This is different for me than it is for most people, but the high point of my week is church! As a stay-at-home mom there aren’t many opportunities for me to get out and about (especially in the winter) without spending a lot of money (especially on gas). So I look forward to church, seeing people who care about me and I love to pick out what I’m going to wear. I still have so many work outfits from when I was actually paid to do something for a living that it is nice to have a place to wear them.
Here it is, my biggest beef about church apparel today…no one dresses up! I understand that most people have to wear something nice five days a week to their job and many would point fingers at what I do and say, “Oh, it must be nice to live in jeans and a t-shirt.” But I don’t live in jeans and a t-shirt because what I present to the world says something about how I feel about myself. I have a serious problem with said people that wear their best clothes to church and dress like a street person to church. What does that say to the Lord? I’m not suggesting that you need to wear a ball gown for church on Sunday. And I’m also not suggesting that in order for you to attend church, you can’t be a street person. I’m just saying, out of respect, dress appropriately. For me that means dresses (yes, even in winter) and skirts on communion Sunday and pants when not. In the summer, I wear skirts and dresses almost every Sunday for the simple reason is that it is nice out.
Maybe I sound like a grandma saying this. And I don’t want ANYONE to not attend church because they can’t afford nice clothing. Half of my wardrobe comes from the Goodwill anyway, so I don’t buy that people can’t afford something nice. God doesn’t care what you look like, but YOU should care what you look like to worship God. Would you wear shorts and flip-flops to your grandpa’s funeral? No. So don’t come to church in them.
Maybe I should make something else clear. While I do feel that fashion is my vice, I hope to never become a fashion “victim.” Yes, I try trends, new and different ways of putting colors and pieces together, but… I don’t ever want to look back on photos of myself and seriously wonder what I was thinking. So, while I may be reading magazines that print articles about the runways of Paris and New York, some club in LA and what to wear to the beach in Miami, I will be focusing on real people, real lives and real style. We all cannot afford to purchase designer labels, nor in the Midwest do we have access to every new “it” label. I don’t want to only stick to your basic mall clothing (although I dearly love Banana Republic and Ann Taylor Loft), my focus is on the truly affordable- the clearance rack treasure, the second-hand find, the garage sale staple. In this economy and in this tough market of Midwesterners, that will be work enough.
So I’ve been thinking about what to write in this blog and I’m having a hard time deciding where to start. Maybe I should answer a few questions first.
1) Do I think I have style?
Of course I should answer “yes,” but there are days as a stay-at-home mom where I have to admit, I have gone to the grocery store looking pretty sad. I have run errands in my work-out clothes (gasp). I have even met with a teacher or had a meeting at church looking a little harried. Who hasn’t? That doesn’t mean that I don’t have style, it simply means I’m human. Style by definition is a prevailing mode of expression. Nine days out of 10 I’m dressed in what I view as appropriate.
2) Why is fashion so important to me?
As a little girl, I enjoyed my dress-up clothes and putting on makeup, but my mother chose all my clothes for me. And I recall, I had few variations to the outfits those pieces made together. I do remember desperately wanting a pair of stirrup pants and finally receiving them only to put a hole in them the first time I wore them. I also recall wearing knee-high socks to church with my frilly dresses my mother chose and feeling so embarrassed. During the height of the eighties, it was all push down socks and neon colors, not so much what I was wearing. My mother has a wonderful sense of style; hers is very classic and conservative. Which I have inherited…to some extent. But looking back, her influence on my clothes saved me from the horrid “what was I thinking” photos that would surely come later as I experimented on my own. [Insert dreaded high bangs photo from the 90s.]
As much as I felt I had to try harder than anyone else at my appearance, fashion didn’t really take on a larger meaning for me until after college, surprisingly. I had a teacher in high school whom I remember as never wearing the same outfit twice. This I can relate to. I get bored in the monotony of the same black-pants-and-button-down-shirt type of existence. Above all, I have learned about myself that I strive on variety and versatility. Amazingly enough, I think my first job out of college (a dot com) and the colleagues I had there sent me down the path of the fashion conscious. It was also heavily influenced by my sudden addiction to InStyle magazine’s Instant Style section. More on this later…
3) What do I hope the outcome of all this blogging will be?
Fashion is my passion. You’ve heard that many times. But for me, it is what keeps me going. It is the hobby that gets me through the long days of making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and sitting in the drop-off lane at preschool. Dreaming and planning a wardrobe and outfits for the events in my life only create more living for me to do.
I live in Iowa, the land of the not-so-fashion conscious. However I do believe that many of the people who live here do take pride in their appearance. Fashion is truly my passion. As a stay-at-home mom of three, it is also my outlet. It is an escape to dream up outfits that I may potentially wear to some fabulous venue. If you need to pack for vacation, it is my time to shine. No one else can pack in you as few of outfits, but still have so many options. I am also a bargin shopper, as we live on one income. I am hoping that with this blog, I can find ways to show anyone who stumbles across this blog how easy it is to put together outfits on a shoestring budget, build a wardrobe and have incredible versitility with the clothing they own. It just takes imagination and some forethought!
Enjoy my Style from the Sticks!