Loungewear, quality lingerie, and cute PJs are things that used to be at the bottom of my purchasing priority list. I always preferred spending my money on things that everyone could see, like an amazing pair of shoes or health/beauty investments like Pure Barre classes and high quality face creams. Stephen and I have been together for almost 6 years now, and he’s very sweet about my looks and style. While I will never take for granted having the type of man who showers me with compliments even when I’m in my ancient flannel martini-glass-print Pjs (they are a size L from the Stein Mart men’s section and I have to pull the drawstring super tight. The Homeless Clown trend is the new Athleisure–haven’t you heard?!), I have recently stepped up my loungewear game a bit.
I think it had to do with an overall mental/emotional shift these last few years of living for myself and my closest loved ones instead of the general public’s perception of me… or my perception of their perception of me. I mean, don’t get me wrong–I’m still obsessed with shoes and beauty products and keeping my body toned! Those things are for me just as much as for anyone else, and I still want to put my best face forward.
However, I’ve also started putting more care into who I am behind the scenes. The paradigm shift has manifested itself in many ways, and one is that I’m willing to spend more on a dense fluffy robe or deliciously scented candle– things I used to think were frivolous. I remember times in college Stephen would open the car door for me and I’d immediately scan the parking lot like, “Did you people see that? Are they super jealous that I have such a chivalrous boyfriend?? I’d hope that girl who was super nasty to me six months ago happened to be walking by and saw how much happier my life is than hers. Oooh or maybe that pretty blonde girl Stephen was hooking up with the year before we got together!” (Not because she did anything wrong or I even knew her, but just because I liked to feel like I was winning some imagined battle.)
Like a lot of teenagers and early 20-somethings, I led a needlessly competitive, insecurity-fueled existence. I was deeply mortified if Stephen and I ever had a small spat in public or ever didn’t look OhEmGeeSoPerf. I was paranoid that my professors thought I was “stupid” or “lazy” if I ever made less than an A on something. I thought my Greek life acquaintances secretly found me weird and my liberal arts peers probably thought I was mainstream or basic. I always felt like I was being watched and evaluated. Not a fun or fulfilling way to live your life!
When you live for how you look in the eyes of others, you miss the simple and wonderful things. You spend the charming moment your boyfriend opens the car door for you thinking about the other people in the Publix parking lot–who are in no way relevant to that moment, and frankly don’t give two shakes of a rat’s derrière about the door of Stephen Trevathan’s Nissan, or what he chooses to do with it. When you worry about how tacky you look for arguing at a bar, you’re not thinking about how you can solve the actual argument with the man you love. (Plus, do you think you’re the only lovebirds to ever quarrel in front of the bartender? Yeah right.)
The public image of your relationship vs. your actual love life is only one of many examples. The same prioritization can be applied to other topics. Do you want to look like a good daughter or be a good daughter? Do you choose your friends based on social status or soul sisterhood? Do you want others to be impressed by your job or do you want to make yourself proud? Did you go to school because “I come from the ‘type of family’ who goes to college,” or did you voraciously consume four years worth of knowledge? If you didn’t go to college, are you embarrassed or are you kicking ass in whatever path you selected instead?
It’s human to want support, appreciation and validation. But try to seek it first from yourself.
For whom are you living?
I’m not trying to make loungewear seem like some super-deep topic here. As I said, it was only one of many byproducts of my shift toward a more confident, proactive and joyful lifestyle.
But ask yourself: who are you when it’s just you alone in your home? What are your indulgences? What pretty things make you a little giddy, even if no one else sees them? What do you treasure?
I’ve decided I like to look nice for my husband, even if he’s complimentary and gushy no matter what I wear. And I like to look nice for myself. I’ve decided I like to feel nice. I love the sensation of slippery bright blue satin on my skin. I love the gentle plush scratch of a real wool sweater. I like to put on the delicate white robe I wore while getting ready for my wedding and run my fingers over the embroidered “Mrs. Trevathan.” (For any brides-to-be, I highly recommend the Sandy Waters Etsy store!)
I love to aimlessly peruse the Loungewear and Lingerie & Nightwear sections on the ASOS site, or covet the beautiful creations at Victoria’s Secret. (That’s where my blue teddy is from, but it’s older and not online anymore!)
When I start feeling that “I should be productive,” or “I’m wasting time,” or “Jeez Maya, why are you temping yourself to needlessly spend money?” guilt creep in, I fight back. I tell myself, “No, Guilt, YOU are the waste of time. You are the twisted temptation that I’m finally escaping. You are the flimsy film of unworthiness that I am finally scrubbing off my life outlook!” More importantly, I try not to compare my body like I constantly used to. I’m by no means perfect at the whole self-love thing. Sometimes I look at an online picture and think, “Ugh why aren’t my thighs that toned!” or “Why isn’t my waist-to-hip ratio this drool-worthy?!” but lately I’ve been proactive about stopping myself.
Why think destructive thoughts when you can instead think, “What beautiful women! I know they work hard in the gym, and have worked equally hard to succeed as models. They are humans with their own insecurities and flaws and doubts. What creative minds designed that beautiful black lingerie and dreamy white lace dressing gown! Those designers probably went to fashion school and got yelled at by perfectionist professors and fought hard for years to make their lacy garment visions a reality. What a gift it is to have bodies and visions and legs and brains and hips and goals and dreams and waists and life!”
Am I getting too cosmic and corny and carried away? My bad… 😉 So yes, every woman should feel deeply worthy and priceless even in the oldest and baggiest of sweatshirts. And yes, your partner or spouse should help make you feel beautiful regardless of how you look that day. But sometimes it’s invigorating to dress like a queen in the castle of your bedroom, to be a silky mermaid in an ocean of sheets. Sometimes when you see how amazing Coco Rocha looks in braids during your morning insta-lurk, you have to copy her because you also deserve to feel like a goddess and a supermodel.
(Prediction: french–and Dutch!–braided pigtails are about to be a big trend. Kim K is all about them [she and her sisters seem to be among the early adopters]. Also, check out model Rose Smith in her french braids here and here. I think she is so beautiful!)
On this lovely Saturday evening, I urge you to treat yourself! Buy the robe, buy the lingerie, buy that overpriced candle that you’re trying to convince yourself is a bandwaggoner trend but you secretly really want. (*Cough cough* I need to take my own advice on that one haha.) Tomorrow morning, add actual cream to to your coffee, and have the massive powdered sugar-coated almond croissant instead of the usual unsweetened oatmeal! (I did both those things the day these pictures were taken.) Treat yourself to a nice nap! Take the time to read a book! (I’m halfway through this book and it’s [damn] beautiful!) Put on statement lipstick during the day! Smile!
Promise me you’ll do one fun, body-loving, decadent, relaxing, splurge-y, or luxurious thing this weekend?
p.s. If it looks like this post was shot in a hotel room, it’s because it was. Travel diary from that weekend trip coming up soon!
Shop my current favorite lingerie, loungewear and indulgences below! (Un?)fortunately one still can’t buy life lessons lol…