Modesty Is What's Inside You

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Modesty Misunderstood is a great article, and I hope you take a moment to read it. Recently, a woman wrote an article about why she is giving up leggings for the sake of modesty. She wasn't scolding anyone; just making a point about why she chose to give up leggings. You would have thought she was asking women to give up their right to vote for the backlash she received.

The author of this piece is an Orthodox Jew, and she's clear about her reasons for dressing the way she does, covering her hair, and making lifestyle choices to support modesty. Because at the end of the day, she's right. Modesty isn't about you, or what YOU think about me and the way I dress; it's about letting my personality shine through so that clothing enhances rather than detracts. It's not about what men think so much as what I think about myself and my relationship with men and God. 

Really enjoyed the article. Link is above. I hope you enjoy it, too!

Wardrobe Planning for Your Lifestyle

Last night, I tried to read a style book I picked up at a local store. It's one of those "how to plan your wardrobe" kind of books filled with tips and tricks to stretch your wardrobe and your budget. And you know what? I put it down after the first three pages and added it to my giveaway pile.

The problem that I have with most of these "wardrobe planning" type of style guides is that they are so far removed from anything resembling my current lifestyle that they're basically useless. I remember reading a book like this about 20 years ago and thinking the same thing. This was back in the late 1980s, and the book recommended that every woman has at least one evening dress in her closet. One evening dress? At that time, my life consisted of college, working 30 hours a week at a part time job, tutoring kids in the writing lab at school, and mucking stalls to pay for my horse's board. I guess I could wear a nice frock to clean the stalls; perhaps my horse would have been impressed?

The style book I tried to read last night was almost as bad in terms of fitting my lifestyle. "Every woman," the author advised with the knowing sneer of the fashionable, "Should own a little black dress!"  Why? I don't date; I've been happily married for 16 years. For funerals? My aunt once scolded me for wearing black to a funeral. To church? I'll look like a washed out, pale Italian grandma.

Or how about pumps - high heels? That's another item that "every" woman should own. Okay, but I work from home, on a 17 acre farm. My days consist of working from my home office, cleaning the house, cooking, walking the dog, and working outside in the orchard and gardens. I wear high heels to church and to business meetings (maybe).  So why invest in more pairs?

Someday, I want to write a book for 40-somethings who want to look fashionable without buying for a lifestyle that only 20-year old gals living in a major city live. I want a fashion book that features modest but pretty clothes; one that shows me how to dress my figure; one that shows me how to get more mileage from my wardrobe by planning it better without berating me for not owning an evening gown or a little black dress.

At the start of the New Year, I decided that this year I would revamp my wardrobe, and I gave away almost four bags of clothes to Good Will. I'm slowly developing my own wardrobe plan, books or no books. And I can guarantee you, it does NOT include little black dresses and stiletto heels! 

What's New at the Drugstore for 2015!!

What's New at the Drugstore for 2015!!

Bath body product / Bath body product / Bath body product / Bath body product / Bath body product / Bath body product / Bath body product / Bath body product / Bath body product / Makeup / kimoon kim / ZAPOSLENA / Arrow / Arrow / Arrow / Arrow / Arrow / Arrow

This was on Polyvore today and I love it! I'm a big fan of Rimmel, Wet N' Wild and Milani cosmetics. When I worked at Macy's, I used to splurge on all the expensive cosmetics. Since then, however, I've learned that most are exactly the same as the drugstore brands. I'll still splurge on Color Me Beautiful cosmetics (because let's face it, when you find your personal color blush and you're as pale as I am, you can't buy anything else!) and I won't say no to a trip to Sephora to shop.  But in the meantime, there's a great deal of pretty, affordable things to make you sing I Feel Pretty the next time you visit the drug store.  

The Closet Purge Has Begin

The great closet purge of 2015 has begun, and I'm already feeling like I am making some progress. I decided that in 2015, I would focus on renewal of my personal appearance. Not a makeover exactly; I had a makeover back in 1994, when the whole "Color Me Beautiful" trend was fading, and it helped enormously, but I feel like I've matured since then. My closet, however, was a mess - a mish mash of unmatched clothing, three different sizes, clothes and shoes kept for sentimental reasons, and clothes that no longer fit my lifestyle.

When I stand in front of my closet in the morning, I always felt as if I had nothing to wear even though I had so many clothes they were falling off the hangers and onto the floor. Have you ever felt that way? Apparently, it's a common feeling among women who have made a lot of impulse purchases. I seem to have fallen into that category, only for me it is better described as someone who buys only on sale. I've tried to be very frugal since leaving my corporate job several years ago, but there's a limit to frugality. One of my 'frugal' purchases several years ago was a silky rayon blouse in a dove gray color that I thought looked quite beautiful. Okay, so it was one size too large; more modest that way, I told myself. I wore it to church one Sunday with a long black maxi skirt and black flats and thought I looked quite chic....until the visiting priest mistakenly assumed I was a nun. When the priest assumes you're a nun, you're dressing a wee bit too conservatively, no?

I look at my clothes closet and it is like a stranger lives here. Who is this woman who wears these dull clothes, these skirts that graze the ankle, who has old lady orthopedic looking Mary Janes and sneakers? What happened to my beautiful blouse with all the spring like colors in it, the periwinkle blue shirt dress my husband loved, or the mint green dress I wore on Easter Sunday? What happened to color, fun and elegance? 

That Easter Sunday was over 20 years ago, and the periwinkle was retired to the rag bag when it was stained, but the major problem lately has been finding both flattering clothing for my figure and deciding what to buy, and what to wait to buy, until I finish my weight loss journey.

What have I purged from my closet? Mostly clothing that no longer fits my body or my lifestyle. Career clothes that never fit or looked right, impulse buys like the gray blouse that made me look like a nun. Tank tops, shorts and slacks that I no longer wear. I also culled and threw out a favorite pair of high heels with a broken heel that's no worth repairing (the shoes are over 20 years old!) and loafers with the soles worn so thin you can actually see daylight when you look through them.

You'd think that a mature woman such as myself would find it easy to part with these garments, but as I stood holding those loafers over the trash can in the garage, I felt sad. I loved those shoes! They might be older than some of my nieces and nephews, but they always looked so chic, so elegant at work.

There's the problem. At work. My work now is at home, and I've vowed that in 2015, I'll start living for now, with a wardrobe and apparel choices that reflect now, not a longed-for past body, past memory or former career.

So let the great closet purge begin!  Below - the results of the closet purge, awaiting a trip to Good Will tomorrow.