Feel Beautiful in 2015: “Fight The Frump”!

I still remember it — two years ago — when Sheila Gregoire launched her Fight the Frump! week. She kicked it off with a post I much admired, in which she showed before and after poses of herself getting ready for the day. With a little effort, she “unfrumped” — thus looking and feeling better about herself.

Even then, I remember thinking that someday, when I revealed myself, I’d present my own version of before-after photos. Why? Because not only do such photos show what a little effort can do, I’ve learned how quickly and easily you can pay a little attention to your appearance and feel more beautiful.

But I don’t have time!!! you say.

And believe me, I remember the days of lugging the infant bouncy seat into the bathroom and my ever-so-colicky baby crying while I tried to get a rushed shower. Then when you were sure baby was going to spit-up on it anyway, why bother wearing something nice? And didn’t frump-wear make more sense if you were just doing laundry and cleaning toilets that day? And the irony is that as I sit here writing this, I’m in yoga pants and a sweatshirt, though I promise they are properly fitted, I did my hair and put on make-up today, and after all, I took a nap this afternoon so I needed something I could snooze in.

You don’t have to look ah-mazing every day and I’m not opposed to comfort wear, but you won’t feel good about yourself if you don’t put your best foot forward more days than not. Let me show you want I mean.

This is me at the beginning of a day — in my PJ’s. Truth be told, I stay in my jammies and work for a while as everyone else in the family gets out the door before I even begin my morning routine.

J in jammies

Even if I looked okay, during the day, pajamas are what preschoolers, hospital patients, and unemployed slackers channel-surfing for conspiracy theories wear. Since I want to feel good about myself, I don’t stay this way for long.

Through the magic of motherhood, I’ve learned how to shower in record time, but for this experiment I went at a steady, purposeful pace. And 8 1/2 MINUTES LATER, I was showered and dressed:

J in jeans and shirt

If it was summer, I could have gone faster. But it was cold (okay, cold for Texas — like 40-50° F), so I put on a turtleneck and overshirt. Both of these are cotton, and I’m just wearing jeans. Although I make sure to buy clothes that are both comfortable and flattering.

(And yeah, if you don’t have a good pair of cowboy boots, you are missing out. Easy on, easy off; comfortable; and stylin’. And when my hubby gets home, we can even do a little two-steppin’ across the kitchen floor if the mood so moves us. 😉 )

But my hair’s still wet and my face still . . . well, there’s no closeup, but trust me . . . plain and blah. So 4 1/2 MINUTES LATER, I had my makeup on.

J with makeup applied

YES, you can put on makeup in less than five minutes. I remember when I first started wearing cosmetics, it seemed like I’d need a half-hour to get it all just so. But I now have my repertoire down pat, and I know what I want to apply if I only have two minutes, if I have five minutes, if I have ten minutes, etc. Sure, with more time, I can do better. But I’m simply looking to enhance my features, not pose for Vogue magazine.

Also, one of the best things I’ve done is visit a makeup counter and get tips from a few pros. Once I had a better idea how to apply the cosmetics, it was easier to do. And I’ve learned what to focus on and what’s no big deal for my particular face. (I love you, eyeliner!)

What’s next? Well, my hair is still damp. So 2 1/2 MINUTES LATER:

J with hair styled

I admit my hair is easier to wrangle than some others’. But a couple of things to remember: (1) My hair is very fine and I live in a super-humid climate, so I wash my hair almost every day — which adds to my shower time. I think that’s sort of true with everyone; you may have it easier in one area of getting ready, and harder in another. (2) I’ve learned to stop trying to do things my hair won’t do. That is, once I realized my hair is straight and will always be straight and doesn’t like to do anything much but straight, I stopped wasting time perming and curling and whatever else every day. I learned to style the hair I have.

Also, get good hair products. Find out what the shape and texture of your hair requires. For me, it’s a bang-up can of hair spray. Give me a brush, a hair dryer, and hair spray and just over two minutes later, I’m good to go.

What’s left? Accessorize! For me and this outfit, it’s pretty simple — a necklace and earrings. I also spritzed myself with body mist spray (extremely light perfume) from Bath Junkie. So 30 SECONDS LATER:

IMG_0979

By the way, those are not actually earrings. I can no longer wear earrings, and instead wear dangling ear cuffs I buy from Etsy. (If anyone wants vendor information, I can answer in the comments section.)

TOTAL TIME TO GET READY: 16 MINUTES.

Do I look ready to walk a runway? Of course not. If my husband called and invited me to spontaneously join him for lunch, could I go? Absolutely.

Moreover, I feel good about myself because I took a few extra steps by:

  • Making sure to shower and get dressed every day.
  • Wearing clothes that fit and flatter my body.
  • Styling my hair and putting on cosmetics.
  • Adding a few extra touches to make me feel feminine and special.
  • Smiling in the mirror!

And in case anyone’s wondering what that piece of paper is at the top left corner of my full-length mirror, it’s a scripture. Your mirror is a wonderful place to put a scripture to remind you of whatever you need to work on in your life. If you’re struggling to feel beautiful, click on the following image, print it out, and slap it on your mirror!

Mirror verse - color

click for full size

black & white, click for full size

black & white, click for full size

Then go get ready, and as Sheila says, “fight the frump”!

Now let me know your secrets to “fighting the frump” and taking a few steps to feel better about yourself and ready to greet your husband when you come together again.

51 thoughts on “Feel Beautiful in 2015: “Fight The Frump”!

  1. Jennifer

    I made a commitment like this when we decided for me to be a stay at home mom (again), mine is more or less to just make sure I’m around before my husband gets home, sometimes if I’m going somewhere that day it’s first thing in the morning and some days I get done a few minutes before he walks through the door, and some days I fail miserably but I’m working on it! It really does make you feel better about yourself but sometimes the motivation just isn’t there.

    1. J Post author

      I often just run a brush through my hair, spritz a little more body mist spray, and dab on some lipstick before my man walks through the door. It’s not much, but it doesn’t take long either. If you’re lacking motivation, just set up small steps — a little something you can do to make yourself feel good.

      All the best, Jennifer!

  2. Sheila Gregoire

    This is awesome! I feel as if I inadvertently UNLEASHED you, and now you can post as many pictures of yourself as you want! 🙂

    And way to go with getting ready so fast. I like getting ready quickly, too. It really doesn’t take much time, but it makes a huge difference in how we feel about ourselves, which does affect our libidos!

    1. J Post author

      True! I feel more confident in the bedroom when I’m confident throughout the day outside it. And sprucing up goes a long way for that feeling.

      And I think I’ll start calling my photo shoots that: “J…Unleashed.” LOL.

  3. Beth

    I’ve found part of it just just making sure I don’t buy any more clothes that I don’t love. If you only buy clothes you feel great in, no matter what you grab in the morning it should work! It’s not worth my money if it’s just ok.

    1. J Post author

      Fabulous point! So very true. I think too often we use “it fits” as the standard, but now I ask myself “does it do anything for me?” Just because it technically works with my body size doesn’t mean it’s a good look on me, so I’ve upped the bar.

  4. Amy

    Your hair dries in 2.5 minutes?! Lucky! I’m looking at 15 at least (it’s been so long, I can’t remember!) I shower at night so that it’s mostly dry by morning 😉
    Makeup is no longer an option for me – even the expensive natural stuff makes my eyes react, and my adult acne seems better off left uncovered. I do miss mascara, but oh well!
    My biggest problem these days is shoes. I’m developing tailors bunions at 27, and it’s really limiting my shoe selection to athletic-type wear. It’s amazing the difference a nice pair of flats makes vs. walking shoes – I always look ‘dressed down’ now and they look downright silly with nice clothes so I now stick to a more athletic style wardrobe (hilarious, since I don’t exactly work out!)
    My MIL has the same problem and is stuck in Birkenstocks at best for weddings, and often her orthotic rocker shoes for the rest of the time. Hard to look classy in those.

    I’m feeling pretty limited these days, especially in the phase of toddlers and babies. My wardrobe looks fine for casual living – I’m just hoping I don’t have to attend any nice events this year!

    1. J Post author

      I let my hair air-dry for a while before even bothering to pull out the hair dryer. And when I’m finished, it’s probably a little damp in the back, but it’s good enough.

      And if makeup isn’t an option, do you invest in some good skin care? Because that can make a really big difference in how you feel. I don’t mean expensive. For instance, one of the things I’ve done is wash my face with oil. (Don’t freak out. Go look it up. Google away, and you’ll see what I mean.)

      I think it’s all about doing what you can do — with the body you have, the skin you have, the time you have, etc. But too often, we don’t even use what we have! So I’m encouraging wives to be the best they can be. And most importantly, to feel beautiful. Best wishes!

  5. Gottfried Bernard

    My Wife and I where laughing about this nice presentation of Yours. She said: ” The only thing missing is a picture with a goooood mug of german coffee” and some Haribogummibärs for the afternonn”. We would love sending some to You (ok. for your Husband also).
    Blessings

    1. J Post author

      Is German coffee different from American coffee? Because German __ sounds good to me, but I’m not a coffee drinker at all. Thanks, Gottfried! 🙂

      1. Gottfried Bernard

        Oh I tasted american coffee…its more like colored water.
        Thank you for all the practical advice you are giving. Several month agow i was wrighting to you,
        about foreign distribution (Bookstorediscount ec.) and translation. Have you thought about this?
        We would love talking to You about the possibility (Royalties ec.)
        By the way…there is no equivalent to Haribogummibärs…if you eat them with your Husband in fellowship…the calories dont count.

  6. Keelie Reason

    Totally awesome. 🙂 So many of us get into the frump mode when we have children and forget that we get to be real people after they grow up a bit. Awesome that you are taking that time. I know it makes me feel more productive to work from home if I have an actual outfit on. Just seems to make it more real.

    1. J Post author

      So very true. Since my “office” is next door to my bedroom, it can be easy to let things go, but I also find myself feeling more professional if I dress the way I would if I was going out. Thanks, Keelie!

  7. Mama Rachael

    So, I don’t wear makeup. I don’t like to buy clothes (I really don’t like shopping!). I highly dislike having to choose clothes. My ‘fight the frump’ strategies, and maintain my sanity…

    I shower the night before. Then I don’t have to rush.
    I only wash my hair every 3 or 4 days, I let it air dry. But I also don’t use hair products.
    I have a simple hair style… pony tail or bun.
    I get dressed all the way, and make sure I put on something different from my pjs. And I make sure clothes fit well, even if its simple cotton tee-shirt and jeans. I do a lot of online clothes shopping, since I figured that out, and I tend to buy the same style each time. Makes getting dressed easy — not a lot of choices. Cuts down on decision fatigue also!
    Flylady says to get dressed to your shoes… I get dressed to my houseshoes, since we don’t wear shoes in the house.

    And there is an attitude involved also. I decide I’m ready, I act like I’m ready, I live like I’m ready.

    1. J Post author

      Yeah. Living in South Texas, it’s a bit of a hard sell to not go barefoot a lot during summer. Then you just slip on your flip-flops to head out the door. 🙂

      And oh yes indeed, attitude matters so much! Good point.

  8. Kendra Burrows

    Great stuff, J! Thanks for sharing. I HATE doing hair and make-up but I like it so much better when I have it on. Problem is, it always seems like it takes forEVER. So I started using a timer. I can do make-up in five minutes but it feels like an hour if I let it. (I’m good at dawdling, too.) But playing beat-the-timer (and knowing that it truly won’t take me more than five minutes) helps a lot.

    BTW, how does one wear cowboy boots? No, seriously. It’s a real question. Everyone says they’re so comfy but my feet just don’t like them (hard and flat – the boots, not my feet). I’m wondering if my feet are just not made for cowboy boots or if I’m wearing them wrong. {Seriously, these are the things I think about.} I heard someone say once that they’re to be worn without socks. (I’ve never tried it.) Is that true? So for real, how does one wear cowboy boots? 😉

    1. J Post author

      Cowboy boots! Even as a born-and-bred Texan, I didn’t own a single pair until past age 40. And now I’m a big convert! My tips:
      1. Wear boot socks. I think they are the best option. I’ve never worn boots without socks; I think that would cause perspiration issues.
      2. Brand matters. You might think a pair of quality boots is expensive, but once I realized that you can resole boots again and again and they’ll last maybe 10 years or more, they’re not that pricey. The cheaper brands will feel hard and flat and ick. If you’re just starting out, you might try Ariat — because they have comfort soles. But I also consulted with the salesperson about what would work well for my feet.
      3. Sizing can be different. I wear a half-size down in boots. When you’re trying them on, remember that you’ll have a little slip in the heel, but not too much.
      4. Softer leather. Stiff boot shafts can be uncomfortable, so look for softer leather. Or find a “distressed” boot since it will be naturally softer.
      5. Heels and toes. Try on different heights of heels and different shaped toes (square, snip-toe, pointed, etc.) to find what’s most comfortable for you.
      Once I find that pair of boots that feels great, I know it. Then I break ’em in, and they are my go-to footwear in winter. Hope something here helps! 🙂

  9. MG

    Good reminder–I am home sick today, but that doesn’t mean I can’t brush my hair and teeth and straighten the bedclothes before my husband comes home! We don’t have any kids yet and I work a regular day job, so most days I don’t have much choice about looking presentable by 8 am. But today, the temptation to “let myself go” is strong, and this post could not have had better timing. Thanks for the reminder that my husband deserves a little effort–and he is taking such good care of me!

    On point as usual; thank you!

    1. J Post author

      I am sick today too, as it turns out! Ugh. Stayed in jammies all day…but I did eventually bathe, and before hubby got home, I brushed my hair and my teeth and slapped on a little lip balm. Not much, but something.

      Hope you feel much better soon, MG!

  10. Dawn B.

    I always make a point of looking ‘put together’. Always do my hair, make up, nails (hands and feet) chipped nails are a no-no! My friends make fun of me because I even wear make up to the gym? Not a lot, just enough so I do not look like a zombie while exercising! My husband regularly compliments me on looking nice and sometimes I am in yoga pants and a sweatshirt. Gotta love him!

    1. J Post author

      Well-done! It’s not always easy to make that happen, but I bet you feel good about that effort. And your husband apparently appreciates it. 🙂

  11. Britt

    Each morning I drive my two children to school, and most days I manage to have make-up applied and hair done before I am out the door. Other days, I’m doing good if I remember to put on lip stain before my DH comes home.

    Of course, I live in Northern Canada, so for most of the school year I can wear a toque and sunglasses and nobody can see me under my coat anyways!

    1. J Post author

      I just think the most important people we dress for our ourselves and our husbands. That way, we feel better about ourselves and we communicate that we want to look good for him. I understand that’s not always possible, but even a little effort can go a long way! 🙂

  12. Ruth

    I go for the short sassy hair style. My best hair days are when I go to bed with wet hair, have great sex with my husband and wake up with wild and crazy hair. I even tell my husband, “I need a little help with my hair, because I have a big day tomorrow.” He knows exactly what I mean.

  13. nylse

    i agree that when you look good you feel good. i work from home also and the worse days are when i stay in my pajamas. my whole hair and makeup grooming is totally different from yours and i don’t own a pair of cowboy boots.

    1. J Post author

      No cowboy boots necessary! LOL.

      And one my BFs is a super-curly-headed lady. We’ve had great conversations about learning how to care for your own head of hair — and her routine and mine are quite different. So I know my stuff won’t apply to plenty of ladies; it just makes sense to work with your own assets.

      Best wishes!

  14. Leighann

    I’d love the info about the earrings from etsy 🙂 and thanks for this post. I think this will really help the way I’m feeling. Too many mornings I am in my pajamas in the school drop off line.

    1. J Post author

      I can’t wear earrings at all, but I like danglies. You can find a lot more options for ear cuffs on Etsy than in stores. If you’re looking for a pair, be sure to specify that. Otherwise, a lot of them are a single ear cuff, usually meant for someone wearing earrings who wants another enhancement. My favorite shop so far has been JHammerberg. Her cuffs have seemed a little higher quality, and she also did a custom order for me with the cross ear cuffs in that picture. I’m sure there are other fine retailers on Etsy (and I plan to try others), but that’s one I can easily recommend.

      And pajamas in the drop-off line? I SO remember that! I’m sure you weren’t the only one. 😉

      1. J

        For my stay home days, I love tinted moisterizer. It goes on in about 30 seconds, is light enough that I don’t feel like I’ve got my full make up face on, but evens out my skin tone. That, a quick coat of mascara & some lip gloss & I’m ready. Also, I’ve found that I can skimp on some of my make up but a good under-eye concealer is a MUST.

  15. Lina

    Just two weeks ago I invested in some pretty nightgowns and did away with the XXXL tee shirts 🙂

  16. S

    Thanks for this great reminder, J! While I don’t wear make up or jewelry, I’ve just recently started putting a flower clip in my hair, and it makes me feel pretty and feminine, and my Love likes it, too – win-win! =)

  17. Bonny @oysterbed7

    This ROCKS! I love your encouragement, J. I’m not sure I can do it under 20 minutes. Maybe I should try it and see!! Then, I’ll document as I go and link back with you. I think I can be as brave as you and bare it all, above the neck that is!

    1. J Post author

      My record time is 14 minutes — and that’s from pajamas to dressed, makeup, hair styled, jewelry, AND laptop packed up and walking out the door. (I was headed to work at a café.) I’m not sure I could beat that, though. LOL.

      Let me know when you document!

  18. Other J

    Thank you for the “reveal” You are a beautiful woman, and Spock is a lucky man. I absolutely love that you share so much and so openly. you have certainly helped in our marriage.
    ~now working on my morning routine!

  19. Sarah

    I’ve been a ghost follower for a while now and I just need to say how much I appreciate you and your blog. You are lovely and it’s so nice to put a face to your posts. Thank you 🙂

    1. J Post author

      Some people thought I was a ghost too. 😉 Thanks so much for your kind and encouraging words!

  20. Abby Jensen

    Great post! My husband doesn’t seem to care what I’m wearing ever, which is nice for me.

    One thing that helps me look nice is wearing leggings and dresses. Seriously. It’s the most comfortable outfit I can imagine, and it looks cute and put together. I wear fleece lined leggings with flattering sweater dresses in the winter. In fact, when I’m feeling extra lazy and have to do something really early, I sleep in my leggings and just throw on a dress before I leave the house, and I wear my hair in a bun with a headband. I feel like wearing the headband makes the bun look cute and intentional instead of frumpy.

    I wear capri leggings (if needed) with cotton dresses in the summer. Also, I’m not thin, so finding dresses that come with a built in liner/second layer/slip helps them not to cling and look better. For shoes, I wear boots in the winter and sperrys (or cowboy boots!) in the summer. I have high arches and have to wear inserts, so I can’t do flats or heels or flip flops.

  21. erica

    I would also add that consciously “putting yourself together” can be a big help if you battle depression. On a bad day, when you don’t care about ANYTHING, staying unshowered in your pj’s all day (or longer!) can serve to feel the bad feelings (and encourage you to believe the lies Satan tells you!). Making a point of getting put together is a small thing that, on some days, can make a big difference. If nothing else, you’re preventing yourself from adding “I smell funky, and I look like a frump” to the mix of negative feelings!

  22. Cassie

    Oh thank you for posting this. I go through phases where I am frumpy most days and then I decide I should do something with myself other days. With a baby pulling on my hair it is often up, but that doesn’t mean I can’t add a touch of make up and put on something other than sweat pants. Thank you for sharing!

    1. J Post author

      I love seeing ponytails made nicer just with a good band. Invest in some cute, eye-catching hair ties. My two cents! 🙂

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