Cate Linden

bespoke personal style coaching

The Woman in the Photo

 
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The woman in the first photo? She was lost. And she was more than a little miserable.

I remember this day with remarkable clarity. My then-husband and I had taken our children to an outdoor festival, and I was wearing jeans, because although I actually owned a modest collection of both skirts and shorts, I hated them on myself and rarely wore them. Which was as good as not having them! So there I was, on a humid summer day, sweating in jeans that were not only hot but fit poorly. I spent half the day trying to discreetly tug them back over my hips. My shirts consisted almost exclusively of Target tanks, so I was wearing one of those too.

I’d purchased the handbag because it looked very chic online, but it was so bulky and square on me that every time I carried it I thought I must look like I was on my way to rob a bank. Plus, it was heavy. And while I was wearing makeup (because I never left home without it), I certainly can’t tell, even if I ignore the blown-out photo quality.

On that day I felt so grateful that I was able to hide myself behind my baby. Nothing about my outfit expressed even a glimmer of who I truly was. Not a single thing about it made my heart leap; in fact, the entire outfit made my heart sink. And to make matters that much worse, I felt intense guilt that my wardrobe woes were front and center in my mind on a day where I was supposed to be enjoying my family.

In the end, I held my lanterns high and found my way out of the maze. And if I’m ever having a bad day, my outfit has nothing to do with it.