A Dress Code for Homemakers: How to Be Beautiful Inside and Out
Yes. I am going to be so bold as to tell you what you ought to wear every day.
You see, there's more to what we wear than just what goes on the outside, although I'll be talking some about that too.
As a homemaker, you ought to put on the following things every single day:
1. A meek and quiet spirit (I Peter 3:4)
This passage is specifically referring to a woman's submission to her husband. Through the Holy Spirit, Peter instructs women to show their beauty, not through how they dressed on the outside, but by what shone through from the inside. A good definition of meekness is “strength under control”. The meekest person that ever lived was Moses (Numbers 12:3.) No doubt it took an incredible amount of self-control to deal with 2 million or so people, all hungry, thirsty, and whining. Likewise, submission to one's husband does not reveal weakness, it is evidence of strength that can only come from a spirit-filled life. It reveals what is truly on the inside, and it is beautiful. If you want to look nice as a homemaker, asking the Lord to give you a meek and quiet spirit is a great place to start!
2. Mercy, kindness, humility, longsuffering, forgiveness, and love (Colossians 3:12-14)
These are 6 things Christians are specifically instructed to “put on”.
As a homemaker, you'll no doubt experience many instances throughout the day that will require mercy, kindness, humility, longsuffering, forgiveness, and love. Any other reaction to the annoyances of the day will not be very beautiful. But once again, the inner beauty that reveals itself when one is under pressure cannot be outdone by any sort of outward adorning.
3. The armor of God (Ephesians 6:10 – 18)
Ladies, not only should we be meek and quiet and gentle, but we should be meek, quiet, and gentle warriors!
Being “just” a homemaker does not make you exempt from the devil's attacks. In fact, I'm sure he'd love it if he could throw you off track as you endeavor to train up the next generation for the Lord's glory.
So each day before we enter the fray, let's make sure we're suited up and ready for battle! We truly do not wrestle against flesh and blood and we dare not engage the enemy unprepared.
4. A smile
Did you know that the simple act of smiling can be highly motivating, both to yourself and to those around you?
Would you rather be around someone who is smiling or who looks like they got up on the wrong side of the bed? A lot of homemakers end up with frumpy grumpy syndrome. They get irritated that someone tracked dirt on the freshly mopped floor, that the laundry is piled up yet again, and that it's time to make another meal and the kitchen isn't yet clean from the last one. (They? What am I saying? I do this!)
When we focus on all the things that go wrong about our day, we can end up pretty grouchy, and it doesn't look very pretty on our face.
But when you pause for a minute and find something to smile about, you'll look a whole lot nicer and you'll feel better too. I know my husband would rather walk in the door to find me smiling than to be greeted with a scowl and a list of all the mischievous things the kids have done.
5. Appropriate attire
I think sometimes people subconsciously substitute June Cleaver homemaking for Biblical homemaking. While I believe in looking nice and dressing with excellence (Proverbs 31:22), I don't believe that wearing heels and pearls makes one a Godly homemaker and wearing spit-up stained pajamas makes one an ungodly homemaker.
When you get dressed you should dress appropriately for the tasks you'll be doing that day. Some days that means you'll be doing nothing more than snuggling with a sick baby and you might not find a chance to shower and get dressed even if you wanted to. Some days you'll be spring cleaning and wearing comfortable old clothes you don't mind getting dirty. I know I've heard many times that you should look nice for your husband when he comes home from work, and I agree. However, I don't think that means you need to feel ashamed if you still have on your spring cleaning clothes or you're still in your pajamas holding that sick baby.
When a person goes to a work place, they're required to wear clothing that's appropriate for their job. As a homemaker, why should you wear clothing that's inappropriate for your job? Mop the floor in a dress and heels? No thanks.
But…before you get too comfortable thinking you can just wear any old raggedy thing every day, let's go back to the dressing with excellence thing.
The point of dressing appropriately is to help you do the best job you can. When your jobs for the day require you to get dirty, then wear something that will help you not to shy away from that. But what about the “regular” days where no overwhelming circumstances are prevailing and no extremely dirty work needs to be done? Just because you can take care of your home and family in your pajamas, should you? Would you go to your work place in pajamas? Or would you dress in a way that would make you feel more productive and show your co-workers that you care about what they have to look at?
I think sometimes it's easy for homemakers to slip from that place of staying in their pajamas out of necessity to doing it purely out of habit.
Hey, I'm talking to myself here! Many days I'm just surviving, and I'm thankful I have a husband who understands, but when I look in the mirror I do feel badly that all he gets is the totally frumpy version of me.
And I really feel terrible if I realize that I honestly have no excuse to be dressed like a slob and not have my hair fixed.
Dressing nicely is not a requirement for Biblical homemaking – I think I've been clear enough that beauty truly does come from the inside. But…why not make the outside reflect what's on the inside?
If I'm truly striving to be inwardly beautiful, why would I not put some effort into how I look on the outside too?
The Proverbs 31 woman and her husband were well-known and well-respected in the community. For someone who clearly cared so deeply about leading a productive life, neglecting her personal appearance would have been contradictory to everything else she believed in.
Likewise, if I desire to be a productive homemaker, it only makes sense that I should dress the part.
I promise I'm preaching to myself here. I do notice that it's easier to be lazy when I'm dressed in lounge clothes. I can't imagine but that my husband likes it much better when I don't look like an old hag. And since I desire to be inwardly beautiful, I think it makes sense to put forth some effort on the outside too.
Again, I'm not talking about June Cleaver expectations; I'm simply talking about dressing appropriately for the day and showing respect for the other members of my family by making my appearance as pleasant as I can under the specific circumstances I'm in that day.
Along with that, I want to make you aware of a fabulous resource to help us lose the “homemaker frump”. It's called the Wardrobe Basics Builder, and it helps you build a 20 piece capsule wardrobe that is PERFECT for stay at home moms or homemakers. It also gives you 20 days of outfits created from those pieces and a printable you can hang in your closet to inspire you with outfit ideas each day. (If you primarily wear skirts like I do, you can just substitute the same color skirt for the pants. Easy peasy!) Here is an outfit I put together from these ideas. I never would have thought to put these pieces together on my own! (Excuse the awkward selfie. I'm not exactly skilled in that area and I had better things to do with my time than trying over and over.)
What will it be, my friend? Are the others around you seeing beauty from without and within? Or are they seeing a bad attitude, grumpiness, and a neglect of your appearance? It's time for us to work on these things!
You can pick up the Wardrobe Basics Builder right here.
Other resources I use and love:
1. Stitch Fix is an amazing styling service to help you find beautiful clothing. You fill out your style profile, basically clicking on pictures of clothes you like and don't like, then you fill out a little questionnaire about what kinds of clothes you like, and a personal stylist will pick out gorgeous outfits for you and sent them to you. You can try them all on, and the benefit of doing so at home means you can pair it with other items in your wardrobe to see if they match or look well together. You'll only pay for the clothes you keep, and the rest get sent back in a postage pre-paid bag.
You can see a more in-depth post I wrote about Stitch Fix here.
If you want to give it a try, you can get a $25 credit when you sign up through this link.
2. Thredup is another of my favorite places to purchase beautiful, modest outfits. The clothes at Thredup are in gently used condition, therefore you will pay less than what you pay for the clothes from Stitch Fix.
I've written a post about how I shop for specific outfits at Thredup here.