so I’ve decided that I’m missing a gene somewhere. That gene that makes women get all excited and giddy about shopping and dressing up and looking cutesy and all that stuff? Yeah, I don’t have that. I’m not sure what happened.

Now, I’m not saying I’m a sloth or anything. I’m generally clean and things somewhat match. But a fashion sense or style? Psssssh. What’s that? If it fits, I put it on. That’s my “style.” Honestly, I don’t even think about it that much. Actually, I’m probably just too busy to think about it. My days consist of so much activity that I’m lucky if I remember to put clothes on at all before I walk out the door.

I came across this quote once:

“Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak.” – Rachel Zoe

My first reaction to this? Well, crap.

But then . . . oh, I don’t know. I started thinking a little differently about it. If my “style” says who I am without having to speak, then what am I telling people about who I actually am? Hmmm . . .

My hair is in a ponytail today. What does that say? I hope it says that even though I actually woke up with the full intention of taking an early shower and spending time on straightening and styling my ’do, instead I ended up spending a couple extra moments talking to my honey. We were discussing our plans for the day, talking about our kids, about work, etc. Before I knew it, time had flown by and I didn’t have time to do anything but throw my hair in a ponytail.

My fingernails aren’t manicured. What does that say? I hope it says that as a struggling mom, spending money on manicures is a luxury that I can only occasionally afford. Besides, my hands stay so busy that I’m not sure the manicure would last long anyway. I keep my fingernails just long enough to scratch a child’s itchy back, peel a price tag off of a gift I’m wrapping, and “comb” my hair when I can’t find a brush in the clutter of my purse.

My clothes don’t have fancy labels. What does that say? I hope it says that I value simplicity and frugality. That I know that there’s more to a person than the name sewn in at their neckline. And I’m proud to say that this same value system has passed on to my children. While other kids are begging for name brand clothes, my kids rarely ask for new clothes and are thrilled when they get them—regardless of what store they came from. I think that’s something to be proud of.

So, I’m not a sloth. I’m clean, I’m neat, I’m functional. But am I dressed to the nines on a daily basis? Nope. Rather than beating myself up over it, maybe I should realize that my “style” really does tell my story.

And the story I’m telling might not be that bad after all.

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Melissa Halsey Caudill is a paralegal by day and writer by night. Okay, not really. She writes all the time. At least in her head. She has had three stories published in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series and writes semi-regularly on her blog, Missy’s Public Junk.

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  1. Leslie Marinelli says

    I so appreciate this, Melissa! I work from home and my typical everyday style is Costco Men’s Bin Chic. Bonus, you get invited to serve on fewer volunteer school committees when people think you’re a homeless man.

    Thank you for sharing your wise words In the Powder Room today! So happy to have you here with us.

    • says

      Thanks, Leslie. I’m thrilled to be here! One of my favorite things about writing is when someone responds with “me too.” Thanks for getting it…I’m glad I’m not alone!

  2. says

    I’m sitting here in my pajamas still at 2:20 p.m.–because it’s snowing 10 inches outside (hello, Northern MN) and because I’ve spent the last few hours creating a new presentation about quoting and paraphrasing to use in one of my classes next week. Thus, I’m going to take the message of your piece here and say that my style reveals my, um, dedication to my profession (and fear of ice).

  3. says

    great post: Oh my, how things have changed for me on the style front. Voted “best dressed” in high school (yeah, I was REALLY into clothes, in a punk/alternative kind of way) and now I am part of the Yoga Pants Brigade – just trying to hold myself together. Hopefully, what we SAY, what we DO and what we WRITE says more about us than what we throw on our bodies while the kid is threatening to jump off the back of the couch 😉