Be just who you are.

Outfit Details:
panda hat – street vendor
Wishbone necklace – courtesy of Anirtak ($10 + free shipping with code KEIKOLYNN)
Sweet Darling dress – courtesy of ModCloth
tights – We Love Colors
Jeffrey Campbell platforms – borrowed from Kim
Snowball – my panda BFF (I’ve had her since I was a toddler)
Flower – a gift from Roxy

“I get ready, do my hair, put on my makeup and dress because it makes me feel that I am worth getting dressed up for.”

That comment was left by a reader named Toni (on this post), and I haven’t forgotten it. It was in reference to someone questioning why she would dress up just to watch after her children – as if moms can’t enjoy dressing up and feeling good about themselves. Though I don’t have kids, I also don’t really have a real reason to get all gussied up on a daily basis. I work from home, have a limited social life and am already in a long-term relationship, but here’s the thing: I don’t need a reason. None of us do.

What we do with our appearances and how we dress ourselves is absolutely personal. I dress up because it makes me feel good about myself and keeps me motivated. I’ve said it before: I live my life as though it’s a perpetual game of dress up and make believe – that’s what clothing and makeup are to me. They’re a fun little game; a release from the mundane activities of a young adult who has no other substantial outlets. Whether it’s dressing up just to hang out with Miku (or in this case, Snowball and Flower), pretending I need glasses or donning a panda bear on my head, I dress for my own amusement. Isn’t that enough?

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  1. I found this post incredibly inspiring. As a stay at home mom, I find myself lounging in yoga pants more often than not. Also, your outfit is gorgeous as usual. Thanks (:

  2. I totally agree. I think getting dressed up (or at least nicely/creatively) makes a huge difference in how I feel and how I interact with others, even if I don't see too many people during the day that even notice how I look. If I feel comfortable with how I am dressed, it gives me time to focus on other things, because it's one less thing to worry about. Even if sometimes I worry about looking TOO put together!


  3. This is such a great post! I always get flack from family and friends for "dressing up" for a day spent at home or running errands. But the way I see it is that I should dress however I want, whenever I want, whether I'm going to a party or not leaving the house at all.
    Love your panda hat! πŸ™‚

  4. such a lovely hat! i am wearing something similar today that is black and has the white detailing around the collar. so pretty and i couldn't agree more. even just putting my favorite lipstick on in the house, with no plans of stepping outside, puts me in a good mood!

  5. i like this mentaility. it's only really on the weekends that i don't need to get dressed, however, i have found that when i stop being lazy, i feel so. much. better! it really is true!!

  6. Love that dress! So cute πŸ™‚ and the wedges too!

    I agree with you on getting dressed up. You should do it because you want to, not because you have a reason to. It makes you feel better about yourself. πŸ™‚


  7. Absolutely! I always argue with my sister about that, she's always questioning me about how can I wear certain clothes that for her are more to go out to be at home, she doesn't understand that spending that time thinking about what to wear and dress up a little, makes me feel good about myself, even if it's to be inside all day or for a super busy day at university.

  8. Hey, Keiko.

    I just wanted to comment that the theme behind this post reminded me of something that happened the other day in my brain.
    I was bored at work and was going to ask my co-worker next to me "If you could look like anyone else in the world, who…" and then my brain interrupted itself and went, "Shut up!" It continued, "Nobody could be a better you than YOU."

    I thought that fit with the idea behind this post. Nobody could be a better you than YOU, so stop wishing YOU were someone else. Take YOUrself, and treat it right, Adorn it, because it ROCKS.

    The End.

    *thanks* for *reading*. πŸ™‚

  9. I want to earnestly shake your hand and then give you a hug (if allowed, haha, I like hugs). I live in a place where "dressing up" is something apart from the typical sweatshirt and jeans (not that that's bad either). But for me personally, it's one reason to get up in the morning and get excited about dressing how I feel, according to the weather, etc.

    Oh and PS: those are pretty sweet glasses. I have a friend who has glasses like those and even though I like the ones I wear, I may have a bit of glasses envy. xD

    Toast with Charmalade

  10. Yes, that is enough. And thank you for saying it. It needs saying more often. I've recently prattled on about how my clothes don't fit my lifestyle (it sounds like, in some ways, it's a lot like yours) – but in the end I don't care either. Who are we if not expressive? Clothes make me happy. Clothes make me.

    P.S. Which JC wedges are those? I can't recall the name of a Mary Jane wedge with the mirror heel, but I like them – they look like they might be more comfortable than the Clinics.

  11. Bravo to this post! I am a stay home mom and I really don't even need a reason to dress up, but sometimes I will, because when I was younger (17) I used to for no reason as well. My social life is very limited as well, but sometimes I feel the need to feel good, you know. It is not just for people who go out to work or those who have a very busy social life, there is really no reason to get all dressed up because some people don't even do when they go out, so getting dressed up is just a personal choice πŸ™‚

    On your outfit: Your dress is gorgeous, and so are the shoes! Love it! Beautiful photos as well.

  12. lovely! i love reading your blog, and this post in particular put a smile on my face. thank you for reminding us of the importance of finding magic in every day.


  13. This probably one of my favorite outfits of yours ever. I love how shared Snowball and Flower with us…I will never grow old of my childhood stuffed animals. And I must say, that panda hat paired with that darling ladylike dress is absolute perfection.

    The quote by Toni is incredible, and I loved your graceful and reflecting response on dressing up.

    You're so adorable and gorgeous!


  14. For me, putting time into my appearance, just taking time to put together a fun outfit, even if I'm not "dressed up," is a great form of stress relief. I'm full-time in graduate school and working 30 hours a week, so I don't have a lot of time to pursue my other interests. Playing with fashion and clothing is a way to have a little fun every day.

    Also my self-esteem isn't hurt by getting comments from fellow students on cute outfits!

  15. I love this post!
    I currently work from home and I'm hoping that when my husband and I have kids I'll be able to stay home with them… that being said, I hope I always remember to dress up, even if it's just to hang out with my baby. Love the quote! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  16. You've totally managed to write what I try to tell people around me EVERY day. Some people just won't ever get it. But i'll still have my fun getting dressed up for a 9 am lecture where students around me are in their Pj's or a grocery run!

    by the way, LOVE the panda hat πŸ™‚

  17. To answer your question, abso-freaking-lutely! You don't need a reason for wanting to get dressed up and put make-up on! I dress up and put make-up on everyday and people might look at me like I'm crazy, but I don't care. When you look good, you feel good. πŸ™‚

  18. It's certainly enough for me. I don't work from home, but I do have a long-term bf and a limited social schedule, and I'm a grad student in the sciences which basically means the standard uniform is jeans, tees, and sneakers- which is fine, but I've filled my closet with an abundance of pretty dresses and skirts. So I dress in a way that makes me comfortable and happy, even though it's a bit outside the norm of my environment.

    Your sense of style is lovely, your pictures are excellent, and I love that you've mentioned that you're a bit klutzy sometimes and still wear such pretty things- it's something I can very much relate to! And the panda is adorable.

  19. THANK YOU for this post! I stay at home with my two young children, but getting dressed every morning makes me motivated and elevates my mood! Just because I'm not out in the world doesn't mean I can have fun getting dressed up!

  20. I love your blog and you have such great style, I cant believe people constantly give you flak for anything you do! Thank you for being an inspiration

  21. My mother is chronically ill, and sometimes has to stay at the hospital for awhile. I can tell she's either feeling better or at least trying to convince herself to feel better when she starts wearing her usual crochet tights, embellished cardigans, heels, and makeup, even though most of the other people at the hospital wear pajamas. She doesn't have anyone to dress up for besides her, and I know she does it because it makes her feel special. <3

    btw, I love fashion sitting on the bed shots πŸ™‚

  22. Amen sister, I dress whenever I want to even when I'm not doing anything special.

    You know the funny thing is is that I'm sitting here on my computer catching up on blogs wearing that exact same panda hat! It keeps my head nice and warm in the cold xoxo

  23. i love that panda hat! i am sending this to wendy brandes, whom i bought a penguin hat from a street vendor in little italy for. she says she will only wear it in my company so she can embarass me!

    well, i find that these days it's important to dress up, it's important to feel good and to look nice. and that's reason enough as it is.

  24. what a great post! i completely agree. the right shade of bright pink lipstick or the perfect pair of nude peeptoes can empower a girl to look and feel her best. agree, the way we present ourselves to the world is very personal … i work in a place where i have meetings and networking – and so i always try to look my best. of course, every girl wants to look her prettiest, but it's more than that. i want people to know that 'i care about myself enough to make the effort to do my hair and put on a bit of makeup – because if i can't make the effort to make myself look my best, what does that say about my work ethics?'
    great post.

  25. That comment is awesome, and so inspirational. I totally agree with it. It always makes me feel good to get dressed nice πŸ™‚

    Again, I love your panda hat, its so cute! Reminds me of back in the days πŸ™‚

  26. This is a good point! Oftentimes, when i am at home all day I don't bother dressing up and just go for some cozy sweats, with no good effect on my mood, so I need to work on it. I really do believe that dressing up would definitely be a mood booster for these days!

  27. This is one of the best posts I've read in a longggg time from any blogger out there! I agree with you 100%, you should do more posts like this one. I find it really inspiring=)

  28. Here is a fun blogger inspired project:

    I wanted to add that blogger Kendi from KendiEveryday is doing a 30 for 30 challenge, where you choose thirty pieces of clothing and shoes to rotate and make into outfits for thirty days. There is also one catch: the participant cannot shop for clothing within that thirty day time frame! Although it sounds tough, it also sounds like a great idea for anyone to see what they really have in their closets, and to refrain from shopping for a period of time. It is also fun and will help you to be more creative with how you pair things. If you have a blog, and would like to be added to the list of participants, you can contact her through her blog KendiEveryday. Even if you don't have a blog (like me!) it's still a fun and tricky challenge to make us realize what we already own, and what items we really might actually need in our closets.
    I apologize for the long comment, but just thought there's a lot of bloggers and fashion lovers out there who might be interested in this project:)

  29. I get what you mean. Some of my friends and sister always ask why do I dress up all the time. They think my "casual" outfits are too dressy. I tell them I'd rather be a first rate version of myself, than a second rate version of someone else. Works all the time πŸ™‚

  30. you're absolutely right sweetie!! I don't technically have to get dressed up every day either. I work from home, and I look after my kiddies full time – but it makes me feel good, and that's good enough reason for me!

  31. perfect. people always ask me that too and my answer is always "because I want to." or "because I like to." Getting dressed up is just plain fun. And if I don't feel like getting dressed up… I don't. I totally agree that getting dolled up is something I do or don't do for me.

  32. I love this post (the substance and the dress!). I am a law student in a long-term relationship, so I really don't have much to dress up for either. Many people come to class basically in their pajamas every day. I do have those days where I just can't get going and resort to black leggings, t-shirt, and chucks, but that's really an abnormality for me (and understandable one sometimes). While I think it's completely a personal preference, I feel like I walk and present myself differently when I get dressed up for the day, despite having no reason to do so. The inside of my classrooms and the pages of my textbooks obviously don't care that I dress up. But I feel more awake, alive, focused, and productive when I am pulled together–like you said, dressing up just makes me feel good. For me, it's the one thing I get to do that's purely fun and enjoyable and playful and doesn't involve the monotonous, stressful, intense every day activities of my law school life. Really, I kind of need to play dress up to maintain my sanity in an insane environment. Anyway, basically what I'm saying is, you're so right!

  33. I hope its okay for me to comment on this post! I've been reading your blog a while but have never commented before! I really like this post and it relates so much to why I dress the way I do and share it on my own blog!! I love how you stated this! And great pictures too! I love the outfit for this post too! πŸ™‚

  34. You make such a good point, but personally I'm scared of being judged for wearing anything other than my usual uniform of jeans and an OK top!

    P.S. You could do an interior design post? Love the colour behind you! (That kinda seems stalker-ish… o.o)


  35. Of course it's enough! You should always dress up with you in mind and whenever you feel like it.

    It makes me feel so much better even if I don't have a thing to do.

    Beautiful pictures! And as always, you look great!




  36. That is a fantastic sentiment!

    Similarly, I find that dressing to impress yourself not only makes you feel more confident, but also makes you more productive. I've worked from home for 4 years and, when people who are pursuing something similar ask me for advice, I always say, "Make sure you dress yourself everyday."

  37. Love this post and your words =) I too feel the same way about dressing up and putting on makeup for my own personal reasons and self-confidence. I work in a very conservative industry and find that blogging and reading about fashion is a creative outlet that reminds me of the lighter side of life, the more fun and whimsical.

  38. This post inspires me to dress up more. With a job that requires me to run around a factory checking on orders, it's frowned upon to wear heels and frilly outfits so I'm constantly in jeans/tees/Chucks. My weekends *should* be more about feeling good as opposed to being stuck in that same boring routine. I love to dress up, no reason for me not to!

  39. Hey guys – thank you all so much for your comments. I've read all of them but didn't have time to respond yet (busy busy week). Seriously though, you are the best!

    And for those who asked, the glasses are Forever 21! I can't believe I forgot to mention that. They're from the men's section.

  40. this is such a great post. you got a point. why worry about someone else's opinion right? we all have the freedom to dress what we want. we only live young once. so make the most out of it! wear what you love! πŸ˜€

  41. I really love this post so much, I come from an area in New Jersey that is not so populated, and most everyone dresses basicly the same, for me to dress outside that norm can cause for some uncomfortable situations. One being my mom not being able to grasp the concept that I like to wear dresses because that's who I am. For a while she thought 'there was something wrong with me'. But that's the most ridiculous statement ever. If I wasn't confident in my own skin I wouldn't be able to wear everything that I do. I really appreciate so much that you addressed the fact that just because you get dressed up nice doesn't mean anything, it just means that you want to.

  42. My job requires me to be "business casual", but I like to kick it up a notch and dress it up a little bit. Ever since I started to dress up for myself, I've noticed I've felt a lot better about my confidence and starting my days so I can totally understand where the "dressing up for yourself" idea. it feels good πŸ™‚