Does This Dress Make Me Look Judgemental?

The car lock clicked.

“Let me in. We don’t have much time.”

“Not until you go back into the house and change those shorts. I’m not going out in public with you dressed like that.”

A conversation many parents have with their children. Kids dressing themselves often turn out looking a bit inappropriate with their choices, whether it be something worn for a week so it can stand by itself in a corner, something too small or too fancy for an occasion.

This wasn’t me talking to one of my kids. It was my daughter locking me out of the car, refusing to drive with me until I changed unnamed-2out of the pair of soccer shorts I was wearing.

The shorts were clean–I’d washed them a few days before. There was nothing indecent about them–they came almost to my knee and were a little baggy. The way I like them.

The problem stemmed from the presumed hideousness of the shorts. They were about fourteen years old and had been worn by one of my daughters during a soccer season.

And another daughter during a painting day.

Deb was behind the wheel and found it inconceivable that I’d choose to wear such stretched-out, old, stained shorts in public. The fact that it was merely the grocery store made no difference. Being one of those young people who dress more for success than comfort, she looked quite lovely in jeans and a trendy shirt.

She always looks good.

I just don’t care that much.

Let me rephrase that. I do care about appearances. People do tend to make first impressions from how a person looks upon meeting them. If you dress like a slob, the chances are they’ll think you act like a slob.

I get that. But this was the grocery store, people. Not the mall.

I don’t enjoy shopping for clothes either. I hate the trying on of, the deciding about and the ultimate expenditure of funds to make it a worthwhile expedition.

I’ve birthed committed shoppers.

I’m told I’m hiding when I choose to dress this way. That I don’t want to be noticed.

Maybe. It doesn’t change the fact that I don’t want to be judged for what I look like, but who I am.

Yet I judge others by how they look. How they’ve chosen to show up.

photo courtesy of
photo courtesy of

Call me Little Kettle.

Getting to know people takes time and energy. Making snap judgments based on what I see rarely gives a person credit for who they truly are. It’s a snapshot of a moment in their lives with no understanding of the circumstances that led them to look the way they do.

Lack of money? Bad day? No time for laundry? Kids got sick all over what they’d first put on?

Jesus didn’t judge people by how they looked. The religious leaders were all about the appropriateness of their robes and accessories. He called them phonies because they cared more for the outside than the inside.

He cares about our hearts. What we’re really like when no one is looking. How we choose to show up when we thing we’re alone.

It’s not clothes that make the person. It’s the heart of the person that makes them who they are.

The fashion industry would hate me for that.

courtesy of Bob Marley
courtesy of Bob Marley



7 responses to “Does This Dress Make Me Look Judgemental?”

  1. I hear you, but this is America — you can wear anything to anywhere at any time (preferably not so extreme as to end up on a website we all know and cringe at)!


    1. True–but I think America is more gracious than fashion-conscious children who don’t want to be embarrassed by moms with no sense of style!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I hope so, too! lol


  2. For the record, you make me feel normal in your soccer shorts 😊 I’m glad you didn’t lock me out of small cakes when I didn’t have a chance to change out of mine!! Great post. it is a momently battle to focus on the inside, not the outside ❤️⚽️😉


    1. Lest you think I’m throwing my daughter–or you–under the bus, I get the reality of living as you are and not worrying what others think. Focusing on my inside IS the battle–always. Which is work. Which is hard. Love that you wear soccer shorts–you normalize my life.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh I know you would never throw either of us under the bus. Tho Deb MAY have been horrified to associate with me out in public dressed how I was 😂😉. You have encouraged me much to live as I am. Soccer-short-sistas forever.


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