Daily Outfits: Dark shirts

IMG_2799 IMG_2809Dark with lighter colors.  I like monochrome on the left.

Dark gray shirt: 4
Gray denim skirt: 2
Neutral birkenstocks: 3
Navy blouse: 3
Green cardigan: 4
Flowered skirt: 2
Brown boots: 3

Thanks for reading!

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Why modesty?

burqabikiniWhat does modesty mean to you?

When I was a teenager, I planned to wear a low-cut polka dot tank-top to a movie with the swim team.  My mom put an end to that.  “No,” she said.  “That is not an appropriate shirt.”  I balked, but she was right.  I was going to a family-friendly event during the day.  What might be appropriate dress for a nightclub is not appropriate for the office.

Now when I see women and men of any age wearing tight or revealing clothing, it makes me uncomfortable.  I’m not sure what to do with that: am I reacting prudishly?  Is it latent body-shaming from our extremely sex-negative culture?  Does it make me insecure?

Generally I’ve tended towards more modest clothing as I grow older.  I try for versatility in my small wardrobe, which eliminates most nightclub attire.  Modesty makes me feel more comfortable out-and-about, too.  As Chaya Kurtz wrote, “life is hard enough without putting my body on display for scrutiny.”  At my job or while traveling I don’t want to be stared at or hassled.  I don’t want my coworkers to feel uncomfortable because of my clothes.

Chaya also wrote,

In my own life, the shift from feeling like I had to prove something to feeling strong and settled happened around the same time that I started dressing modestly. For a while, I was half-hearted about it. I was wearing skirts below the knee, but no socks. It was when I clicked into a pulled-together, tailored, totally modest style that I stopped feeling fat. That was when I started feeling like I could go anywhere, and do anything, and deal with any kind of person without being infantilized or talked down to. My body was not on the auction block anymore.

It is our individual responsibility to treat all people with respect and kindness.  If a woman reveals cleavage and I assume that means something about her, that’s my problem.  Yet we make judgments and decisions about each other all the time based on appearances.  Clothes are meaningful – they communicate information to viewers, whether true or no.  I love dressing myself, but it is partly presentation, impression-management, even armor.

My wardrobe includes looser tops and less cleavage than in younger years.  I like loose skirts, and I’m less comfortable in short shorts these days.  Still, I love fitted jeans and scoop-necks and cut-offs.  I like wearing less in the summer.  I’m curious how this will change as I grow and experiment with style.

What’s modesty for you?  Do you find modest dress beneficial or oppressive?  How do you find balance?

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Daily Outfits: Green cardigan

IMG_2815 IMG_2812I like best the black and orange.  The right is too dark.

Orange patterned top: 1
Green cardigan: 3
Black jeans: 2
Black birkenstocks: 5
Dark purple shirt: 1
Boot-cut jeans: 5
Neutral birkenstocks: 2

Thanks for reading!

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Daily Outfits: Spring layers

IMG_2788IMG_2811Cooled off again, so tempering spring colors with layers and scarves.

Black flowered dress: 2
Brown striped sweater: 1
Black lace tights: 1
Marigold scarf: 2
Brown boots: 2
Flared jeans: 2
scarf_marigold scarf_gray t-shirtBlue tank-top: 2
Yellow cardigan: 3
Black clogs: 1
Gray t-shirt scarf: 2

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Daily Outfits: Navy & gray

IMG_2808dailyoutfit 4.5.14Navy and gray looks, with a splash of yellow and white.  The temperature dropped about twenty degrees today…

Navy blouse: 2
Gray denim skirt:
Yellow cardigan: 2
Brown flip-flops: 1
Dark gray shirt: 3
scarf_whiteBoot-cut jeans: 4
White scarf: 1
Neutral birkenstocks: 1

Thanks for reading!

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Math for Optimal Wardrobe Size

Janice of The Vivienne Files makes this observation:

You’re out driving around and see a house that’s really attractive, so you buy it.  Yea, you already own 8 or 10 other houses – you’ve really lost track – but this one is pretty, and it’s a great price.  Right?

Right – it’s an analogy!  The mentality described here is often how we think of clothes.  Many of us already own multiples jeans or sandals but if we see a cute pair for a good price, we think, why not?

closetJanice calculates her optimal wardrobe size: she wants to wear pieces at least twice a month, which equals, say, 14 pants/skirts/dresses for a month.  Etc.  She ends up with 45 – a few more than 33, but not by much.

Her optimal equation: 45 = ((3 garments per day *365 days)/2 seasons)/12 wearings per year

It got me thinking.  I prefer to wear pieces more than twice a month.  But I bet I own more than 14 pants/skirts/dresses for a season.  I keep many of them stored when not in my 33 and end up wearing some of them only once or twice a year!

Have you ever calculated your optimal wardrobe size?  How would you do it?  What would you minimize?


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Daily Outfits: Black and gray

IMG_2792IMG_2789Cool colors in spring.

Blue tank-top: 1
Brown cardigan: 1
Black jeans: 1
Black flowered dress: 1
Dark gray shirt: 2
Black birkenstocks: 4

Thanks for reading!

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