Thursday, March 5, 2015

How to Dress Happy

Lucy and Molly, the happy girls

I met Molly when she came to work at the Lovely Boutique as a Personal Stylist. She was a pro, though I didn't know that at first. She was so gracious in accepting all my "tips" for the position. I was amazed she was such a quick learner. Turns out, as the youngest of four sisters all in fashion or art, with a mother who cared about such things, Molly was swimming in a fashionable gene pool practically from the cradle. She had retail experience up the wazoo, but that's only a fraction of her many charms.

Molly's customers— of all ages— loved her. She has an upbeat personality and infectious laugh. She knows her stuff, is a good listener and empathetic. Plus she herself always dressed "happy". So I had to know: How does one dress happy?

And Molly gave me a more interesting answer than I expected. There was a point in her life where she had to make a conscious effort. Dealing with a bout of post-partum depression following the birth of Lucy (now 8), the light bulb went on when she realized "how you look on the outside is a reflection of how you feel on the inside". By dressing happy she was able to convince herself she was happy. And after a while...

So bright colors are happy. Accessories are happy. Molly is content with a wardrobe of basics as long as she has plenty of those. Her accessories usually tell a story— a remembrance, a gift, a souvenir. Scarves are a favorite accessory as are necklaces. She loves to make new combinations of pieces and is a whiz at layering.

The biggest bear in all this is space. Molly has had to think smaller and let things go. She asked herself, "What all do I need?" and decided:

> Let it go if it never really worked.
> Don't fret about what you spent then if it doesn't have a place in your life now.
> Ask yourself why you are hanging onto this when someone else could be enjoying it.

She thus cleared out 2/3 of her closet over a period of six months and found out clear=clarity.

Trust yourself to make decisions and wear what you have! Instead of packing away the vintage lace top she wore for her wedding, Molly pairs it with denim or something else and wears it all the time.

If you live in Texas you can wear
boots on your wedding day

She also believes in "whimsy", a much under-used word these days. Whimsy in Molly's hands is colorful, humorous and clever. She feels a kinship to the hand-crafted. What whimsical is not is juvenile, silly or twee. Lewis Carroll not Hello Kitty.

I was curious about a creative and fashionable mom and the influence she might have on her daughter.
No surprise that Lucy is into dressing happy as well. So far no mother-daughter dressing tugs-of-war. Molly picks out the basics, and Lucy has a fun time with the accessories.

Lucy in accessory heaven

Today Molly is embracing her writing skills in her own blog and has started a business helping prospective online daters present themselves in their best and truest light. She knows of what she speaks, having had some success in that forum!

Check out Molly on Little Lucy and Scooter


  1. This post resonates with me right now. I live in Boston and the weather has been horrendous. Snow 3-4 feet deep everywhere. I needed pink in my life and had to order a hot pink sweater. I can't take wearing gray and taupe any longer this winter. Bring on spring colors and happy dressing!

  2. Love it! I work in an extremely casual environment and find it could be easy to dress down everyday but I find it a little depressing so I keep dressing it up but embrace the casual with sneakers and ballet flats with my skirts and dresses. Jeans at the end of the week with great sweaters and jewelry.

    This approach is a great philosophy for clothing and life and I need a major clean out ASAP!

  3. Hooray to you both! Marianne for saving a gray world from more gray (and taupe) and Amy for Making The Effort. And thanks to Molly for her happy advice.

  4. I, too, like Marianne, live in the northeast and I am tired of the snow, ice, cold, and dreary colors. I have been wearing warm red clothing to uplift my mood.
    I love the words"colorful. humorous, and clever" and shall incorporate them into my outfits. --Love your posts.

  5. Thank you! Stay warm and Think Spring!