A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

What I Wore Wednesday

I have a confession to make.

I’m not much of a fashionista.

You know that cute outfit I wore for my big photo shoot with my BFF Laura a few years back?

Designer denim, close-fitting top, industrial-strength bra, chunky necklace, leopard peep-toe heels…

I don’t really dress like that most of the time.

In real life, I’m more of a sweatpants/man’s t-shirt/comfortable shoes/ponytail/no make-up kind of gal. In other words, Frumpasaurus Rex.

Truly, if you ran into me at the Piggly Wiggly, you probably wouldn’t even recognize me. That’s kinda my evil-genius-plan, actually.

Of course, it never works out that way. Like the Murphy’s Law of Fashion, if you ever want to guarantee you’ll run into someone you know, leave the house in your pajamas or house cleaning clothes (aka, my daily uniform).

Speaking of which, last Monday afternoon, little Bucket Head and I ran to the store for a couple of last minute staples (i.e. wine and kale).

Anyhooo… as I’m walking to my car in my flip flops, dirty cargo pants, and tomato stained t-shirt, I saw a striking woman smiling at me. No lie, this lady looked like a movie star. She had on short-shorts (with the legs to pull it off), sassy wedge heels, a peasant blouse, huge sunglasses, and her hair was Farrah Fawcett perfect. She almost blinded me with her luminescent smile. I wondered why she was smiling at me. Was my fly down? Toilet paper stuck to my shoe? Was Bucket Head shaking his groove thing? That’s when it dawned on me…OMG, I know her.


Hold it right there, Bub. Don’t assume she’s 23 years old just because she’s a student teacher with killer gams in a trendy getup. Welcome to Atlanta, honey. This foxy lady is a full-grown woman with three kids ages 10 and up! I would have guessed she was in her mid thirties.

My first thought: SHIT – I hope she doesn’t see these two gigantic boxes of wine in my cart! Then I thought, well damn, maybe it will earn my child some sympathy points… as in, “Bless her heart, her mama’s a lush and all.”

The next day, Mini-Me said “Mrs. Fletcher told me she saw you at the grocery store yesterday. I just love her. She’s SO pretty. Mom, can you believe she’s 41 years old, just like you? I mean she looks so young!!!”

{mwah mwaaaaaah}

Fuck. A. Duck.

And I don’t say that lightly. Ducks have super scary penises, FYI.

So I was feeling even frumpier than usual when I happened upon this post by a sassy new blogging sistah, Heather. It confirmed my suspicions that I should probably put a little more effort into my everyday outward appearance.

pleated poppy

The comments from that post lead me to another post called What I Wore Wednesday by the adorable and totally-not-frumpy-looking Lindsey over at The Pleated Poppy. There, women from all over the blogosphere are linking up to showcase cute outfits they wore the week before.

And that reminded me of this post from last week by Megan over at Declutter Daily. Megan is my decluttering hero. She only has 24 things in her closet! Here’s what she has to say about that:

More recently I am finding that I  tend to look more put together,  mostly it’s just the difference between a blouse and a t-shirt, nothing big. I guess it is because everything is easy to find; accessories, shoes, scarves- I know where they are and the choices are not overwhelming.

Put all these events together and what do you get? A fashion show! Yep, I peeled off my nacho cheese and dog hair encrusted sweats and put together a real outfit today, with a bra and lipstick and everythang!

Wanna see? (Oh just humor me and look. I’m obviously starved for attention.)

"Oh Niles, you cheek! Of course I'll star in your British mini-series about frumpy Americans!"

"Ack, the nerve. He cast someone else for the role! Didn't he see my jiggly grandma arms?!"




"Fine. Forget the mini-series. Who do I have to fuck to get some unbroken taco shells?"

"Ewwwww. Ike's been eating crayons again. Dammit. And you wonder why I drink."



So that’s What I Wore Wednesday. And wouldn’t you know it? I didn’t see a single person I knew. Figures.

And that’s why I’m wearing it again today, and probably tomorrow too. Although I paired it with some leopard flats and a coral cardigan today, just so people won’t think I’m homeless.

Bucket Head took this action shot... he's only 4, give him a break.

Here are the details of my ensemble, just in case you want to emulate my look, and/or avoid where I shop:

  • Jeans: Levi’s 501, from the men’s department at Kohl’s
  • Tanks: J. Crew (striped tissue tank) & Jockey PJ tank under it
  • Cardigan: J. Crew
  • Shoes: both pairs are from Target
  • Bag: Coach Outlet
  • Bracelet: SERRV Catalog (OMG, it’s on sale!) 

Final verdict? It felt good to be fully dressed in something semi-presentable. I actually felt like people treated me differently…in a good way. Maybe I was just reeking of confidence and commanded more respect. Hey, better than my usual reek of wine, urine, and defeat, I’ll tell you that

Let’s get an expert opinion. Bucket Head? What did you think of Mommy’s new look? 

"Oh SNAP!"

I’ll take that as a compliment.

Here’s to making an effort!


PS – If you haven’t yet, please “like” The Bearded Iris at Babble.com’s list of the Top 50 Mom Blogs. One vote per device. If I make it into the top ten, I’ll tell you the story about the time I shot a man.

© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.


  1. Julie @ mamamash

    Very stylish, youthful without being desperate, and comfy to boot. Nice job.

  2. Amanda Andrus

    What a perfect post for me today. This morning getting dress I went through my pile of shirts and tried to find the one that had the least amount of stuff on it to wear. It also had to be nicer than a t-shirt since I am going into my son’s class for his birthday today. The posts by Heather and Megan really hit home with me. Thanks for sharing. I am going to make an effort with the way I dress and do my laundry tonight so I have something clean for tomorrow.

    • The Bearded Iris

      Thank you Amanda! So glad to know I’m not alone in my frumpy struggles! Heather and Megan are fabulous aren’t they? I want to sparkle more often, and wearing things off my floor that barely pass the sniff check just ain’t cuttin’ it. Good idea – let’s start with some laundry! That will definitely help. But also, I want to be more like Megan and really pare down my wardrobe to fewer, but cuter things. Let’s do it!

  3. Jen


    And why is it that we always gotta run into fabulous people when we look terrible? I mean the only people I see when I look fabulous either crap themselves or dry hump me. 😉

    • The Bearded Iris

      HAHAHAHAHA! So funny, Jen! Let’s just hope you are describing two different people (or pets) there.

  4. Mommy2cents

    For a second there I thought you were describing my nifty get-up. You know…the cargo pants and stained t-shirt. I want you to know you’ve inspired to frump it down and has it up a bit more tomorrow. I’m gonna whip out my black yoga pants (cuz they can double as a decent pair of black pants after all) and my not too fancy, yet still respectably trendy cotton Target T with my super sassy bedazzled flip flops. Shit!…guess that means I’ll have to do something about my 4 month old pedi. Oh well, baby steps right?!

  5. Mommy2cents

    Remind me to NEVER comment using my stupid phone again! That was jaz it up…not has it up. Have you ever gone to that website http://www.damnyouautocorrect.com (I think that’s what it’s called)? Well that’s pretty much me! I don’t text, email, message, comment, nothin without screwing something up when typing on this God-forsakin thing! *sigh*

    • The Bearded Iris

      Oh thank God. I was about to delete that last comment for spam thinking you were one of those Russian porn sites where the English speakie ain’t too good. I’m pretty sure I have those same Target bedazzled flip flops and I love them!!! I am desperate for some new t-shirts though. Maybe we can de-frump together!

      • Mommy2¢

        Oh, now worries! I get Spamial profiled all the time thanks to my stupid phone and lack of competence in spelling. I’m used to it! ;^)

  6. By Word of Mouth Musings

    In FL – sweat pants, tank tops and flip flops can be paired with uber mucho bling. It is a known fact, the more bling you have reflects well on to your face if you have not upped your botox of late. Sadly, as homeschoolers, many a day we don’t make it out of pj’s unless a dire need for frothy drinks at Barnes and Noble arises.
    Perhaps a challenge like this would help my mid region if I was forced to pour it into pants with real waistbands?

    • The Bearded Iris

      TRUE DAT! Why do you think I rock the sweatpants and yoga pants so much?! The muffintop, that’s why. I don’t think even the Blue Hope Diamond could bling up my face from the sun damage I’ve done to myself over the years. No biggie…I’ll just keep wearing low cut tops. People never notice my melasma when they’re staring at my rack.

      And I bet you FL girls have cute matching sweats that are public-ready, no? The ones I wear the most are hideous…bleach stains, stretched out knees, racing stripes down the sides… I should retire them to the rag bag, but they are so gentle on the muffintop. Hmmm….

  7. Aubrey Anne

    Eh, effort is MUCH too over-rated! I only put that much effort in when I’m taking 300 pictures to hopefully get one usable profile pic. 😉 You look awesome, though, for sure!!

  8. Megan at declutterdaily

    You look great and you sold a pair of leopard print flats for target.

  9. Muffintopmommy

    You? Kill me. You look fab, girl! Why’d you have to post this on the day I have no makeup on and channeled my inner Jane Lynch from Glee, only didn’t pull it off as well as she does!? And…you guessed it, totally ran into several peeps from whom I tried to hide. Tomorrow I endeavor to rock my best Merona finery, I assure you!

    Say, is that a box of Corbett Canyon’s finest cardboard 2011 vintage I see you groping on the bottom shelf? *Cough* Not that I’d know, naturally, and the pic is a little blurry….

    • The Bearded Iris

      Hilarious, Janet! Your “inner Jane Lynch”…omg, what a vision! And I love your “rock my best Merona finery” pledge. True fact: I splurged and bought myself a new pair of shorts from the clearance rack at Bal*Fart the other day…$7 Faded Glory boys carpenter shorts. I’m so fancy!

  10. Allysgrandma

    Just think how bad it would be if you had never left your hometown area….Thus I never go to town without makeup and now I am finding I cannot go to town without my wig!! My doctor today told me I looked 15 years younger….and she is a woman. I need to post a new picture….oh and wait until you see what I found on my very own tomato plant tonight!!!

    PS Today I wore my hand me torn cool ripped or is it distressed jeans handed down from older daughter now that she is skinny and a nice T-shirt. Unfortunately I have to wear Merrill’s with my shoe inserts and then of course Buffy (my new wig) to top me off with the bangs pinned to the side.

  11. Dawn

    I have been ordering from SERRV for years- so glad to hear you are too 🙂

    • The Bearded Iris

      Yes! Their stuff is so beautiful! And I feel good about my purchases because they are fair trade and directly benefit the artists who make each piece! Thanks for the comment, Dawn!

  12. Lisa Galaviz

    I have to get ready for work now, and I don’t know what to wear. Actually, I am already ready for work, and it is pathetic. I should re-attempt. Will you come help me? I guess I shouldn’t shop for clothes at the same place where I buy boxes of wine. Heavy sigh.

    Seriously, if you can’t make it over here to help me, can you send someone? Thanks.

  13. Heather Novak

    Thanks for the linky love my deah! No sweat on the wine, my playgroup often drinks. At ten AM. I cannot WAIT to read the paired down closet post…I might just do it, we live simply and truly don’t we always wear the same thing each week? Your pics were smashing. JCrew will do that for a gal, right? Today my sexy outfit is dirty hair I wouldn’t answer the door with, hubs undershirt, purple flannel pj bottoms and a white marshmallow robe uber comfy not flattering in shade or density. I should clarify I am sick, at least. Not quite this lazy. But toddler is pantsless…so maybe I should take care of that, eh? YOU ARE GREAT!

  14. Heather

    Funny that you did a post about this… I was just about to put a status on Facebook about how I HATE that woman at Walmart that is always wearing a short, yet age-appropriate, denim mini-skirt and crisp white blouse with her two perfectly coiffed children while my children and I look like dug our outfits out of the Salvation Army bin in the parking lot… God, I HATE that woman (and every one like her)…

    These days, Momma has to dress a little better for school pick-up ’cause the ex-boyfriend’s kid is now going to the same school as mine so I need to make sure I’m ALWAYS on alert 😉

  15. Didi

    Love it!!! Mahvelous darrrling!!! You look smashing!!

    Now, to get my fat butt up and emulate….

  16. Alexis@TroublesomeTots

    My husband and I saw Crazy, Stupid, Love (fab movie BTW) and there is this great scene where my future lover, uh…I mean Ryan Gosling is fixing up Steve Carrel at the mall and he says, “Be better than the Gap.”

    Of course we both fidgeted uncomfortably while we watched this in our faded Gap clothes (yep pretty much head to toe) but now it’s my personal mantra.

    Be Better than the Gap.

    PS. Yes I am currently wearing Gap clothes, Rome wasn’t built in a day, but it’s a goal!

  17. Meili

    IRIS! Stop! I’m still reeling from the previous “charity begins at home” entry! I’ve actually cleaned something in my house for 5 days straight and avoided excessive time frittering due to my volunteer responsibilities. But, I’m still the girl scout leader & the approval hungry idiot. I just need to be getting my approval from sources that are most important… my family & close friends. Not those biotches in the drop off lane at the school! Ha ha!

    And NOW, you tell me I need to dress like I care and get out of the ancient baggy sweats? Whoa. In case you don’t know it, you actually do influence the lives of your readers, and this post is probably just the kick in the yoga pants that I need to do some cleaning out, sprucing up, and remember that I’m too good to slob around ALL the time.

    • The Bearded Iris

      Baby steps, honey. Let’s all just do this one baby step at a time. Believe me, I am in my nasty house clothes as I type this! I definitely don’t think we should all be dressed to the nines 24/7… but I would like to embarrass my children less (not including my awesome dance moves.)

      Keep saying NO to all the excessive time suck volunteer ploys, Meili! I’m trying to follow my own advice too. It will eventually give us more time to get out of these ancient baggy sweats and into something that makes us feel more important and WORTH IT.

  18. Joanne B.

    Great post even for those of us 50+ (cough cough gag gag- wait girls… don’t laugh…your day is coming too)! I was JUST in Target and tried on those leopard flats! Couldn’t decide if they were too “fancy” for around the house! Are they the ones that have a little squared off toe? Couldn’t decide if they were comfortable enough and then also had a tiny bit of toe cleavage ( hate that, don’t you?) and the tan line from my flip flop strap was peaking out and as I was walking like Morticia because of the elastic that kept them attached to each other— and between ALL THAT going on in my head I was like- “who am I kidding” and walked away from the only pair in my size! I may have to go back to get them tomorrow! Tell me, are they comfortable or does that not matter much when you’re trying to look good? I know if I had them I would think I was hot stuff. and that is a whole ‘nother scarey thought!

    • The Bearded Iris

      Hey Joanne! I bought those leopard flats last year, so I don’t know if they are the same ones you tried on. The toe is more round than square. I will tell you this though, I had to get them one half size bigger to hide my ginormous toe cleavage and not pinch my tootsies. THEN, the first few times I wore them, they gave me a terrible chafe on the top of my foot. I almost took them back. But I’m glad I hung in there because now that they’re broken in, they are very comfy. No support, like wearing slippers. If I’m going to be on my feet a lot, I’ll choose my Dansko clogs instead that day. But they are cute and leopard goes with EVERYTHING!

  19. Jen Has A Pen

    Werk, girl. Werk. I swear, I always thought Rachel Zoe followed you around. 😉 No? Oh well. The lore of you is still pretty flashy. I’ll buy whatever you are selling.

    • The Bearded Iris

      OMG, you sassy young thing. I had to google “werk” AND “Rachel Zoe“…that’s how old and tragically unhip I am. But thank you for the awesome compliments, sistah-friend.

      • Jen Has A Pen

        I’m only hip because I’m a TV junkie. “Werk” is from “So You Think You Can Dance” and “America’s Next Top Model” and Rachel Zoe is on Bravo. 🙂 I live in the world of TV, in sweatpants, eating cheese. 🙂

  20. Tiffany

    I work from home and could easily dress like a Frumpasaurus every day. But, I don’t because just like you said…it makes you feel good to look nice!

  21. Anne @ Domesblissity

    OMG Iris! That’s hot! I’d love a Coach Outlet store over here, you lucky bugger! Keep up the good work!

    (I love your style no matter what you’re wearing!)

    Anne xx

    • The Bearded Iris

      Anne, seriously, you are the BEST. Will you please move here and be my neighbor so we can hang out every day?

  22. Andi

    My eyes! My eyes! Seriously with the duck’s penis? How did you even find that? Shame on you…you nasty woman LOL!

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