Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Audrey Inspired

Well, you're getting a new post sooner than I thought you would!

I just had to share this outfit that I'm wearing today. It's simple and perhaps even so basic that it's boring, but I'd rather think "classic" than boring. :)

I don't usually copy exact outfits from people, but every now and then I see an outfit on a film or in a publicity still, or in a magazine, and think, "Oooh, I like it! That's worth trying!" Of course, usually it doesn't look anything like what it did on the other person, and I remind myself that I should just try to be me with my clothes. But today's try was fun.

The outfit was worn by Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday. I've got "disclaimers" for every actress I've ever seen, but I can say the same thing about somebody I saw in WalMart, too. :) I do like many of Audrey's outfits, and though I try not to "pour over" or obsess about any one person's looks or fashion, I will say I think she had a lot of class and good sense, especially in her younger years.

The outfit I wanted to try struck me because of its simplicity. It looks like something you can live in, ya know? When I came across a skirt that reminded me of hers, I knew at once I wanted to try this outfit.

Shirt: White button-down tunic with pleats. Works just fine as a regular blouse, too, and it doesn't "untuck" like many shirts do with my long torso! Was like-new at Good Will for $3.50.
Skirt: I bought this like-new skirt from Good Will for my website (yes, I sell clothes![]), but once I got it home, I thought "hmmm...would that fit me?" I tried it on, and I'm afraid it never made it to the website. :)
Belt: Another Goodwill find. Different Good Will this time. :)
Black Flats: From Payless on sale. I really want to find flat sandals that tie gladiator style, the way Audrey's do in this outfit, but I'm still looking. Didn't find any last summer, either. (If you spot some, please let me know!)
Scarf: Um....Good Will! $1.00.
Wow, I didn't realise until now that I'm basically a walking advertisement for Good Will! Oh well - it's one of my favorite places to shop!
The only thing I don't like about this outfit is the extreme lack of color. I don't look the greatest in white, but at least there's a scarf! I do like the idea, and I want to try something similar with a different (colored) blouse soon.
Edited to Add:
Later today I added a cardigan to this outfit. Wala! Here's my color!

So what do you think of the outfit? Close match? What is your priority when you select your outfit for the day? Comfort? Appearance? Warmth/Coolness? Colors you like?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I haven't deserted you....

...I've just lost my computer! Viruses are nasty. What diabolical mind would create something like that and send it out to ruin the lives of total strangers?

My laptop is in the shop right now, and I'm praying that I haven't lost all my files! I have stuff on there that I really, really, really don't want to lose. I've had the computer for 5 years, and I write books and run two businesses from it, so there's quite a bit of data on there!

I praise the Lord for what He is teaching me through this experience. Patience. Trust. Time management. Trust. Priorities. Trust. I am thankful for His loving heart, and His tender teaching!

But I'm still praying that I'll get my files back. Would you pray too?

Meanwhile, maybe you'll get a post or two, from my parent's computer....but not right now. :)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Modest March Fashion Week Day 2....or is it Day 4?

Well, I was in the middle of writing my second "Modest March Fashion Week" post yesterday evening, when a lovely lighting storm hit our neighborhood. I get thrills listening to heavy thunder, but the idea of using an electrical machine while doing so wasn't appealing. So off went the computer.

After the storm was over, our internet wasn't working. The wind must have knocked over something important somewhere.

But it's back in commission today, so I'll jump along and give you my second outfit for the week....which I think is "Day 4 - Favorite Colors."

Agh! So so so so SO hard! I ADORE color, and to pick which outfit to share is a formidable task.

Well, I have lots of photos of outfits from the past few months, and I'd better share them fast before no one is interested in cold-weather clothes! Oh - happy Spring, by the way! Don't you just LOVE warmer weather? Our sunshine, light breeze, and perfect level of warmth has been amazing for nearly two weeks now. I don't want it to end! Thank You, God, for Spring!

Okay. The outfit.

This outfit is a bit on the low-key side when it comes to colors, but I chose it because it's most realistic of my typical choices for everyday wear.

Shirt - I have to start with this sweater because I love it. Besides, it is THE color in this outfit! I got it at Good Will in almost-new condition. I love yellow, and mustard gold is one of the few shades of it I can wear without looking deathly ill. It's a lightweight knit, which is nice for layering, and there are several details you can't see well in this picture, like white leafy patterns on the front, and gatherings at the shoulder.
Skirt - You've seen this before, I think. Hand-me-down from a friend. I wear this brown flared skirt a LOT, and I'm thinking of copying it and sewing other skirts in the same pattern, because it fits so well and is so comfortable.
Grey Long Sweater - Found this for 6 or 7 dollars at a Children's Thrift Store/Boutique. Just goes to show you never know where you'll find a good buy! It fits just fine, and I LOVE the big chunky buttons.
I'm wearing brown leggings from WalMart, and my $5.00 Good Will boots.
I'm also wearing a brown bead bracelet from a yard sale, and a necklace that has certain sentimental connections for me.

I loved this outfit, but the only thing I can think of while looking at it just now is, "Give me Spring!"

What about you? Are you ready to wish your winter clothes a fond farewell, or will you miss them when they are packed away?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Modest Fashion Week

Julia, over at Sometimes Julia Writes? is hosting a modest fashion week, and I'm going to try to participate ("try" meaning I'll do my best to get a post up each day, but I may miss a few). I've never participated in a "themed week" of any sort in blogland, so this should be fun!

Because my camera batteries are dead and I can't find the charger, most of these pictures will probably be from the last couple of weeks. Good thing I have more pictures than I have time to blog about!

Well, I've already missed day 1, but I believe day 2 is supposed to be an outfit that is "so you." That's a great place to start, because we were just talking about that here, a few posts ago, weren't we?

I wore this outfit to church a few weeks ago, and it really couldn't be more "me." I'm wearing something I made - the dress - which is common. I'm wearing bright color "pops," which I love to do because I adore color. I'm wearing a scarf, which is one of a jillion I have. And look - my trusty ballet flats! Even the way I'm wearing my hair is typical for me.

So let's break it down.

Dress - This is made from a very heavy wool-like knit. I've never made anything with that kind of fabric before, but I like it. It is both comfortable and sturdy. It is a bit hot for anything but rather cold weather, though. I made it without a pattern so, sorry, I can't give a pattern number. The skirt is very full 50's style. You can't see the neck very well, but it has ruffles around it, and has a small "keyhole" in the front center. (Nothing too low. :) The sleeves are fitted, elbow length. Cost - $0.00 (fabric was given to me)
Cardigan - You've seen this before on In My Mirror. Gift from my Aunt. LOVE the color. I like that the texture is very different from the dress, which is important in an outfit. When combining or layering pieces, texture is very important. I'm just starting to get the hang of that.
Scarf - Fell in love with this. Got it from Good Will - $1.00. Don't hate me.
I almost didn't wear the cardigan and scarf together, because they are two slightly different shades of purple - a big no-no, right? That's what I thought. But when I held them next to each other on the black background, they just worked. I think the solid, simply background is the key to their mixing.
Shoes - yes, my trusty flats. Wear them all the time! Payless, on sale.
I'm also wearing a bit of jewelry, which is silverish and pearls. And I carried the black purse with the bows that you can just barely see in the edge of the picture. (Also a gift from my aunt; isn't she the greatest?)

I loved this outfit. Not only did it make me happy when I looked in the mirror, but it fit comfortably; no tugging to keep things up or down, no worries about flashing anything. I felt feminine and put together. I wish I had a warm-weather version of this dress!

Hmmm....I might just have to remedy that!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Inner Beauty

I have enough "fashion photo posts" backed up and ready for use to last me from now until summer, but let's take a time-out from photos for one post, and talk about inner beauty.

There are many spices and flavors in the cheerful pot of whatever it is that bubbles up and gives an inner glow. Many different characteristics combine to create true beauty. Happiness. Sweetness. Unselfishness. Knowing how to laugh at one's self. Energy. Knowledge as opposed to ignorance. Patience. Contentment. Can you list others?

Inner beauty is hard to dissect and analyze, but one thing I know; the fire which heats the pot that holds all these things, and causes their aroma to rise, is none other than the Holy Spirit. Everything is useless without Him. I've seen many beautiful unsaved girls, and several sweet, gentle, unsaved girls, but the sweetness is flat without the fire of the Holy Spirit giving warmth to a heart.

It is a wonderful thing that Christ should promise His presence to His children, living inside them and comforting them and guiding them. Nothing is so sweet as to know He is within us, with us at all times. If we really begin to understand that He is there, in control, and always right, it will change the very way we carry ourselves.

I think that comfort and trust is the key to creating beauty, because a truly beautiful woman is, above all, relaxed. She isn't frazzled, worried, stressed, hyper, or frantic. She isn't biting her nails, creating worry lines, or losing her beauty sleep.

I've had plenty of times to remind myself of that. One of my greatest faults is to "be anxious for everything," instead of letting the peace of God keep my heart and mind. It all boils down to "do I really trust Him to take care of things?" If the answer is yes - and is really, truly IS - then why do I think I must worry so?

Take some time today to think about how you appear to the world around you in this respect. Does your family see you as frazzled and frantic? Or do they see a calm radiance from within? The way you react to stresses in life says a lot about what you think of God. And it affects your looks at the same time.

It's almost bedtime for me. I'm going to try to wake up tomorrow rejoicing in the fact that God's got everything under control. I'm going to let my face relax, my lips smile, my eyes sparkle, and let God be God.

How about you?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

A Walk on the Wild Side

Is it okay for a Christian girl to be "wild"?

I guess it depends on your definition of "wild." Usually I would say no, wild is not a good idea. Lively, yes. Happy, yes. Bubbly, yes. Wild? Nah. That makes me think "rebel."

There are certain "looks" that I try to avoid just because of what I associate with them, or what I know others associate with them.

The hippie movement, for instance. I'm not a fan of most of that. And the outfit I'm wearing in this post definitely has some hippie influence somewhere. ...I think. It's got something.

I'm not sure why I wore this. I think it's because I wanted to feel daring, and because I loved the bold colors. This could be tame for some people, but for me it was totally outside of my normal box.

You see? Sometimes even I do spontaneous stuff.

Let's look at the outfit first, then discuss it.

Blue Knit Tunic - made it myself. Very simple project. Free fabric.
Pink Cardigan - Hand-me-down from Mom. LOVE THE COLOR!
Necklace - another hand-me-down from Mom
Scarf - Good Will ($1.00)
Black Belt - Good Will
Black Ballet flats - on sale at Payless
And oh look - I'm wearing jeans! Made these myself. Discussion coming up.

Okay, besides the fact that this is a cheap outfit, what do I like about this combo? No - actually - let's start with what I don't like.

I don't like the bling. Too much of something somewhere.
I don't like the fact that it reminds me of somebody trying to buck all standards and stand out. Like I said, in some circles this would be a pitifully tame outfit, but I'm just discussing how it makes me feel. Remember, we dress from the inside out.
I also think it's a little too flowy everywhere for my height. Every item is baggy.

Now, what do I like? I love the color. That cotton-candy pink is so yummy. And I like how the gold in the scarf and in the necklace match. I also like the belt.

A word about my jeans. I know everybody has different opinions on whether or not women should wear pants, and if they should, what kind they should wear. Like I've said elsewhere, my standards are simple; the Bible says keep it modest, and feminine.

I used to think that anything that had two legs wasn't woman's clothes, and hence wasn't feminine, but then I saw pictures of women in Asian countries wearing loose pants under tunics, and realized I was imposing American tradition on my definition.

But I don't like to show every curve in my lower half, either. That might be feminine, but it certainly isn't modest.

I came to the conclusion and personal conviction that wearing "something with two legs" isn't forbidden in Scripture, but I also arrived at the discovery that I couldn't find anything with two legs that I wanted to wear out of my bedroom!

My solution was to sew pants I felt "covered" in. And that's what I'm wearing in the above photos. (They are loose, but not quite as baggy as they appear in this outfit. It's just the way I'm standing.)

But, just for the record, my dad tells me, whenever I ask him, that he thinks I'm prettier in skirts, so guess what I like wearing more? :) :) :)

Anyway....long rabbit trail.

Would you like a random piece of news?

I wore this outfit to vote last year. A lady working the booths asked me if I had just gotten off of work. I said that no, I had been home all day, and I guess my tone was inquisitive. She tried to explain by gesturing to my outfit. I guess she's not used to seeing girls who "dress up" to stay home.

....From the looks of the other girls voting that day....I understand where she was coming from.

But you know what? My outfit still didn't help my apparent age. The people passing out voters' information outside the place, as we were walking in, still by-passed me as too young to vote!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Signature Piece.

Is there a certain clothing item that all your friends and family associate with you - something you have on 5 days out of 7? Do you love red shoes? Headbands? Stone jewelry? Denim skirts? Flip flops?

Sometimes we try to "brand ourselves", but most of the time it happens on its own. We love a certain look, or certain item, and find ourselves constantly pulling it out of the closet or off the sales rack. It's only when someone else comments on it that we realize - "Hey, yeah, that's me!"

A word on "signature pieces": Is there an item that you know has become "you," but you really don't like? Do you wear headbands - even though they don't flatter your face shape (nothing against headbands) - simply because they are easy to toss in, and you feel like you can't do better? That's terrible! The Bible says if a woman has long hair it is a glory to her; I think that's a hint that God wants us to take care of our hair and make it pretty. If you don't feel like what you're doing with your hair - or clothing - is pretty and compatible with who you are as a person, do some experimenting! It may not be as hard to learn the french braid as you think. Clothes - especially signature pieces - mark our personality. They should complement it, not clash with it.

There are some things I know are me: scarves are, for instance. I love them because I love love love color; and scarves come in a myriad of colors and prints.

Other things I choose for comfort's sake: ballet flats.

I didn't realize how much these had become a part of "me" until I was making gingerbread men with a friend this Christmas, and we jokingly began to decorate the little figures to look like people we knew. I did one of her; she did one of me. And she specifically pointed out that she had put me "in my little ballet flats."

Looking back, I find that extremely funny. I do love my flats! I used to wear tennis shoes with everything - comfortable, but not extremely feminine-looking, right? Then I wore little heeled boots with everything. More appropriate for the skirts and dresses I wear most of the time, but when I wore them in the summer it looked a little like I stepped out of "Little House on the Prairie".

I didn't like flats because I thought they made my feet look big. But my older sister made them look beautiful, so I gave them a try. Then I saw multiple pictures of Audrey Hepburn wearing them, and everybody says she's a style icon.

Now I wear them almost daily in the fall and winter, unless I choose boots for warmth or style. They're great in the spring and summer too! And I love them!

Cropped Jean Jacket - You've seen this item before. Again, it's one of those things that fits my torso, but not my long arms. So I always wear the sleeves rolled up! It adds a nice layer of warmth, and the deep jean up near my face suits my skin type, which looks washed out if I dress in all light colors. Hand-me-up from a younger sister.
T-Shirt - Guess why I grabbed this shirt off the Good Will rack? That's right - COLOR! I love orange. I wore this shirt all last summer. Lately, though, I've been feeling that perhaps it's a little transparent (or maybe it's been washed too many times!) so it may not see much use this summer. To make myself feel better about that, I decided to use the shirt for layering. As you can see, it adds a happy touch.
Brown Skirt - Hand-me-down from a friend. Free! :) :) I wear this thing constantly. Brown goes with almost everything in my wardrobe.
Aaaaand yes, my brown leggings and flats! I actually like leggings and flats together. They make me feel like Audrey Hepburn or something. I don't know. :)
I'm wearing my hair loose and curly - a rare moment. :) :)

This is a really simple, basic outfit, ya know? I could do anything in it - run errands for Mom, play a board game on the floor with my siblings, do laundry, spend hours in the kitchen, sit and write or sew....It's comfortable, but I feel put-together. That's great. Because it means I can forget about my outfit and concentrate on what's really important.

But back to signature pieces. Do you have any?

Saturday, March 3, 2012

A Favorite Outfit

This is an outfit from a couple of months ago, but I just had to share it because I love it. This is another outfit that I wore to volunteer at the Crisis Pregnancy Center. (You'll probably be seeing a lot of those.)

Sorry about all the "stuff" in the picture - this was before Christmas, and I was hiding packages under bedsheets in my bedroom. Fun times!

Okay - outfit details.

Jean Skirt - one of my staples. You'll see this a lot in future pictures. I think it was a hand-me-down.
White Blouse - this is actually a tunic. I love the idea of using it as both a tunic (un-tucked) and a blouse (tucked into the waist). Because I'm long-waisted, I usually have trouble getting shirts to stay tucked in, but not when it's this long! This was from Good Will.
Purple cardigan - Christmas gift from my aunt. Love the color! I think one pop of color on a "plain" outfit like this is what really says "I put some thought into my outfit today." Don't be afraid of color! Haven't you ever seen wildflowers?
Scarf - speaking of not being afraid; plain outfits can benefit from a pop of pattern as well as color. This black-and-white leopard print adds just a touch of zing, but in a classic way, tied in a vintage way around the neck. I don't usually button my shirts all the way to the tippy-top button, but with this it works. Good Will - $1.00
Black Belt - Also Good Will. Took me FOREVER to find a wide black belt that fit! But I wear this one a LOT. Definitely a staple.
Can't see these very well, but I'm also wearing black tights and black ballet flats.

So, do you mind me analyzing each piece of my outfits? I think it's much more fun than just listing them and leaving it at that. It's nice to figure out why and outfit works, and what the strengths of each item are. After all, isn't knowing how to really use each item in your closet true efficiency?

So what's your opinion of pops of color and print? Are you afraid of them? Have a favorite way to incorporate them into your outfits? They truly aren't big and bad in and of themselves - it's all in the way you use them! They can be powerful tools for adding cheer to your day. :) :)

So smile and wear something that makes others smile!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Church and Snow

This isn't my favorite outfit ever, but since I took a picture of it I thought I'd share it.

The reason I probably came up with this is because I've been challenging myself to create outfits I've never worn before. So far I've gone....oh, I don't know....maybe a month without repeating an outfit. (Can't remember exactly when I started.)

This was an outfit I wore to church on a cold day. That evening it snowed and we got stuck at the end of our road trying to go to evening service. Thankfully we were within walking distance of our house. While the guys worked on getting chains on the van tires, my younger sisters and I tramped through the snow for about 7-8 minutes or so to get back to the house. So glad I wore boots!

Skirt - Goodwill purchase, years and years ago. I love the cut. I've copied it to make skirts from other fabrics.
Shirt - Hand-me-down from a friend. Black cowl-neck sweater, which I have recieved lots of compliments on. The fact that you can't see it very well is probably the reason I don't like this outfit very much. :) :) :)
Cardigan - my trusty red hand-me-down from my older sister.
Boots - Black suede. From WalMart, bought by Mom for me a few years ago.
I'm also obviously wearing a necklace, but I can't remember which one it is.

The best thing about this outfit is that it was warm!