Monthly Archives: April 2013

Days 3 and 4 30×30 Remix- Brightness and Blue

day3full day3access

Well, I went to bed (on the couch with all the lights on, leaning against a pile of laundry, with a DVD of Get Smart blaring) with a migraine last night, so I’m combining days three and four… No harm, no foul right?

As for day three’s outfit (above), I chose it because I had some important meetings Tuesday and this skirt is a bit dressier, but it’s also hard for me to wear because it’s so much louder than most other things I own, and I’m usually a rather quiet person. I always feel like it will surprise people to see me looking so loud!

I love the shoes, one of my few pairs of heels, but my feet were aching afterward as I’m not much used to wearing heels all day. Back to some ballet flats Wednesday, I can tell you that!

And hurray for my only piece of gold-colored jewelry, which seemed appropriate under the circumstances.

day4full

day4waist day4neck

Today (Wednesday) was blue day. I’ve been excited about this outfit, especially this chambray Izod shirt, which I got for 99 cents at Goodwill last week. It’s in perfect shape as far as I can tell. Happiness.

I love this skirt and its blue jean ruffles, but I never wear it because it’s got such a funny shape, with a lot of extra fabric in the waist. But I pulled it up to my natural waist and tied it tighter and then covered it with this shirt (thank goodness it’s long) and drew the eye away from the bunchy fabric with the dark blue belt. Love the contrast. And I love the feel of the chambray, crisp and fresh for a (very) warm spring day.

 

30×30 Remix Day 2- Smoke and Mirrors

 

I'm no fashion photographer...nor model...but I enjoyed day one's outfit!

I’m no fashion photographer…nor model…nor full length mirror owner…(I had to borrow this not so ideal location) but I enjoyed day one’s outfit!

So I’d say Day one of the clothing challenge was a success. At least I enjoyed my first outfit. The skirt and shoes both have some frills on them and I found myself a little self conscious at times, wondering if they looked too fussy. But then I realized, I like things a little frilly sometimes, a little feminine. The kind of clothes you can do a princess twirl in on the elevator when no one is looking. (May or may not have happened).

 

But because I was so intentional about my outfit this morning (more than usual) and because I’ve never worn those pieces in that order before, I found myself glancing in mirrors a lot.

A lot.

Which raises the question, have you ever noticed how many mirrors there are in everyday life?

day1mirrors

And don’t pretend like you don’t notice because you don’t really care how you look. I don’t believe you. I think most of us have days of obsessing with the mirror every time you pass it, even if it’s just the computer screen after it’s gone black, or the shiny windows with sun streaming in them, or the reflective walls of the elevator (I’m there a lot, don’t judge me).

The question is, where do you find your other mirrors?

You know the ones, the ones that exist in others’ eyes when they look back at you. It’s the picture of yourself you see in how they  look at you, talk to you, treat you.

And for many of us, it’s the only way to tell if we’re really worth anything.

This is a concept I’ve been reading about in Emily Freeman’s book Grace for the Good Girl. This book is kind of changing my life (though I’m only in the second chapter) and I want to do a more full post or several on it as I go, but meanwhile, this mirror thing.

Reading similar words about mirrors in her book sounded something like hearing my own thoughts transcribed on paper. I often don’t believe an outfit is cute unless someone tells me so. I don’t know if an idea’s a good one until I’ve run it by a few people. I don’t know if I can really make the cut, until someone invites me in and accepts me.

I’ve learned the hard way, and am in the process of learning still that the mirror system is toxic. It will burn a hole in your heart and leave you in tatters, because you can try to control someone’s perception of you (believe me I do) but in the end you can’t change how they act toward you. But you can fly into a panic trying to do it.

At the risk of sounding like I’m pinning a verse on this and calling it easy, right now I’m clinging to Psalm 62:7. “My salvation and honor depend on God.” Not just my salvation, my ability to escape sin and go to heaven, but my honor and worth here on earth. Imagine. If this is really true, then what?

Not all this panic I fight when I try to do it my way.

No, this isn’t easy at all. I”m fighting it daily right now. But when I’m threatened by the sight of my smallness in others’ eyes. Or my impression of my smallness in their eyes (complicated isn’t it?), I can repeat this over and over and over again.

Maybe someday I’ll be able to believe it.

Won’t you journey with me to try?

A clothing adventure

You know that movie scenario where the girl throws everything in her closet onto her bed, looking for the perfect thing to wear? Well I never thought I’d say this, but that scenario is becoming more and more common in my house lately.

I consider myself somewhat clothing challenged, and so this particular activity surprises me a lot about myself.

The disability started some time in my eighth or ninth grade years of school, when I became afraid of clothes. I looked around and noticed that my friends who were the most confused and unmoored in life were the ones who spent all their attention on how they looked. They acted as if it could be known who they were by how they dressed, and didn’t focus on anything else.

I swore I’d never be that way. And in the typical black and white view of a teenager, that meant swearing off caring about clothes and looks almost entirely. It also meant that I missed learning how to care about makeup and which colors complement and contrast when I think a lot of girls learn to do that instinctively.

This did not last in extreme  for very long, but it did slow me down for a while. Lately, no one’s more surprised than me to find in myself a blossoming interest in fashion and in how outfits go together. I consider this to be a bit of healing from God. I’ve come to believe He likes it when we explore our personalities, even something as surface level as what we like to wear.

As I learn about it, one of the most frequent thoughts is probably: I could never pull that off.

And don’t we all do that with clothing items? I’ll bet there’s something in your closet that you love and think is fabulous but you don’t wear because you’re too nervous. Honestly, a lot of what I don’t wear is because I’m not sure if it will match the image of myself I’m trying to build in people’s heads. And even though I’m no longer afraid to try to look cute when I get dressed in the morning, I still look at that skirt and wonder, “what will people think.”

If I don’t like the answer it goes back in the closet, to go unworn, a closet orphan that nags at my budgeting self with feelings of guilt. Don’t know how to wear it right. Can’t stand not to wear at all.

This is why I was excited when one of my new favorite blogs, Bramblewood Fashion, announced the 30×30 Remix for the coming month. Readers of the blog pick 30 items from their closet and wear only those items for the next 30 days. It gives you practice mixing and matching clothes in new ways and learning to emphasize pieces of clothing that you don’t normally wear.

I think it’s a great chance to practice being good stewards of what God has given me, as well as to celebrate who He made, by exploring my style and what kind of clothing I like.

In the days ahead we have exciting things coming to Unfading, not the least of which is we’re starting to write again! And I hope one of the things you’ll do during that time is journey with me as I learn a little more about fashion!

Here are my 30 items. I’m a day late, the challenge started yesterday, but there’s always grace, right? You’ll notice there are 31 items listed here. I’m stuck on which last one to get rid of. Do you have a vote? I’ll be deciding this evening, as well as posting today’s outfit.

All 30 of my items (hopefully) spread out on my bed.

All 30 of my items (hopefully) spread out on my bed.

 

I'm not going to worry about  a lot of shoe variety. I've got enough to learn about other clothes.

1-3 I’m not going to worry about a lot of shoe variety. I’ve got enough to learn about other clothes.

A jean jacket and two cardigans. I actually think I may use a different cardigan and jacket but both are at work so these work for the picture!

4-6 A jean jacket and two cardigans. I actually think I may use a different cardigan and jacket but both are at work so these work for the picture!

Plain colored shirts. I have the most of them because of their versatility. Notice how much of the same colors I own.

7-14 Plain colored shirts. I have the most of them because of their versatility. Notice how much of the same colors I own.

Patterned shirts!

15-19 Patterned shirts!

I adore skirts and rarely wear them, especially now that I work in a pretty casual workplace. So one of my goals is to wear them more this spring and summer. Hence the plain shirts and patterned skirts.
22-26 I adore skirts and rarely wear them, especially now that I work in a pretty casual workplace. So one of my goals is to wear them more this spring and summer. Hence the plain shirts and patterned skirts.

 

My two favorite pairs of jeans. It's hard to have so few jeans in this mix.

20-21 My two favorite pairs of jeans. It’s hard to have so few jeans in this mix.

 

This very impractical green leather jacket (real) that I thrifted for $10. It makes me to happy not to wear it till the end of the month!

27 This very impractical green leather jacket (real) that I thrifted for $10. It makes me to happy not to wear it till the end of the month!

Chambray dress.

28 Chambray dress.

 

Green knit dress.

29 Green knit dress.

Black knit dress.
30 Black knit dress.

Polka dots!

31 Polka dots!