Wednesday, September 12, 2018

In Praise of Wearing Dresses and Skirts All the Time

I love dresses and skirts, but especially skirts. These versatile garments are so comfortable, so easy to dress up or down that it's a wonder more women don't return to elegance and embrace the 'dressing in skirts all the time' sisterhood!

A few reasons why a midi or maxi skirt is better than pants:

  1. Fit: Skirts are made to fit a woman's mature body. Pants are generally cut straighter, narrower, so that unless you're a very fit and trim woman or a young woman, pants that fit well are more difficult to find. Ever since I was a teenager, I've had to try on a zillion pairs of pants before I found one that fit. My hips are ample and my waist is narrow; I have long legs. Finding pants that fit can be a nightmare! Not so with skirts. Skirts generally skim the hips, making them very flattering to women with "pear" or "hourglass" shapes. If you fit the waist on an A-line skirt, the rest of the skirt generally fits well without needing alterations. Skirts that fit are much easier to find for my body type than pants, slacks or jeans.
  2. Comfort: Skirts are more comfortable especially in hot weather than jeans, pants, or shorts. They don't bind, pinch or stick to you when you sweat. The cool air on your legs feels great yet your legs are covered from the sun as well as for modesty. 
  3. Range of motion: Women who never wear skirts or who wear them infrequently often mock the idea that you can do anything in a skirt.  Hiking, walking, playing sports, running, gardening, cleaning are all more comfortable in a skirt. Pair your skirt with pantalettes (also called bloomers, culotte slips, or split skirt slips) and you'll stop that painful chafing on the legs from thigh rub.
  4. Economical: Skirts cost about the same as pants but need to be laundered less. I've found that jeans and trousers look soiled with 1-2 wears. Skirts can go for multiple wears and, unless you've spilled something on them, you can keep wearing them with less laundering. This leads to less wear and tear on the fabric and clothes that look nicer, longer.
  5. Versatility: Is there nothing you can't dress up or down better than a denim skirt? Denim skirts look wonderful paired with a casual sweater and boots or sneakers. Pair them with heels and a blouse and you've got a dressier look. Any skirt can be dressed up or down depending on the shoes and accessories. I've worn the same denim skirt to work, to church, to dinner our and just to go grocery works for all these occasions just by swapping a dressier blouse and velvet ballet flats in for sneakers and a t shirt. 
  6. Forgives a few pounds: All of us put on a bit of weight once in a while .My jeans scream at me when I gain an ounce. They are so uncomfortable! Not so my skirts - they fit with a bit of a gain or a loss without much trouble. Ah, forgiveness. It's a virtue among people as well as in garments.
  7. Travels well: My skirt-only wardrobe packed so little so well that I could use one small rolling bag for my last big four-day travel adventure. I attended a wedding, hiked through a state park, and enjoyed a few days visiting with friends before taking the train home. Skirts pack smaller and easier than jeans and pants and require fewer changes of shoes. I wore my sneakers on the train so I could move easily (yes, I pair sneakers and skirts. I know some fashionable people hate that. If I can wear boots or flats, I do, but sometimes, as when I'm walking through New York City pulling a suitcase behind me and trying to catch a train, the sneakers win.) Another big plus of wearing maxi and mid skirts while traveling: they are culturally appropriate anywhere in the world. Going to a country where dress standards edge more towards modesty? Black skirt works there very well. Dinner out in Paris or New York? Black skirt is fine. Long walk through a botanical garden? Yes, the black skirt worked fine.

All in all, I wouldn't trade my skirts-only wardrobe for the world. What other clothes fit and flatter so well?

With my sister enjoying a gorgeous fall day at the New Jersey Botanical Garden. That black skirt looked fine in the garden, on the train, and out to McDonald's for lunch the next day. Versatile and comfortable!

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Wearing Dresses and Skirts All the Time - a Trip to Lowes

Last night, my husband and I attended a fundraising dinner for the local SPCA. We love our animals and enjoy showing our support for the SPCA whenever we can. They organize these fun dinners in which participating restaurants donate up to 10% of your tab to the animal shelter. Great! We get our date night and the cats and dogs get their vaccinations. My kind of dinner date.

When Hubby and I go out, whether it is to eat or to shop, we dress up. We were both raised with the notion that what you wear to relax inside the privacy of your own home is not the same as what you wear in public.

Photo by Pablo Heimplatz on Unsplash

My dear husband dressed up in clean khakis, a long sleeved forest green shirt, and casual brown shoes. He looked so handsome!  I wore a long, calf-grazing dark denim skirt, a dark green-t-shirt, black boots and a multi-hued shawl that includes both the denim blue of my skirt and the green of my top.

The dinner was held in our town's nicest restaurant, a waterfront cafe we enjoy going to for birthdays and special occasions. Glancing around the restaurant, it seemed that we were the only ones who dress up to go out to eat anymore. Flip flops, shorts, and ripped jeans abounded among 90% of the patrons. Surprisingly, those who did wear casual, modest clothing last night were the men. Several men wore clean, pressed khakis like my husband and polo or collared shirts. I noticed because of how they stood out in a positive way.

After a delicious dinner, Hubby and I headed to Lowes for a new hose for the water line for our ice maker and water dispenser on the refrigerator. It had cracked last week causing a minor leak that, thankfully, we had caught on time.

One of the many things I have noticed about shopping when I am wearing an attractive casual dress or skirt outfit is how quickly people offer to assist me inside the store. The store clerks swarmed to us when we walked into the plumbing area - we had two men offer to help us and while we were walking to the plumbing supplies, a third person came up to see if we needed help.

It could just be coincidence, but I notice that when I am nicely dressed, store clerks are much more eager to assist me than at other times. They make polite conversation at the register and even though I live in the very friendly southern United States I think that people are more friendly when you are dressed modestly and nicely than when you are dressed sloppily.

We enjoyed a nice dinner out, shopping for home supplies, and a trip home while dressed up, and guess what? We were comfortable. We were dressed casually and attractively AND modestly for both men and women.

Friends, it can be done. My spouse's outfit was from Walmart and LL Bean. My own clothing came from WalMart, Romans and Jessica London. All modern stores that sell normal clothes for men and women.

We didn't shop at ultra conservative stores or wear special garments like Amish people. We just took the time to smarten our appearance before leaving home.

You can do it, too. It took me a whole 5 minutes to change into a skirt and boots, comb my hair, and change my necklace. I was comfortable in my own skin, wearing clothing pleasing to my husband and to God. What more could you ask?

Why bother to change before you go out...even to a casual rural restaurant and for a trip the home improvement store?  Because what you wear matters. I'm sorry to those of you who think we live in a society where we are all walking around blinded to everyone's differences. We aren't and we don't. We do judge a book by its cover.

Take the time to smarten your appearance before you go out! Be part of the change you wish to see in this world and a return to elegance.