Tag: Dressing Intentionally

Accessories: Dressing Intentionally Part Four

 

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We are back for Part Four of our Dressing Intentionally series.  I have already convicted myself of so many areas I can work on in my life.  It’s funny how doing little things can make a BIG difference.  Today I am going to share with you one thing I have started wearing that I believe makes a big difference.

Accessories

Every girl loves them.  Every girl wants more of them.  Most girls have way too many of them.

I’m one of those ones who probably has too much jewelry and not enough “other” accessories.  I love jewelry.

Jewelry can take the drabbest outfit and turn it into something amazing.  Case in point.  Here are two pictures of me wearing the same shirt with different accessories.  One picture (the beach one) I love and the other I could throw out and be quite happy never to see again.

PicMonkey Collage

Let me add, too, that glasses are an accessory, so choose wisely when you pick them out.  Haha.  I’m wearing two different pairs of glasses in these photos as well and I have to say there is a difference on how they fit my face.  One pair makes me feel frumpy, I won’t say which but you can probably figure it out!

Now in the first picture, I have earrings on, but my necklace is just a thin chain (I’m not sure what the pendent was since I have my hand on it).  My hair is not at its best and the hair elastic on my wrist really doesn’t work as a bracelet.

In the second picture, I have on a pearl necklace, simple diamond stud earrings, and my hair is done in a nice style.  You can tellPsalm 4513 which one I feel frumpy and grumpy in (oh, horrors, that first picture is my wedding rehearsal!)

The first week I shared this verse from Psalm 45.  While I don’t expect us to dress like a princess every day, adding accessories to a “frumpy” outfit can make it into a piece of art.  Do a search on Google of celebrities and you’ll find that most of the time when they are photographed wearing sweatpants/sweatshirts they have a necklace, earrings, nice watch or bracelets, and most often, sunglasses!  They look stunning.  Even in a sweatshirt!  And so can we!

Scarves can take the place of a necklace so quickly.  I have recently gotten into wearing infinity scarves, lightweight, small ones, that fit nicely on my neck and don’t add height to my chest area.  I actually just got one from So Sew Organized that I LOVE.   I got this last weekend when the shop owner, Nicole, came to the Ladies Retreat I attended (nothing like delivery, haha).  Here’s a picture of us together.  I’m wearing a nice white, lacey-looking scarf, and Nicole has on another from her shop that is striped (and that I am in love with as well, haha).

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Notice the Jean Jacket that Nicole is wearing?  I had one on earlier that day, too, but it got too warm for me.  I have recently decided that jean jackets are also an accessory.  My husband begged me to buy one after one of the missionary wives that our church supports wore one during a week of meetings in the fall.  He just loved the look.  I have since found that, although jean jackets can be worn during semi-warm weather, they can also be used in the cold weather in place of a sweater for a completely different look.  And the nice thing is that they seem to complement every body type.  Now, I do think that the stone-washed denim has a nicer, casual, “accessory” look to it than the dark denim.  Having said that, I was only able to find a dark denim jacket when I went looking but there are ways of making it look lighter – wash it a few times to wear out the dye; add a rock or piece of pumice stone for a more stone-washed looked – I tried it and, although, it didn’t come out looking like Nicole’s jacket, I’m happier with it than I was…I could probably run it through the wash a few more times to lighten it even more.

Bags and Sunglasses.  How can you talk about accessorizing without talking about bags and sunglasses?  I despair with sunglasses.  I wear glasses so I can’t wear nice or fun sunglasses.  I have some clip on’s that fit over my glasses so I can kind of get the look, but it’s not quite the same.  But, seriously, if you’re going out somewhere, having the right bag/purse to match your outfit is a good option for looking great.  It’s not absolutely necessary so it’s often something that gets left out, but if you get the chance (look in thrift stores and online) look for ones that will match outfits you own.

Nail Polish.  I know, you’re probably saying, Seriously?  Yes, I’m serious.  In a church I attended a few years ago there was a lady that I was friends with who was from Pakistan.  She told me that because of the way they dress over there (being so much more covered than we are here), they always paint their toe nails.  She said she would never go out without nail polish on her toes, even in winter!  I’m not advocating that you start painting finger nails, because a lot of people are turned off by that.  If you like it, go for it.  I don’t think finger nails are necessary.  However, with summer coming (at least we hope it is here in the True North Strong and Free), we tend to go barefoot a lot and having our nails nicely manicured (even without polish) just makes you look nicer.  I actually bought myself two new colours for spring specifically to match outfits.  I rarely buy nail polish and have been working off the same three or four colours for about eight years.  Yeah, I know it’s not supposed to last that long, haha.  I think I’ve mentioned before that I’m cheap.  I got a coupon this spring for Sally Hanson so that would be why I actually splurged on it.

Hats and Headbands.  A lot of people don’t like to wear them and that’s fine.  We should make sure, though, that our hair is nicely combed and, really, out of your face is always a good option although not completely necessary.

Shoes.  This is a no-brainer for most girls.  We like shoes.  We like shoes to be comfy.   We like shoes to be stylin’.  We like shoes!

And last, but not least,

Make-Up.  Okay, I know a lot of people don’t wear make-up.  I don’t, personally, wear a ton.  My usual regimen consists of some eye-liner, although lately, I’ve been adding a bit of eye shadow, some bronzer, and sometimes lip stick (but I usually only do this when I go to church…gasp, I know).   I asked one of my favorite fashion bloggers if she had any advice in this area, because she always looks gorgeous!  And Olivia, from Fresh Modesty, sent me this video to share with you all on her daily make-up regimen (LESS THAN 5 minutes!).  Take note of her comments near the end on why a Christian should/can wear make-up.

These accessories are all great additions to our wardrobe that will help us to dress more intentionally.  Dressing Intentionally will show others that we care about ourselves and about our position as daughters of the King!  Our goal should always be to bring honour and glory to the One who created us, not to ourselves.  Although, dressing frumpy can cause us to be grumpy, it should not be our motivation for dressing well.  Our motivation should always be to bring praise to the Lord.  I don’t know how much more I can stress that concept.  It means dying to self and living for Him.   It’s not easy.  Some mornings I still have to force myself to dress nicely because it’s so much easier to throw on “comfy” clothes.  We have to consistently work at this, same as we have to work at everything else, so that we can be lights in this world for the Lord.

I hope this series has been an encouragement and a help to you.  If you have any questions please feel free to email me or leave a comment on the post.

Happy May!

Modesty: Dressing Intentionally Part Two

 

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Modesty.

This issue is probably one of the biggest concerns for Christian mothers, especially those with little girls to raise.  Walking through the children’s section at Walmart some days makes me cringe, let’s not even talk about the adult department.  So where do we go to find modest outfits?  How can teach our daughters modesty if you can’t find modest clothing?  .

If you sew, finding modest clothes can be as easy as heading to your local fabric store and picking out a pattern with some great fabric or searching online.  There are a lot of modest patterns still in existence (that are modern – no flour sacks here!) and if you find one that isn’t quite up to standard you can usually fix it so that it is.

For those who don’t sew, modesty often presents a problem.  But it’s not an insurmountable one.  It’s easy enough to add a great tank top under a low-cut shirt, or add a t-shirt to a sleeveless dress.  Halftees are the newest thing out there and I sit and drool over them!  If you don’t know what they are you should really check them out!  You can find them at Halftee.com and Deborah and Co. has started selling them as well.  Modesty 4 Me sells high necked cami’s if you have trouble finding tank tops that are high enough.  Incidentally, Walmart’s summer line of tank tops have quite a high neckline on them this year.  I bought them a size smaller than I usually wear and I have no issues with them at all.  That’s a first, believe me!

Today I wanted to share with you some of the online stores that I have found over the past few months that have some pretty, modest clothes, at somewhat decent prices.  I say somewhat because some people probably would not be able to afford to buy at all these stores.   However, some of you may be able to afford them, or get ideas for sewing your own clothes off them.  Personally, I haven’t shopped a ton online yet, only because I tend to have trouble with things fitting even in a store.  I would hate to buy something and then not have it fit.

Dressing intentionally means that we need to have the clothing in order to do so.  You can’t expect to put on just anything and have it look right.  Certain clothes look better on certain figures than other types.  If we are going to dress intentionally then we need to have the clothes to do it.  Now, I don’t know about you all but I can’t just go out and buy clothes whenever I want.  Clothes are often the last thing I put money towards.  One piece of advice I got in college (and one that I should probably remember more often) came from one of my favorite teachers, Mrs. (Phillips) Ackerle.   She told us that we should save our money to purchase one good quality item that will last versus spending money on cheap items that will have to be replaced in a year or less.   I will tell you that I rarely follow that piece of advice although, as the years go by, I am realizing that it may have been one of the best pieces of advice I ever got.  I have justified spending a few dollars here and a few dollars there because it means I can change my wardrobe around a lot more.  I like change.  However, those “cheap” pieces of clothing don’t last more than a few washings and then they start to look bad.  Like really bad.  So my philosophy of “cheap” clothes is not a good one to follow!

In an effort to start following Mrs. Ackerle’s advice, I have recently started buying clothes online.  It is a learning experience you can be sure!  If I can offer any advice about online shopping it is this: follow measurements and search for reviews of the that store before buying!  I bought a dress off Eshakti.com after Christmas and I fudged the measurements…the bodice did not fit, at. all.  Thankfully I can sew so I was able to somewhat fix it.  It will never look like it did when it came out of the package, though.  You can see more of my review about my Eshakti dress here.  If I had read the reviews of this shop before I ordered I would have known to pay the extra change for custom measurements.

Plain t-shirts are great and have their place but they should probably not be the only thing we have in our wardrobes.  I don’t have an issue with wearing pants, but again, they shouldn’t be the only thing that you wear.  Seriously.  We’re girls.  Skirts look so much nicer on.  And there are a lot of cute styles out there!  You don’t have to wear ugly skirts just to say you are wearing a skirt!  We don’t want to look frumpy.  Frumpy does not equal dressing intentionally.  Styles change and there is nothing wrong with wearing modest clothes that fit today’s styles.  And I’m not saying you have to wear skirts all the time but I personally think they look nicer than pants (and for the record, I own and wear pants).

Years ago, middle to upper-class women used to change their outfits based on what they were doing (ie. riding, tea, supper, morning dresses, etc).  I love this concept.  If you’re cleaning your house, wear grungy clothes, but then change after into something nicer.  If you like to wear pants to play on the floor with your kids, then do it…and then change to a skirt before your husband comes home from work.  When I was pregnant I LIVED in sweat pants.  And then one day I realized how frumpy I felt and I started changing into a something nicer before my husband was due to arrive home (clothes were difficult to wear as I was in so much pain all the time, but switching to a clean, pretty outfit for a just a few hours was not a huge sacrifice to make).  The first few times I did it, he would ask me where I was headed that evening (I guess I only dressed nice when I was headed out somewhere).  It makes him feel special when I look nice for him…and that’s the essence of Proverbs 31, right?

So before this post gets any longer, haha…here a list of websites that you can check out for some neat ideas to sew or save up money for.  Keep in mind where you live and that shipping may be higher with some companies than others (especially for Canadians).  Also, before you buy try doing a google search for coupons.  Some stores offer codes that will allow you to get a certain amount off your first purchase, etc.  I managed to get my dress from Eshakti for $40 (and then paid $26 at the door for customs, haha).

For Americans:

ThredUP – this is like an online thrift store of brand name clothing.  The only draw-back is that Canadians can not order from it (boo).  I have heard a lot of great reviews from other bloggers about this store and the clothing they’ve gotten from it.  You can usually find $10 off your order if you search for a coupon code.

For Everyone:Modesty: Dressing Intentionally

Eshakti – I love the dresses from here.  And some of their tops are cute as well.  They have more of a vintage feel to them which I love.  This is done by measurements and is a great place for a plus size girl to find dresses.

Dreaming in Pink Boutique – this is a new one I recently found and they have some really cute clothes.  This store doesn’t have a large amount of stock, but I think they are adding to it all the time (from what I’ve seen on their Facebook page).   I’ve seen a couple of blouses that I like, they just don’t carry in my size (sigh).  The sizes don’t seem to go past a large on most items (maybe all of them).

Love My Jean Skirt – these jean skirts average about $30 to $50 ready made, but this store also offers the option of having you send in a pair of jeans that fit you and having them make them into a skirt for you.  Most of their skirts are re-purposed jeans.  They have some cute styles and some that are corduroy and different colours.  Plus sizes available.

The Skirt Outlet – is another great online store for skirts.  They also offer maternity (which can be hard to find).  These skirts average $28 – $40 (which seems pretty decent to me, really)…and they have some really cute ones!  They are all long.  I don’t think I’ve seen any knee length on the site.  I love their jersey maxi skirts and for $32 I think they’re the cheapest I’ve seen anywhere.  They offer plus sizes, as well.Modesty: Dressing Intentionally

Deborah and Co. – this modest fashion store is connected to a blogger (The Modest Mom Blog) that I enjoy following.  I ordered two items from her store before Christmas and they are, perhaps, the most-worn items in my closet already.  I will say that I’m not so into her home-made skirts, but she has recently started selling manufactured clothing and I really like some of the items.  I purchased the chevron maxi skirt and a pair of fleece-lined leggings.  I love the maxi dresses and they often go on sale for $25 (although not in the XL size, another sigh).  She has started selling halftees and some new vintage-style items.  I love what she is adding to her store and can’t wait to see more from her.

Garlands of Grace – although I don’t wear headcoverings, I wanted to include this store.  I would wear the headbands/head coverings as they are absolutely adorable and are a great way to keep your hair out of your face around the home.   They also sell leg warmers which I am very tempted to purchase!  I love the colours and what a way to add some fun to a jean or corduroy skirt.  I love these stores that offer fun alternatives to freezing in the cooler weather.

You can also often find modest clothes on Ebay and Etsy, although on Etsy you are probably going to pay more for the item as it’s marketed as hand made.  Etsy offers some great ideas for scarves and boleros.  One of my favorite fashion bloggers, Fresh Modesty, has opened an Etsy store: Bell Tower Boutique (to raise funds for her church) with some great scarves for summer.   You can also find some scarf options by Handmade by Hon on Amazon (who knew to look there?).  I’m going to be hosting a giveaway from Handmade by Hon next week so stay tuned and check out her selection of items so you’re all ready for it.  I know she’s going to be adding more to it so keep your eye on this new shop.

A scarf is a good way to dress up any outfit (even t-shirts).  I have so many more ideas for dressing up outfits but you’ll have to stay tuned for more in our series.  Next week I’ll be sharing why Frumpy makes us Grumpy.

Do you know of any other great online sources for modest clothing?

 

 

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