She Found Style

an attempt to discover my sense of style in one year and learning more about myself than I ever imagined along the way

Does the dress make the woman or does the woman make the dress?

A friend recently posed the question to me, “Does the dress make the woman or does the woman make the dress?”

A dress can make a woman in a handful of ways.  A dress can make me look more beautiful to the viewer.  The right look can allow me to fit in with a certain group easier.  The right combination of clothing can tell everyone who I am.

On the other hand, a woman can easily make the dress.  My sister is a great example.  Often she’ll wear an outfit that, without her in it, would give me reason to wrinkle my nose.  But her charisma, her love of life, her willingness to risk with her wardrobe has the ability to completely transform her outfit into one I love!

The difference between the two?  Dressing to make others happy or dressing to make myself happy.  Which one am I aiming for?Thanks to Pinterest I can easily gather outfit ideas that I like and want to try out.  I have and I’ve found that by copying a look, just because it works for someone else, doesn’t guarantee that it’s going to work for me.  The biggest hurdle I have to get over is being consumed with what other people will think of me.  With the burden of those thoughts, it doesn’t matter how great the look is, I will never completely “make the dress.”

If I can just move past caring what you and you and you think then I begin to make the look no matter what I have on!

What I am learning about style is this: the point isn’t to look good just to look good for anyone who might glance at me*.  I mean if that is the case, I’m screwed.  I currently do not have enough money or fashion sense to make the peeps happy.

The point is to be ME.  To be brave enough to wear my opinion, who I am and what I love.  And in doing so, thankyouverymuch sister, we’ll encourage one another to do the same.  Forget finding the right dress to make me awesome (the dress is too darn expensive anyway).  It’s who I AM that  makes the dress.  And that’s the way it should be.

I’ll be me, you be you.

*How the heck do we stop caring about what other people think?  What is the deal with people-pleasing?  It just sneaks right into my heart and takes over sometimes!


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15 thoughts on “Does the dress make the woman or does the woman make the dress?

  1. Good Lord that’s cute!

  2. Crystal on said:


  3. Betsy! I love this. I just love it. I find when I dress the way I love, I start acting like the woman I want to be. It’s almost like the outside leads the way for the inside.

    How cute and young and fun did that bow tie make you feel? 🙂 Wonderful.

    • Tonia, “…the outside leads the way for the inside” – I like that. Isn’t it just incredible where our journey takes us? And yes, the bow tie made me feel awesome. I couldn’t believe I just threw it on like I knew what I was doing. I think this journey may actually be teaching me something!

  4. That is a completely adorable outfit. You shine through it!
    Very well said.
    And to attempt answering your question. I don’t think it’s about trying to stop pleasing people or caring what they think of us. It’s about doing so but only for the people who truly matter to us.

    • Steph, I think you are right. If I’m going to be concerned about what others think of me, I should at least limit those “others” to the people I love. Good one!

  5. carri3 on said:

    Thought-provoking post. I wore a long girly dress the other day, and while I loved the look, I felt a little anxious about what people thought about it. Wearing an outfit that makes me feel good and expresses who I am is a huge confidence boost — I feel that I stand up straighter, smile more, etc.
    Love this outfit! And that bowtie … I’ve just realized that I need a bowtie. 🙂

  6. Karen on said:

    I think both ideas are right. Does the dress make the woman? You bet! Sometimes how we dress ends up being a way we communicate. Are we dressing by example for our children, are we dressing a certain way for work or for the man we love when he gives that certain look. Yet the woman makes the dress, too. Our clothes are a wonderful expression of our fun side, serious side or I don’t care side. It’s okay if we are concerned what people think about how we dress. There are times when we have to care, but for me I get the most enjoyment at seeing a woman dress in a way that showcases her personality no matter what the look.

    • I think you are absolutely right. I love that picking out an outfit each morning is so much more than just getting dressed. I feel like I’ve entered into a whole new realm of possibility when it comes to style that I didn’t realize was possible. What fun!

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