A Fashion Moment – It’s Okay to Be Fashionable, Right?

I don’t talk much about fashion. That’s not what this blog is about. It’s not that I don’t LIKE fashion or don’t CARE about fashion.. I like trendy things. I don’t want to be a SLAVE to fashion, I don’t NEED to be in the height of fashion, and I should NOT care so much about fashion that it takes priority over other things or is a cause of financial stress. Over the years I have gone back and forth about how much attention to pay to stuff like that. I mean, obviously I don’t want to be overly concerned about it but I don’t think I should ignore it completely, either. It can be a fine line to walk.

Ever wonder if you stopped walking that line completely? Like you don’t really know what your style is anymore, or better yet, your current style could be summed up as a cross between a hobo and a bag lady?

At one point in time, I really couldn’t afford to buy a lot of clothes.. but even then I tended to wear things well beyond the point I should have and I didn’t really make it a priority to go out of my way to find things that suited me well. These days I still don’t have bunches o’ bucks to spend on clothes (and even if I did I don’t think I SHOULD) but I still have kept a very small and sparse, mostly well worn, wardrobe. I guess old habits die hard.

Recently I was talking with another homeschooling mom friend and we decided, “You know what? We almost take better care of our husbands and children than we do ourselves! We need to start taking better care of US, too. And part of that includes clothes that fit WELL, look attractive, and suit our style, without breaking the bank.” Think about it: when we leave our homes we’re representing our family, our husbands, and if you’re a Christian you’re representing your faith, if you’re a homeschooler you’re representing homeschooling, and so on. Does your look say “I’m a mess and frazzled” or does it say “I’m not perfect but I feel good about my life.” I don’t know about you, but I feel good about the decisions I’ve made to follow after God, to marry James, to homeschool our children… I don’t want to give any other impression than that I’m happy with that.

Thinking that through and taking the decision to start dressing myself better seriously.. I started doing some “research.” Also known as “Online window shopping.”  It’s sad but I really wouldn’t have been able to describe my “style.” I just started looking and finding things I liked that went together. There are actually a *few* things I already own that I really like and that I kept in mind while I was looking. I wanted to keep things really mix and match.. and I wanted to keep things as affordable as possible so I kept both of those goals in mind. Online shopping carts are awesome because you can take things in and out of your cart a bazillion times while you change your mind. ; )

So anyway… after settling on a certain number of items that I’d ideally like to purchase over the next few weeks, I sat down and put it all together like this:

Click to embiggen.

There you go, my ideal fall mix & match wardrobe. I figure the jewelry and scarves will be the last and least likely to acquire but I threw them in for finishing touches. You like? I LOVE. Here’s what I’ve got so far:

  • The tapered jeans above are Old Navy plus-sized “skinny” jeans –those and some Old Navy black leggings arrived today! I recently bought a well fitting pair of very dark wash straight leg jeans and I also have a pair of dark gray “yoga” capri pants for warmer days.
  • I just bought one black and one blue long sleeve tee – actually cuter than the tees pictured here because they have a little gather at the neckline. With a long sleeved dark gray sweater, a short sleeved silvery gray sweater “jacket” and a handful of short sleeved graphic tees and semi-nice shirts that I already have, I won’t be nekkid while I slowly collect the rest of the things on my list.
  • I haven’t bought any of the sweater dresses or the skirt yet. I have ONE skirt that I really like- a knee length, straight lined, black satiny skirt. No dresses. So I’ll be wearing mostly pants until I can get to the sweater dresses, etc. = p
  • I recently bought the red flats. (On clearance! LOVE THEM.) I already have a pair of black ankle boots similar to the ones above, and today I tried to buy the gray boots but they didn’t have them at the store that I went to. I have my fingers crossed for Thursday!
  • Accessories: I just bought a lovely turquoise blue scarf and I recently bought some jewelry at a Park Lane party my sister in law hosted. I can’t wait to get the dangly earrings and the wide, bangly bracelet that I ordered. = )
Of course this is still a very small and basic wardrobe, even considering the mix and match factor. But I don’t really feel the need to have a HUGE wardrobe, just a decent one! One that fits! And flatters modestly. And suits my personality and style. I think I’m on my way to achieving that goal.
One more thing…  it’s about more than just nice clothes, isn’t it? I mean.. taking care of yourself is more than a cute shirt. My friend and I agreed there was more to it than that. We’ve decided to start taking better care of ourselves in other ways, too. Not neglecting hair cuts or nail trimming or what have you. It’s not so much about pampering ourselves as it is about NOT NEGLECTING ourselves. It doesn’t have to cost much.. you can learn to trim your own hair, do your own manicures,.. if you don’t know how to do something there’s a youtube video for just about everything these days. OH! Speaking of… that would be a great way to finish this post. How about a few YouTube videos?
So there you have it. If you’re a stay home mom like me, are you making sure that you’re fed/bathed/clothed/trimmed as often as your kids are? Or have you found yourself stuck in a shaggy rut (like I was?) What are your thoughts on balancing a well kept appearance and not getting caught up in materialism or vanity? Do you feel like you need to convince yourself that it’s OKAY to look well groomed and NICE? It’s okay! Whattya say, fellow scruffy moms.. shall we use our available resources to look clean and happy for our families? Who’s with me?!
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November 15, 2011 8:07 am

Hey Amber, Nice blog posting! Looks like you made some great choices for your new wardrobe! I don’t usually post on here, but you mentioned make up and it reminded me of the Bare Minerals make up kit I got you and you said you didn’t know how to use it. Here is a link to a video….well, a website address. I hope you get to use it, it will last a long time and looks and feels awesome. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dv0erHyyLfg&feature=related I think you are right about balance. You should take care to look your best without being too extravagant or… Read more »

November 17, 2011 2:06 am
Reply to  Christy

Thanks! I have been wearing it — when I wear makeup (or at least more than lip gloss and mascara.) Of course I’m shopping the clearance sections to save money and when I’m out shopping I’m looking for items *like* this if not exactly these. There’s a really good second hand store not too far from here that I’m hoping to make a trip to soon with these colors and styles in mind.

Dianna @ Sincerely Me
Dianna @ Sincerely Me
November 15, 2011 9:01 am

I am so totally there. Recently I’ve decided the same thing. I need to take care of myself and I do represent my faith and my hubby and children. So I am trying to dress nicer and actually spend some time on myself. 🙂

November 17, 2011 2:04 am

Absolutely! We just need to take the time to do it. (That’s the tricky part, right?)

Dianna @ Sincerely Me
Dianna @ Sincerely Me
November 17, 2011 10:17 am
Reply to  Amber

Your right, that is the tricky part. lol

Lisa h
Lisa h
November 15, 2011 2:53 pm

Where is that gray dress in the left corner from? Love it!!!!

November 17, 2011 2:04 am
Reply to  Lisa h

Hey, Lisa.. I thought it was Target but now I can’t find it!! They have some really cute dresses that are similar on their site right now. (It may have been called a belted tunic instead of a dress… but I checked all the sites I’d be online window shopping on: Target. Old Navy, Kohls, Walmart, Amazon, JC Penney. Nada.) =(

Lisa h
Lisa h
November 17, 2011 6:53 am

Thanks if I spy it I will let you know 😉 it’s so cute!

November 17, 2011 11:51 am

I totally agree! I have been thinking that same thing: I take better care of my family than I do myself. The kids and the man always have new(er) clothes, they get new shoes regularly, jackets, etc. while I wear the same fuzzy threadbare stuff I’ve been wearing for years. I do have a 17yo daughter who is helping me in this area, taking me shopping from time to time and helping me pick things out. I was afraid she’d try to dress me like a teenager, but she is pretty conscious of the fact that 40 year old women… Read more »

November 17, 2011 12:18 pm
Reply to  Dawn

I was very cautious about picking out the “skinny” jeans. I wanted something tapered to wear inside of the boots that I want. But I didn’t want something snug and legging like (or worse.. JEGGING like!) So I read the reviews and used the size chart and decided to go with Old Navy jeans and being kind of between sizes on the chart decided to order a size up like the review said to do. I’m happy! I tried them on, they fit great. They taper enough but they’re NOT indecent or skanky. And since I wear shirts to cover… Read more »

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