Before I had children, I never used to understand how the women on What Not to Wear devolved into such sad, frumpy people. I mean, I was by no means a fashionista, but by and large I was reasonably stylish and well-kept. How hard could it be to just have clothes that fit and weren’t torn, stained, faded, or sad?

Turns out, it is really hard. Far more difficult than I ever imagined it would be.

And yes, I blame the children. I really do.

Now, I am a practical person and I firmly believe that most moms are – and that’s how we end up wearing mom jeans and having one giant mash of a breast located somewhere around our tummies.

Let’s just start with what happens when you have young children. (This is before we even get to our bodies and what the hell happened to them.)

Despite my very best efforts to introduce the concept of a napkin, (and to be fair, Cookie Monster is generally pretty good about using one) my delightful children still seem to think I am a giant walking napkin. Why would I want to wear anything that couldn’t withstand greasy fingers and mouths? They’re getting better with this, but as soon as they’ve mastered the concept I’m not a napkin, Glow Worm will be ready to use me.

Speaking of Glow Worm, he used to spit up with alarming frequency. And not just spit up, straight up barf. All over me. He is super cute, but again. Why would I subject any of my nicer clothes to that?

Well, recently, I’ve decided to phase in my nicer clothes. I’m not wearing high fashion or anything, but I’ve started to wear some of my better clothes (the machine washable ones, at least) for the same reason I stopped hoarding stickers. It seems silly to not wear perfectly pretty clothes just because I’m worried about getting it dirty. What’s the point in keeping these clothes if I’m not going to wear them?

And here’s the thing. I feel better about myself. I hate that it’s true – but I do.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy my snarky T-shirts and jeans. I have no problem heading out of the house looking presentable and not someone to be envied. But every now and then, it’s nice to switch it up and look pretty.

The other day, I got all dressed up for my friend’s baby shower. I had make up on, styled my hair, put on a pretty dress, some sparkly earrings, and kitten heels. I actually got checked out at the local Safeway. That hasn’t happened in ages. Possibly also because I didn’t have three small children in tow. (Funny how that makes a woman instantly less desirable when in reality, it should tell a man that I am super fertile. I thought that all men desired fertile goddesses! Hrmph.)

However, the most embarrassing part of this story isn’t that the guy checked me out and that I’m telling all you good people about it. (That was a bonus – although, sadly, he was super creepy in the “hold eye contact for way longer than is comfortable” variety.)

The embarrassing part is that when I got out of the car, I strutted. Like a peacock. In full view of everybody. And I don’t care because shoot, for once in my life, I looked good. I was going to milk it for all it was worth!

Anyhow, I’m not sure what my point is here today other than that practical clothing is fine but occasionally, practical and nice clothing can be better. So don’t keep all your pretty clothes in the closet. Even if it’s something as minor as fancy earrings, you’d be surprised at how it may make you feel. Who knows? You might even strut.