The #worthyofwearing Movement is Here

SUNGLASSES:  ELIZABETH & JAMES WATTS STYLE  / SCARF: H&M / LEOPARD COAT: FOREVER 21 / CROSSBODY BAG:  KATE SPADE  / LIP COLOR:  BEAUTYCOUNTER COLOR PINCH CREAM BLUSHER IN CARAMEL  / 35MM CAMERA: VIVITAR

SUNGLASSES: ELIZABETH & JAMES WATTS STYLE / SCARF: H&M / LEOPARD COAT: FOREVER 21 / CROSSBODY BAG: KATE SPADE / LIP COLOR: BEAUTYCOUNTER COLOR PINCH CREAM BLUSHER IN CARAMEL / 35MM CAMERA: VIVITAR

You know those beautiful clothes pushed to the far side of the closet? The ones that when the eye catches the sleeve’s color, a feeling flashes by. Maybe it’s a memory of when it was last worn, and maybe it has a sentimental story. We all have those special pieces in our wardrobe that are so dear to us, yet we decide long before wearing them again (or ever) that they are “too nice to wear”.

When it’s time to get dressed, the closet doors open and the familiar dialog starts.

“No, not this top. It’s only a girls night in. It’s too nice to wear.”

“It’s Wednesday. I should save these for a special occasion.”

“Those pants are so gorgeous and they were such a steal on sale! But, I’ll have to dry clean them, so not this time.”

And to all of this, I ask you with sisterly kindness, why do these things live in your closet? Why should we hold onto something that feels like a burden? Maybe it’s the chartreuse sweater our great aunt’s neighbor knit that’s itchy and suffocating. Maybe it’s a dress in a size that never quite fit, and we keep it just in case we magically shrink, when all it really does it make us feel shame every time we see it. If you have clothes in your closet that make you feel ashamed, uncomfortable, or self-conscious I beg you, PLEASE let them go! Say a little prayer that they bring the next owner great joy, and donate them to your favorite second-hand store. And while you’re at it, let go of your hole-y, your misshapen, your stained, and your faded items. You are worthy of pressed, neat, polished pieces, whether they were thrift store scores or special designer pieces.

WORTHY OF WEARING / LEOPARD COAT / STYLE / NICOLEMCARUSO.COM

Everything we own should be a reflection of who we are. Our clothes are connected to our stories, our memories, and our personal style is an introduction to who we are before we even make eye contact. When we grace our bodies with clothing that connects us with our inherent dignity, we shine. We are empowered to do our work with confidence and joy even on a hard day because we’ve taken the time to give ourselves some love. [Insert a meme here that FASHUN IS SELF-CARE.] Wearing clothing that makes us feel beautiful is not vain, it is a way to show how we respect that we are a creation of God. When our intention is to be a better worker, a better student, or a better mother, beautiful clothes can help sanctify our work because we are less focused on our insecurities and more focused on serving others. That may be bold statement, but just as God is Love, He is also Beauty. He created Beauty, and we can wear our beautiful clothes to reflect His love back to everyone we meet.

Those items that seem “too nice to wear” we are actually Worthy of Wearing. We are worthy because we are created in the image and likeness of God. We are worthy because we were designed to fulfill a mission, to share our hearts, and to change the world we live in, no matter how ordinary our day to day is.

Can a pair of earrings, shoes, or leopard coat change the world? If the piece stays on a hanger, it can’t do much. But a sequin skirt on the woman in front of you in line at the local cafe? That’s a conversation starter. A well-made leather bag might be your introduction to evangelize, without uttering a word about faith. Self confidence is contagious. I believe there is a sense of duty in dressing well firstly because we can serve others more freely when we are less focused on how much we hate our shoes, and secondly, because we are models to the younger generations of what it means to be a woman.

MOTHER DAUGHTER / WORTHY OF WEARING / CITY FAMILY / WASHINGTON DC /

I asked a few women I admire to share what #worthyofwearing means to them:

Kristin Reilly @onehailmaryatatime : “Worthy of wearing means I am allowed to take time for myself in order to serve everyone around me better.”

Kristin Foss @kristin_foss : “#worthyofwearing means I can mix my thrifted Kate Spade bag with my oldest, most worn in Gap sweater. It’s harmonizing a curated closet that defines my style, without segregating my house-uniform from my dream date-night look. Because I am all things, mom, designer, wife, daughter and woman. I, and all women deserve to dress how we feel and not let the work of day define our style.”

Lillian Fallon @lillian_fallon : “To me, #worthyofwearing means not being afraid of wearing something different. Sometimes I get nervous about wearing an outfit that is a little weird or over-the-top, but instead of taking it off and putting on something conventional, I ask myself if I feel confident in the look and I tell myself to just wear it anyway. That just because other people dress in a “normal” way doesn’t mean I have to sacrifice my creativity. My kooky, creative outfits are worthy of wearing because they are original and reflect who I am as an individual.”

Cecilia Pappas @ceciliapappas : “#worthyofwearing means dressing your best, even when the occasion doesn’t call for it. In my book, there’s no such thing as being overdressed. Don’t let the nice things go to waste—wear it, own it, feel confident in it, and walk like you deserve to be exactly where you are.”

Sophie Wheeler @theanchortheory : “#worthyofwearing goes outside of self care. It sets an example for our families, our children. It communicates that we believe others are deserving of our best selves. Putting our best face forward means more than creating the most confident version of self. It means sharing with others and pushing them to be their best on a day to day basis as well.”

Krizia Liquido @lifestyleeditor : “To me #worthyofwearing means being more conscious of the gift of life by not saving an outfit, piece of jewelry, or makeup for a special occasion. After all, every moment of life is a special occasion. Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. So I dress myself to celebrate today.”

Ogechi A @gechmeifyoucan : “#worthyofwearing means understanding your value and cherishing that. We are all uniquely and beautifully made. Much like flowers in a garden require care we should be delicate in the way we judge ourselves and diligent in the way we make time to care for ourselves. I truly believe that a cup that is never refilled can never quench the thirst of need around the world. I think ‘filling our cup’ can be as simple as wearing the outfit we put off for “someday”, taking the time to do an activity that brings you joy or being bold in your no or pruning of negative thoughts or habits. All of this honors our identity as daughters and sons of God, shows self value and thankfulness of the many graves we receive.”

Claire Couche @findingphilothea : “For me, #worthyofwearing means pursuing Beauty Himself everyday through the little beauties found here on earth, that are gifts from Him. It means showing God gratitude through the action of upholding my dignity through self care. Jesus says to “love others as we love ourselves” - a hidden commandment is found within this Golden Rule from Our King and First Love. We must love ourselves to love others. What a humbling realization! That Our Creator desires that we love and care for ourselves in order to be a gift to others!”

Emily Rachelle @emilyrachelle.runyan : “Sometimes I struggle to see the point in investing a little time in my morning to get ready and dress myself in an outfit I feel good in when I’m at home most of the day taking care of a babe. But I have noticed that when I do take that time, I don’t avoid eye contact while running errands and I’m far more productive and confident in my day. The Lord is calling me to be present to those around me and to love each person I encounter. Even if it’s just by looking at them straight in the eyes and smiling, I don’t want to miss that opportunity to love because I didn’t get ready and don’t want to draw attention to my disheveled self. I know that I don’t need to look perfect to love well, but if it gives me the boost of confidence to try a bit harder to love, it is time well spent.”

Bernadette Dalgetty @anendlesspursuit : ““Worthy of Wearing” to me isn’t simply when you put on the “special occasion” sweater on a Tuesday. It is a developing lifestyle, an evolving mentality. It leads to “worthy of buying” which leads to “worthy of fitting into” which leads to “worthy of health.” I don’t mean you need to be a size 0. I mean you have something that is beautiful and makes you feel incredible, accentuates your figure and you fight to keep it in your wardrobe. Of course there are seasons that ebb and flow and force you to be gentle with yourself. If you are in the midst of nursing an infant, you are worthy of a nursing-friendly top or dress that makes you feel like the strong superwoman that you are. If you are struggling to lose “baby weight” find something that fits you well and celebrates the incredible body that’s allowed you to grow and nourish those babies. The worthiness does not belong to the clothing, it belongs to you, powering through that Tuesday like a boss.”

Emily Hannon @emilybhannon : “#worthyofwearing means that even in this demanding season of life with small children, I am beloved and treasured by God. I am worthy of wearing clothes that make me feel beautiful and even more fully myself because I am a daughter of the King, made in His image. It reminds me of this sacred truth even when I feel like a walking Kleenex or a human burp cloth. I am beautiful in this season and always, and I am worthy of proclaiming God’s beauty each and every day.”

Katie Waldow @therealkatiewaldow : “To me, worthy of wearing means approaching every day as something special. I don’t have to wait for an occasion to wear that gorgeous sweater, or those fun shoes, just because I think today might be ordinary. When I wear things that make me feel feminine, and unique, and fun, I feel more confident in my skin. And when that happens, even the most ordinary day can feel extraordinary.”

Lisa Kirk @lisajanelkirk : “Sometimes, leggings and a top knot are what make me feel like the most prepared, equipped version of myself as a stay-at-home-part-time-working mama—there’s no denying that. But more often than not, I feel like my best self with lipstick on. When I wear beautiful but admittedly impractical shoes. When I put on a dress or a sweater that I love...even though it’s dry clean only. Finding joy in putting an outfit together has been part of me since long, long before I became a mother. It is still part of me now that I am a mother, maybe even more so because I appreciate those dressed-up days more than ever. I’m #worthyofwearing outfits that I love not in spite of being a mama, but because I am one, and those pieces of my identity can exist in a sweet and authentic harmony.”

I want to tape these quotes up all over my bathroom mirror. Thank you to all of these wise women for sharing their thoughts! I’d love to see what #worthyofwearing means to you too, so please share the hashtag on social media so we can make this a movement. Let’s start wearing those pieces tucked in the back of the closet!