As you read the title of this post, I hope you did so with a pleading whine, because that’s the tone I’m feeling most days. Dressing up is exhausting. Work is exhausting. Kids are exhausting. Sometimes I just don’t want to do all this adulting. I want to binge-watch Netflix in my underwear and Facebook-stalk people I haven’t talked to in ten years. I want to nap. I want to sleep in. I want to waste an entire day sitting on my couch, eating ice cream out of the pint just because I can.
But I know full well I can’t do any of those things. I have a husband, son, parents, students, administration that want and need and demand of me. I listen to my young co-workers talk about their plans to go home and nap on a Friday afternoon after a long week at work, and I want to punch them in the collective face. It’s not because I hate them or that I’m angry with them or even that I envy them (though I do). When you get down to the root of it, the girl I really want to punch in the face is ME…the me of four years ago. She didn’t know anything. She just took the nap; she didn’t relish in the nap. She guzzled the booze; she didn’t savor the booze. She ran errands whenever she needed to; she didn’t revel in the understated, yet beautiful combination of a Starbucks latte, Target, and no toddler. She took all that free time for granted and then complained that life was so hard.
I think motherhood made me a more grateful person. These seemingly mundane events in my life BC (before child) now count among my most cherished me-moments. There’s so much going and doing as a mom that when I get a hot minute to do one of these small things, I embrace it fully, because you never know when the toddler is going to wake up, when the phone is going to ring, or when the laundry timer is going to go off. And just like that, my moments of zen float away.
What’s left is an exhausted husk of a body that simply craves comfort and ease. And that body is trying to simply make it through a day where everyone is fed and kept alive. When the alarm clock blares in the morning, and I struggle to see through last night’s mascara and today’s under-eye bags to make out the shape of my closet, often the last thing on my mind is what cute outfit I can put together. Most mornings it’s….ughhhhhhhhhhh….I just wanna wear a t-shirt…….waaaaaaaaaaaa.
So to quell this grunting cavewoman, I decided I needed to figure out how to wear a t-shirt and jeans to work and still look like an adult who knows what she’s doing in life. I went about this quest the same way any well-meaning woman in her 30s does: I started a Pinterest board. Yes, I created a secret Pinterest board dedicated to nothing but women wearing t-shirts (secret, I suppose, because I don’t want the world to know that I need inspiration to not look like a vagabond idiot in clothes). And yet each time I put on a t-shirt in the attempt to venture into public, I looked tired and slovenly. I didn’t get it. Aside from the camera filters and stretched stomach tissue, what did the women in the pictures have that I don’t? How did these Pinterest women make a t-shirt and ripped jeans look so put-together?
Then it hit me, and once it did, it became my golden rule of t-shirt wearing. The secret is, I can make a t-shirt work for me in public or at work, as long as I add two things: jewelry and a statement piece. That’s it. In a t-shirt and jeans alone, I looked like some college frat guy who just rolled out of bed and pulled the least stanky items out of a crumpled, beer-stained mess on the floor. But with a t-shirt, jewelry, and a statement piece, I suddenly look like I made deliberate choices. I look like I have it together.
Mind you, I don’t have it together. I probably did grab my shirt off the floor, and I definitely haven’t washed my hair in two days, but when you see me on the street, you don’t know that right away. This way, I get everything I need: I still look like a grown-up, but the fatigued wife/mom/teacher gets to just be comfortable. And comfort is one of those small luxuries I don’t want to take for granted.
Shop the tees:
Shop the jeans:
Shop the statement pieces and accessories:
Shop A’s looks: