I’m a clothes girl. Apparently I always have been. According to my mother, by the age of three I insisted on dressing myself in designer outfits that I had personally chosen, and I would only where dresses. In middle school, I remember being the envy of all my friends because I would go to
every summer and shop for my school clothes for the coming school year with my stepmother. I’m from a small Houston, Texas Alabama town so designer clothes from were impressive to us small town girls. I remember one particular canary yellow dress, strapless and stretchy that I worshipped. I’m laughing just thinking about it now. I had absolutely no cleavage and my nickname was string-bean. Texas
In high school, I thought what you wore was everything, and I wore the best. I was thrilled when I was on the Homecoming ballot for best dressed, and oh so put out, when my mother told me loudly and clearly in the middle of a crowded boutique that “No, I couldn’t get that outrageously expensive outfit for Homecoming because I was not a Rockefeller.” I didn’t get it, though. Not yet.
In college I continued my adoration of clothes. I’d buy a new pair of designer jeans but a used textbook. My closets were packed to the rafters well into my late twenties with enough clothes to dress a village, and then one day something happened. I had a child and then another. My body, thanks to luck and gym time, didn’t really change too much, but the way I looked at clothes did.
Before when I would see women in their spandex gym pants in stores, or restaurants, or even dropping their kids off at school, I would shake my head and feel sorry for them. Didn’t they care about their appearance? Didn’t they know how to pick good clothes and take the time to put them on?
I swore I would never where spandex anywhere but inside of a gym. Has anyone told you never say never? I hope you listened to that advice because I learned first hand that when you say “I never this or I never that” you have about a 99.9 % chance of doing exactly what you said you wouldn’t.
Nowadays, I spend my time shuffling my children from school to sports to social engagements. I have to eek out time to write and go to the gym daily. I never wear anything but spandex from 6:30 in the morning to usually 8:30 at night because I’m always dressed in the hopes of getting in a workout. When I do manage to shower before nighttime and change into jeans or shorts, it always makes me laugh to see someone I know and have them comment about why I’m so dressed up.
Somewhere along the way, I traded in my love affair for expensive clothes for a love affair with life and staying healthy. I’m now that woman in stores, restaurant and schools dropping off their kids, and I bet there’s some young immaculately dressed girl shaking her head at poor, little old me. She’ll learn someday that clothes do not make the woman, the woman makes the clothes!
I still love nice clothes, but I rarely buy them because I simply don’t have much spare time. However, I have discovered a great little workout line called Lululemon. If I’m going to be wearing spandex around day and night, I might as well where the best!
I also realized I’m setting a great example for my kids. They know mommy puts her health first because I work out. I hope someday they do the same.
I’m not the only one that puts health first. I have a good friend who is an amazing runner, and she and some other girls found themselves in sweaty t-shirts all the time because, though they may have time for a ten mile run, they may not always be able to get an immediate shower afterwards. They started a company called The Sweaty Moms Running Club. You can read their amazing story at sweatythenewhot.com. Their t-shirts sport the line What Have You Done Today? Their idea is to find your own personal Everest and challenge yourself.
So now you have my story of how I went from Calvin Klein to spandex and am happier for it. What are you doing in your life that you swore you never would?
Have a great day!
Julie Johnstone, The Marchioness of Mayhem
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