Sunday, March 19, 2017

Fashion: You either have it or you don't?

On March 9, 2017 I spoke to my MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) about fashion and dressing your body as a mom. Here is what I had to say.

First, when I was asked to speak, I didn't think I'd have much to say or wouldn't think what I had to say would be important. But I found that as I kept writing, the more passionate I was about what I said, the more it just came out.

I'm not a professional. I just have researched and studied fashion in college and by talking to others and helping others. When I was 13, I wore big baggy jeans, I had short spikey hair and wore dog collars and bike chains. I changed my look because I learned I could be taken more seriously and wasn't just another dumb rebel kid.

1 Peter 3:3-4 "Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight."

If this is the truth in the Bible, how can I be speaking on fashion and personal style at our group? I believe that by dressing how we are most comfortable and letting the real us show, this is pleasing to God. Of course we read also that our body should be the temple and was given to us by the Lord, so it does not mean show off everything if it makes you happy. It means, Psalm 45:11 "Let the King be enthralled by your beauty, honor Him for he is your Lord." Let the beauty that the Lord gave you show through (both outwardly and inwardly).

What God views as acceptable fashion is way different than how the world views fashion. Obviously. But there is a way to combine them that is still pleasing to God.

Dress so that it makes you happy and not feel worthless. Even I have had times when I went days without a shower or regular clothes. I am a mom of 3 boys afterall. But it is in the moments when I shower, put on jeans and a blouse and actually put a little make-up on that I feel most beautiful. I do that for myself.

You should always dress how you want your children to see you as well. There are 2 things in this that I should clarify. 1. If your children are only seeing you in sweatpants, are you teaching them to keep your body as God's temple and to treat it as a valuable gift? 2. When I am dressed up - or at least in decent clothes, my favorite moments are when August looks at me and says, 'You're pretty, mama.'

It's no only your children that are looking at what you wear and how you take care of yourself, but your husband/significant other too. Let me tell you, through 3 pregnancies with one adding 50+ pounds, nothing looks how it did when we were dating. So, I try to keep the spark alive by showering at least once a week. I like the looks he gives me when I'm dressed nice and not just for date nights, and he remembers why we started dating and what drew us together. I must've been new to what was fashionable, because when I met Marty, he had a buzz hair cut, tapered Levi's and a Scooby-Doo shirt. I took one look at that and said, 'Sign me up! I need that!' Hehehe.

Now that we know the importance of taking care of your body health-wise, but appearance is important to your health as well. Let's look at some do's and don't's of fashion.

You will never get me into a pair of leggings. Just no. They are too much like yoga pants and I just can't. That doesn't mean YOU can't wear leggings, as long as you wear them appropriately. DO: wear a shirt that fully covers your bum. DO: try jogger pants instead of leggings.

A lot of people question wearing skinny jeans when you are full figured. I'm here to tell you, you absolutely can! Skinny jeans are great for full figured, but there are several other styles that are flattering too.

DO: try wide leg trouser denim or colored denim (burgundy, navy, teal). DON'T: wer mom jeans that make you appear wider from behind than you really are. Try to think of colored denim as a neutral.

Unless you are wearing skinny jeans, the most flattering shape will be a straight line from your hip to the floor, either boot cut or a slight flare.

For a long time I was known only as someone who wore heels all the time. Serious, I thought I would give birth to my first born in heels. Boy! was I stupid. And while I still wear them maybe 3 times a week, I understand that they are not always practical.

A good friend of mine recently built a house and didn't have any grass or framed walls yet. She wanted me to come check out the house and progress of the building. Before I came out, she had to tell me to make sure I wasn't wearing heels or a dress. Obviously, I would not show up to a mud pit in heels - unless maybe if it was winter and the mud was frozen solid. <--- joking! Know your area and where you will be before you get dressed. Be prepared for where you will be and then you can know what to wear.

DO: wear your winter boots to work and change into your heels at work.
DON'T: wear white crew socks with your dress flats.
DO: Try a flat shoe or boot that adds some fancy to the look.

DO: mix prints! Think of a polka dot or stripe as a neutral when adding a more busy print (paisley or floral). If you are mixing 2 busy prints, you can keep them easy by choosing the same color story or main color in both prints.

Since I have a nursing baby attached to me most of the time, my style has to be both fashionable and practical. My essentials in my closet are; nursing tank tops, button down tops, cardigans and V-neck blouses. I try not to let where I'm at in live make me feel like I have to give up on how I look. Of course, I have my days when I don't feel like trying. That's when a solid color tee and jeans can easily look pulled together as well.

I threw together this outfit using It's a great website where you can search for items and piece them together to see if they work. There are millions of things to choose from, from jewelry to hats to jackets.

I'm a total dress girl, but decided to outfit an easier look. I added some light wash skinny jeans. While we are on the topic of washes, I tend to wear dark denim more than light denim. Lighter colored denim is better in the spring/summer since a light wash gives a lighter weight feel. And dark denim looks heavier and is also easier to dress up. So, light wash skinny jeans, since it will hopefully be spring soon. And added a spring color blouse or simple t-shirt. For those that get chilly in the spring, throw on a light knit cardigan. If you are more full figured, you will want to make sure that it is not too larger or bulky fabric that will swallow you in fabric. I also added a ballet flat for the ease of this outfit - easy to throw on, easy to kick off. Using a fun color flat is a great way to kick up an all neutral colored outfit. I also added some accessories, because this outfit has cooler colors, silver will match the best. Warmer colors (brown, green, navy) look better with gold accessories. If you're a mom of small children, a shorter silver necklace is preferred over a longer layering necklace. I tend to take off my jewelry when I get home so that the littles do not pull on them. This could be considered a complete outfit, but a purse and nail color can also be added. Not only is this an easy, simple outfit, but it is great for all body types too.

Where to shop?
- Old Navy
- Target
- Clothes Mentor
- TJ Maxx
- Marshalls
- JCPenny
- Loft
- Gap
- H&M

I will leave you with a few questions to help assess your wardrobe. When you walk into your closet, what is missing? What can you add that will help make several outfits? A bright floral? A chambray button down? Colored denim?
Personal style comes down to what you feel your best in. What are you most comfortable in?
What are your 3 favorite pieces in your closet right now?
At the end of the day, what do you want your wardrobe to say about you?

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