Posted by: Deborah Drezon Carroll | January 4, 2011

Should You Teach Your Daughter That Clothes Matter?

On New Year’s Eve, one of my friends complimented my outfit and said, “Velvet and feathers really says New Year’s Eve like nothing else.” I totally agree and even more, I thought about how what you wear can not only reflect your mood but maybe even create it. They say that people who feel good actually do all sorts of good things like stay healthier, lose weight more easily, sleep better etc. I say that sometimes your clothes can make you feel better than you otherwise would. When you’re wearing velvet and feathers you are essentially making a statement that you are out for fun. Serious or depressing need not apply to a velvet and feathers evening. It doesn’t matter if you’re going out somewhere fabulous. In fact. we stayed home for New Year’s Eve and had just 7 friends join us. So, even a small and intimate event can be the background for an over the top outfit for no other reason than it just feels uplifting.

And, it doesn’t have to be new or expensive. My frolic-inducing outfit is many years old (and was a present from my lovely husband, who, while often is not a dapper dresser himself, has amazing taste in clothes for me) and if you know me, you’ve seen me sporting it before. None of that matters. What matters is how I feel when I wear it.

In terms of New Year’s resolutions, I’m not making any this year. But, I will try to consider how what I put on may determine my mood and, hopefully, that will mean more days of fun, fewer days of… well… not enough fun.

Do you think that what you wear matters and may even determine how you feel? I think this is an interesting topic to talk about with your kids. If they pick out their own clothes (and they should), are there outfits that just make them feel better? Food, or rather, fashion for thought, anyway.

Alexis Writes: Your fashion always makes a statement. I love clothes. Getting excited to wear an outfit you’ve just picked out can make your whole day. I know everyone always feels good wearing something they like. I’ve had a person comment to me that with my outfits “There’s always something a little bit different.” I try to do something stylish but not exactly what everyone else is wearing. I remember when I was in 6th grade my boyfriend (of all of 4 days) broke up with me and I was pretty devastated. My Mom’s advice– Get dressed in your cutest outfit and don’t show him how hurt you are. I never forgot that and sometimes when I need a little motivation I try to muster up the same courage and choose something that makes me feel confident. It doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of money (although if you love it and don’t spend yourself into debt, it’s ok) but teaching kids that finding clothes that make them feel good is a great idea. It’s a good way to work on self-esteem and having fun. While you’re at it, make sure you take the opportunity to let your kids know that making negative judgements about people based on their clothes is way against the code of fashion. As long as someone isn’t hurting anyone, everyone should be able to wear what they want.

Mom Writes: While I don’t remember that 6th grade idiot boy (cause only an idiot would dump you), I’m sure he’d kick himself if he saw you or knew you now.

Shira Writes: I definitely think clothes can make the woman. When I have an event coming up, even something small, I always plan my outfit first. Something as simple as a fabulous pair of shoes can change my mood from blue to hot pink with polka dots. I always try to throw together something a little out of the ordinary. I know that not everyone would always agree with my sense of style. Tamra once spent half an hour in store convincing me not to buy a mini hat that perched on the side of my head. (I didn’t buy it, but I wish I had). I love that I can use my clothes to express who I am. I can show off that I am not concerned about what other people think and I just like to do what makes me happy. Even if that means wearing a mini-hat perched on my head.

A "Prom"inent Hat! Fabulous!


Mom Writes: No one wears a hat like you do. Remember your senior prom? Who else could have carried off that huge chapeau and look so fabulous in it?



Tamra Writes: I love clothes. I love shoes. I love buying them and I love wearing them. Everyone knows that I will make any excuse to buy something online. Going out for the weekend? Obviously I have to buy a new outfit for the occasion, even if it isn’t really an occasion. I have always loved fun clothes. From party dresses and way too many necklaces when I was little, to feathers and fur (faux), and even now, I never hesitate to treat myself to something I will enjoy wearing. I work hard and I deserve to spend the money on things that I will enjoy. Wearing a cute outfit that I know I look good in gives me something to look forward to and lets me have a good time when I’m out and about. Sure, I may have a small online shopping addiction, (I have 2 windows open right now with full shopping carts), but I could be addicted to worse, and I never buy anything I don’t actually have the money for. Once I had a whole 3-month relationship where I bought a new outfit every weekend. I am not exaggerating, literally every time I saw this person, I was wearing something new. We had to break up, because I would have had to declare bankruptcy, well that, and I got dumped. And guess what, getting dumped is just another reason to buy a new outfit!!! So it all works out in the end. Anyhoo…I say, wear what you like if it makes you smile and kick up your heels and say to yourself, “I’m ready to have a good time.” There is nothing worse than seeing someone out in an adorable outfit, with the biggest sour face in the world on. They don’t deserve that kind of fashion!!

And Shira, that hat was offensive. It didn’t look good on Sarah Jessica in Sex and the City, and it didn’t look good on you. You were hurting society by purchasing that. Believe me, I saved you 10 dollars.



  1. I love you guys. I only wish I knew you better. Just imagining Debby and Ned times 3 makes me laugh.
    I don’t really have a comment about clothes, although I agree with everything each of you said. I just wanted to tell you that I love you.
    Happy New Year!

  2. And we feel the same. Well, at least the one of us who knows you well enough to love you feels the same. Thanks for checking in! Happy New Year and if I’m not mistaken, happy birthday?

  3. Two of my three daughters are really into clothes (my poor sons-in-law!). When they were little, their father made a big deal of back-to-school and springtime shopping trips to the “city.” New outfits or just putting items together in a new way makes them feel happy. My youngest daughter is also my own personal “dresser.” She keeps me dressing young and that makes me feel happy. The third daughter? Well, we just can’t get her away from white, tan, taupe, brown and black! But she’s still beautiful.
    And I agree with Alexis; you have to teach your children that making judgements about other’s clothing is not acceptable… ever!

  4. If I think about it, it’s amazing that my girls ever learned how to dress well. I must admit that when they were little and I worked part-time, the days I was home… well, let’s say that my apparel was appalling. Baggy sweats, gathered at the ankle because I’m short, food stains from cooking, old clothes because who had time or money (or energy) to think about new ones. In looking back, I cringe. And my work days weren’t much better. I went to buy “corporate” clothes with “blue collar” budget at best. They were not my best fashion statements. If I could go back and talk to that young mom who was me I’d encourage her to dress better in order to feel better. It didn’t have to take a whole lot of money, just a whole different mindset!

  5. Yes, clothes matter! There is nothing wrong with helping yourself feel a little better and look good. Well, that’s my opinion!

  6. hi, I have to agree clothes matter. My daughter doesn’t matter much but I try to make her look good especially on the weekends. I just love to dress her up.

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