As women, we have a constant dialogue going on in our head. Sometimes that dialogue is positive and sometimes, it is just plain mean. This self-talk occurs hundreds of times a day, but what I have found is that it is most dangerous while standing in the closet, getting ready for the day ahead. Have you ever thought the following as you pick out your outfit for the day?
I feel blah today. I hope no one notices me.
I hope no one calls on me in this meeting. I definitely need to dress in something neutral so I don't stand out.
I am so fat. Thank goodness I have all those fat pants in black so people can't see how fat I am.
I’m not going to see anyone today but my children. Bring on the sweatpants.
I will be covered in spit up by noon. Why try?
I haven't slept in six months. If my shoes match each other I feel like I'm winning.
If your answer is never, then you are a liar. We tend to dress the way we feel without even realizing we are doing it. But what if I told you that there is another way?
Your story might sound a lot like mine. Before I got married and had kids, I took pride in every aspect of my appearance from my hair to my accessories. It was fun and I felt good. Then my husband walked into the picture. His presence alone didn’t change my attitude. I still enjoyed looking good and getting dressed up for date nights and dinners with friends. But then…kids happened.
Let me start by saying, stay-at-home moms with newborns are superwomen. Also, working moms are superwomen. I’ve been both. Not only do they raise a tiny human on little to no sleep but they also run a household—make lunches, grocery shop, take the kids to doctors appointments, do laundry, empty dishwashers, etc. I’m tired just thinking about it and I do it!
When my son was born, my body had been turned into a human feeding machine, and while there is a lot of beauty to be found there, it is also really freaking hard, and I lost the motivation to look resembling my pre-baby self.
As our son grew, the zombie haze began to clear, but I was still covered in spit up and baby food 90% of the day, so I thought to myself: Why try? Before I knew it, my son was 3 and I was still wearing the same bland clothes that I had pulled on when he was born because they were easy and functional. Then, I slowly began to discover the truth that changed my life. What I was wearing was creating a self fulfilling prophecy in my brain. I felt basic and blah. Have y’all met me!? I am NOT basic.
One day I woke up and I wanted to look good again. So I decided to dress my way back to who I really was. I put on makeup (hadn’t done that in a while!) and a comfortable, yet still stylish outfit, and something magical happened: I looked GOOD and I felt GOOD. I received countless compliments and realized that while I may still be exhausted on the inside, the outward expression from my outfit said otherwise. People started taking notice, commenting on my choice of bold colors and prints and how they made me stand out from the crowd. The more compliments I received, the better I felt about myself!
Now, color is my secret weapon to fight the negative self talk that abounds when I am standing in my closet feeling crummy in the morning. Whether I am feeling self conscious, anxious, or nervous I fight the urge to dress the way I am actually feeling and instead I pull out a bold color and dress the way I WANT to feel. My mood lifts, my day lifts and my joy lifts!!
If you are caught in the trap of wearing the same bland clothing day in and day out, I challenge you to add some color to your daily wardrobe. It doesn’t have to be a complete wardrobe makeover. You are busy! Start small with a couple bright accessories. My bet is you will begin to see what the joy of color can do for you.
Below, meet AlanaKay 2019. Wonder what AlanaKay all dressed in black from 2007 would think of her!?
I am a believer in the power of color. I see it every day as an artist, a designer and my self-proclaimed role as color evangelist. I have seen color reconnect people to themselves and others, empower women, and inspire joy. CMYK is the abbreviation for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and blacK. Combining those four colors allows us to create any color. Bright, dark, bold, subtle, neutral, neon — all of them.
Over the past year, people continue to admire the bold colors and patterns used in AlanaKayART and tell me how great I look, but are concerned that they can’t pull off such vibrant colors.
The goal of CMYKay is to educate you about color and empower you to incorporate it into your home and wardrobe in both big and small ways. It will challenge you creatively and encourage you to have fun with color in new and re-imagined ways, because friend, life in color is way more fun.